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Pfas Frequently Asked Questions

What are PFAS?

According to California State Water Resources Control Board, per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of manmade substances commonly found in consumer and industrial products. Two of the PFAS, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) have been extensively produced and studied in the United States. PFAS are used for a variety of applications by both industry and residential households. These chemicals are widely used because they are resistant to heat, water, and oil.

Where can PFAS be found?

 PFAS are commonly found in every American household, and in products as diverse as:

PFAS Items

Certain PFAS chemicals are no longer manufactured in the United States as a result of phase-outs including the PFOA Stewardship Program in which eight major chemical manufacturers agreed to eliminate the use of PFOA and PFOA-related chemicals in their products and as emissions from their facilities. Although PFOA and PFOS are no longer manufactured in the United States, they are still produced internationally and can be imported into the United States in consumer goods such as carpet, leather and apparel, textiles, paper and packaging, coatings, rubber and plastics.

Who sets guidelines for PFAS?

The California State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water sets the reporting guidelines for PFAS. In addition, the Board also announced it has begun the process of establishing regulatory standards for these chemicals.

 

What are the reporting guidelines for PFAS?

In August 2019, The California State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water (DDW) updated guidelines to lower notification levels for PFOA to 5.1 parts per trillion (ppt) and to 6.5 ppt for PFOS. If the City of Sacramento detects levels above these levels, we are required to notify the Sacramento City Council.
DDW has also established a 70 part per trillion response level for PFOS and PFOA combined. If the response level is exceeded, DDW advises community water systems to take action, such as treatment or well shut off.
Notification levels and response levels are not actionable regulatory requirements but are guidance levels set by DDW. The guidelines are based on health recommendations by the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. For more information click here.

 What are the monitoring guidelines for PFAS?

On March 15, 2019 DDW issued a monitoring order (Order) requiring sampling for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including PFOS and PFOA in community water systems. The Order issued for the City of Sacramento specified four quarters of monitoring at City Well 139:

  • The first round of mandatory monitoring under the Order (in Q2 2019), confirmed detection of PFOS over the notification level in effect at that time in both raw water and treated water at City Well 139.
  • The second round of mandatory monitoring (in Q3 2019), confirmed detection of PFOS over the newly lowered 6.5 part per trillion notification level in both raw water and treated water at City Well 139.
  • Samples will be collected at Well 139 during the third and fourth round of mandatory monitoring under the Order (in Q4 2019 and Q1 2020).

Prior to issuance of the DDW Order, the Department of Utilities (DOU) had independently developed a PFAS Study Plan (Plan) for all City potable water sources.

  • The first round of proactive monitoring under the City’s Plan (in Q2 2019), confirmed detection of PFOS over the notification level in effect at that time in the treated water at City Well 124.
  • In accordance with our Plan, samples were not collected at Well 124 during the second round of monitoring (in Q3 2019).
  • Treated water samples will be collected at Well 124 during the third round of monitoring (in Q4 2019).
  • In the second round of monitoring under the City’s Plan (in Q3 2019) analysis of a treated water sample at City Well 133 confirmed detection of PFOS over the 6.5 part per trillion notification level now in effect.
  • In accordance with our Plan, treated water samples will be collected at Well 133 during the third round of monitoring (in Q4 2019).

Have PFAS been detected in any City wells?

 

PDAS Wells

Yes. PFOS and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) have been detected at wells 124, 133 and 139.


The numbers on the map correlate to the Sacramento City Council district boundaries. City of Sacramento residents can find their city council representative here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Is my water safe to drink?

Yes. The City of Sacramento’s drinking water continues to meet all Federal and State drinking water standards and is safe to drink. For detailed information on the City of Sacramento’s drinking water, visit the City of Sacramento Water Quality Data Portal, download the City of Sacramento 2018 Consumer Confidence Report, or contact the City’s Water Quality Laboratory at (916) 808-3737.

What is the City doing about PFAS in its wells?

Since the combined PFAS and PFOA levels at wells 124, 133 and 139 are significantly below the public response level, the wells will remain in service and we will continue to monitor in accordance with the DDW Order and our PFAS study plan. The City’s drinking water continues to meet all Federal and State drinking water standards and is safe to drink. Should the level of PFOA, PFOS, (or a combination of the two) at a City water source begin to approach one-half the public response level (e.g. 35 parts per trillion) the City will consider treatment options or removing that source from service.

Where can I find more information?

For the latest State and Federal PFAS information, visit the following:

California State Water Resources Control Board

US EPA

For the latest information on the City of Sacramento’s drinking water, call the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities, Water Quality at 916-808-3737 or visit:

City of Sacramento Water Quality Data Portal


2018 Consumer Confidence Report