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Home > Impact > Public Health > PFAS and your Drinking Water
PFAS (short for per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are a group of human-made chemicals known for their resistance to heat, water, and oil. Commonly called ‘forever’ compounds because they can remain around for years, if not decades, PFAS have been widely used in various industries and consumer products since the 1940s. PFAS have unique properties which make them useful in applications such as non-stick cookware, water-resistant clothing, and firefighting foams. However, their long-term persistence in the environment, and the potential health risks associated with these chemicals, have raised concerns among regulatory agencies for some time now.
For over fifty years now, PFAS has been detected in some of America’s freshwater sources, and soil, and even accumulated in human blood and tissue. Studies suggest that exposure to PFAS may adversely affect human health, including developmental issues, immune system effects, and increased risk of certain cancers. Nationally, and in Washington State, efforts are being made to regulate and reduce or eliminate the use of PFAS and to find safer alternatives to minimize their accumulated impact on the environment and human health.
Water utilities, including Alderwood Water & Wastewater District and the City of Everett (from whom AWWD obtains our water), typically conduct testing to monitor the levels of PFAS in their drinking water supply. The specific steps involved in the City of Everett’s testing process vary, but this link will provide specific information about the most current quality of the City of Everett’s drinking and source water.
Most importantly, AWWD ratepayers and customers can be confident that our local water utilities are carefully monitoring the presence of PFAS in our drinking water supplies. AWWD’s most recent, and all prior, testing results show no evidence of PFAS compounds in our drinking water, and according to the City of Everett, which draws its source water supply from Spada Lake Reservoir near the headwaters of the Sultan River in the North Cascades; “Because of the protected nature of the City of Everett’s drinking water, there are no sources of PFAS in Everett’s watershed.”
For more information about PFAS and drinking water, please visit the American Water Works Association’s PFAS webpage at this link.