News | February 14, 2019

Water Quality Association Supports EPA PFAS Plan

EPA suggests consumers have water tested and use certified in-home filtration to remove or reduce levels of these toxic chemicals

LISLE, Ill. – The Water Quality Association supports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) taking steps toward setting a safety threshold for highly toxic drinking water contaminants known as PFAS. Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Thursday outlined a plan that addresses drinking water and cleanup concerns as well as monitoring of PFAS, expanding research and improving enforcement.

“We are encouraged that the EPA is continuing to move forward with establishing a consistent standard across the country for these dangerous chemicals,” said WQA Global Government Affairs Director David Loveday.  “We strongly support the action plan’s recommendations that consumers have their drinking water checked by a certified laboratory and then use certified in-home filtration to remove or reduce any chemicals found.”

In September, a letter from WQA supporting further study of human health risks of PFAS contamination and using in-home treatment technologies to combat them was introduced into testimony before a U.S. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. Research shows POU/POE treatment “can be used to successfully treat for these contaminants at the home or in a building,” said the letter from WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “They cost only a fraction of the price our society would need to bear to upgrade our drinking water treatment plants for PFAS removal.”

Last May, Loveday and WQA Technical Affairs Director Eric Yeggy took part in the EPA’s PFAS National Leadership Summit, which called for a national management plan.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known collectively as PFAS, are man-made chemicals found in such things as firefighting foams and stain-resistant, waterproof and nonstick coatings. Because they break down slowly, if at all, they have turned up in drinking water systems across the nation in varying levels.  Some individual states have begun regulating the chemicals.

For individuals concerned about PFAS, the EPA Plan states:

“The EPA recommends contacting your state for a list of laboratories that are certified to test for PFAS using EPA Method 537. If you find PFAS in your drinking water, certain PFAS can be reduced or removed through the use of in-home point-of-use or point-of-entry water filters. It is important to keep in mind that any in-home treatment device should be certified by an independent party.”

In-home technologies such as reverse osmosis, carbon filtration and anion exchange have been independently tested and proven to be a successful final barrier to treat drinking water for PFAS.

WQA is a non-for-profit, accredited independent third-party certification body by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada. WQA’s website provides additional information on PFAS chemicals and product certification.

As part of its annual DC Fly-In and the Water Resources Congressional Summit on March 5 and 6, WQA members and staff will discuss PFAS in meetings with Congressional and federal agency staffs. Fly-In registration is open through Friday, Feb. 15.

WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. WQA’s education and professional certification programs have been providing industry-standardized training and credentialing since 1977.  The WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water since 1959. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).

SOURCE: Water Quality Association