PFAS and Your Drinking Water
PFAS have been in the news again as the Environmental Protection Agency is taking steps to regulate PFAS in the drinking water across the United States, which will impact the suburban Chicago area, including the water quality in Sycamore, IL.
PFAS stands for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances. These chemicals are commonly found in items such as non-stick cook wear, water-resistant clothing, stain-resistant coatings on carpeting and upholstery, and even personal care items. They are resistant to heat, water, and grease, and have earned the name “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the environment or in our bodies. As PFAS are disposed of or spilled into the ground, lakes, and rivers, they enter our water supply which is then carried into our homes. This poses a threat to both our water supply and our health.
According to a recent study, 45% of all tap water in the United States contains at least one PFAS. This means that, in addition to being exposed to these chemicals through the products we use, it’s likely that we are consuming them through our home’s water supply without even knowing. While research is still being done on the effects that PFAS have on our health, they have already been linked to several problems. According to the EPA, exposure to certain levels of PFAS can cause reproductive issues, increased cholesterol, reduced ability to fight infections, vaccine efficacy, and certain cancers.
The regulations being proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, known as the National Primary Drinking Water Regulation, would establish legally enforceable levels of six different PFAS. The EPA anticipates completion of the regulations by the end of 2023 and, if fully adopted, would require public water systems to monitor the water supply for PFAS, notify the public of their existence, and takes steps to reduce the amount of PFAS in the water supply should they be over the legal limit. According to the EPA website, “If fully implemented, the rule will prevent thousands of deaths and reduce tens of thousands of serious PFAS-attributable illnesses.”
As we wait for the EPA to take further action, what can be done to ensure that your family is safe from PFAS? First, you can check find out what products are PFAS-free at pfacentral.org. They provide a list of products and brands that do not contain PFAS. Second, you can contact your municipality, such as the city of Sycamore, IL, and ask if the water supply has been tested for PFAS. If so, you can request more information about their findings. Finally, you can contact the water experts are Prairie State Water Supply who can answer your questions and help determine if you need a water filtration system for your home.
Prairie State Water Solutions offers whole house contaminant reduction systems for removing or reducing PFAS and other harmful contaminants such as lead and arsenic from your home’s water supply, and can improve the overall water quality in your Sycamore, IL, home.
Both activated carbon water filters and reverse osmosis systems remove or reduce PFAS from the water but, before selecting a system for your home, you need to know a little more about your home’s water supply. In addition to removing PFAS, activated carbon water filters also remove chlorine, sediment, and some metals from the water. However, they do not remove iron, nitrate, and sodium. A reverse osmosis system, on the other hand, removes all of these contaminants, in addition to PFAS. Depending on your home’s water supply, one system might be more beneficial.
While your local municipality can provide reports on your water quality, Prairie State Water Solutions offers water testing and can provide a report on your Sycamore, IL, home’s water quality. This is important when looking for things like lead, which may not be present in your municipalities’ water but could enter your water from within your home through pipes and water fixtures. We can help you get the full picture of your home’s water supply and offer options to ensure that your Sycamore, IL, home has safe, clean drinking water.
While new regulations seem to be on the horizon, you can take steps to keep your family safe. Call Prairie State Water Solutions at 1-630-864-7078 for a free consultation with our water specialists.