The Ohio EPA announced that it has received the final testing results for the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water from Ohio’s public water systems.
This concludes the agency’s statewide sampling initiative of almost 1,550 public water systems under Ohio’s PFAS Action Plan. The testing found only two public water systems in the state with PFAS levels above the state’s action level.
“There is still a lot that experts don’t yet know about the dangers of PFAS compounds in drinking water, but as a result of this work, we can say with certainty that these chemicals are not widely contaminating Ohio’s public water systems,” said Governor Mark DeWine in the EPA press release. “We want Ohioans to feel confident that their water is safe, and I’m pleased that these testing results can provide some peace of mind.”
DeWine called for the development of the PFAS Action Plan to identify the extent of PFAS chemicals in Ohio’s public drinking water systems, according to the state.
The water sampling began in February 2020 and had the goal to test Ohio’s public water system by the end of the year, which serves: communities, schools, child care facilities, and mobile home parks.
Approximately 94% of the nearly 1,550 public drinking water systems tested revealed no detection of PFAS compounds, according to the Ohio EPA. Low levels of PFAS compounds well below the health advisory level were detected in 6% of systems. Two water systems found with elevated PFAS levels as well. As a result, immediate steps were taken to identify alternatives for safe drinking water.
The Ohio EPA will continue to work with these systems on regular testing to monitor PFAS levels and is also continuing to monitor the water systems with low PFAS levels to ensure levels don’t begin to rise.