Madison Water Utility will move from semi-annual testing to monthly testing at Well 15 in January, 2019 to ensure levels of PFAS at the well are stable. After a period of monitoring, the Utility will evaluate the monthly results, and compare them to previous results, to determine whether to continue monthly testing.
While PFAS are currently unregulated under the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Act, the EPA Health Advisory Level for combined PFOA and PFOS is 0.07 parts per billion.
No wells tested in Madison showed results above the EPA Health Advisory Level.
We don’t have exact pricing available yet, but the cost expected to range from $250 - $700 per monthly sample depending on the specific analysis selected.
What we’re testing for
There are thousands of PFAS compounds out there, but the EPA does not have a standard method for testing most of them. There is a single standard method (EPA Method 537) for the quantification of 14-18 PFAS compounds. Some analytical labs use a modified EPA Method 537 to expand the number of PFAS compounds to approximately thirty and achieve detection limits lower than the standard method.
Madison Water Utility plans to test for a minimum of 12 PFAS compounds. Among the PFAS we are testing for at Well 15 are those used in Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF). This is the firefighting foam historically used at air bases, airports and fire departments.
It is not uncommon to increase the frequency of monitoring especially when a contaminant is initially discovered or when the concentration is increasing. If, over time, our monitoring demonstrates that the contaminant level is stable or decreasing, we tend to reduce the monitoring frequency.
Madison Water Utility will also continue to periodically monitor PFAS at Well 16, although not on a monthly basis. One type of PFAS (PFHxA) has been detected at trace levels at the well. There is no health advisory level for PFHxA.