Evaluating your municipality for potential sources of PFAS is a great place to start assessing a potential PFAS problem.
The aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF) used to fight aviation fires are a common source of PFAS contamination. After an emergency or training exercise, released AFFF can seep into the ground to contaminate soil and ground water. AFFF that enters the storm drainage system can also contaminate local surface waters and enter the public water systems.
AFFF is also used regularly to fight municipal fires involving flammable liquids. Although there are fluorine-free foams (FFF) available, they are slowly being phased in, and not all FFF are free from PFAS. Pace® can test both your legacy AFFF and newer stocks of FFF to determine how much and which PFAS they contain.
Has your city or town had a recent fire emergency or chemical spill? Our Rapid Response team can help you assess potential PFAS contamination.
Municipal and private landfills are another common source of PFAS contamination. As liquid (rain, condensation, liquid waste) passes through a landfill, it can leach PFAS from solid or liquid waste. Common examples include construction materials, carpeting, packaging, weather-proof clothing, and non-stick cookware. If the lining breaks down – or if the landfill was never lined – this leachate can contaminate surrounding soil and groundwater.
Storm sewers, industrial discharge, landfill leachate, and other non-potable liquids that contain PFAS are often sent to the municipal wastewater treatment facility for processing. Unfortunately, traditional municipal wastewater treatment does not remove PFAS. In fact, it can convert PFAS precursors into terminal PFAS, further compounding a local contamination issue
Roughly half of the domestic sewage sludge produced by wastewater treatment in the United States is applied to agriculture as a soil amendment. If these biosolids contain PFAS, contamination can enter the food chain and spread to local ground and surface waters.
Incineration has long-been a preferred method for disposing of industrial waste and chemical stockpiles. However, not all incineration techniques effectively destroy PFAS. Soil, ash, groundwater, and air samples taken from some incinerator sites and surrounding neighborhoods have shown elevated levels of PFAS.
Here are four types of incinerators that may be contributing to a municipal PFAS contamination problem:
Need to level up your knowledge or looking for PFAS guidance you can share with a colleague? Download The Municipality’s Guide to PFAS Contamination and Testing for information on:
Sampling under the EPA’s fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5) began in January 2023. All public water systems (PWS) serving 3,300 or more customers, plus 800 randomly selected smaller systems, will be required to test each entry point to the distribution system for 29 PFAS plus lithium. The EPA has also selected several hundred smaller PWS to participate as well.
In early 2023, the U.S. EPA dramatically increased transparency into PFAS contamination around the country by publishing online, publicly available PFAS Analytical Tools that aggregate data gathered from various programs, including UCMR 5.
Whether testing for drinking water compliance or public health and safety concerns, Pace® has the services you need. We offer testing services for a wide range of liquid and solid matrices, such as potable & non-potable water, leachate, solids, and soil & sediment. In addition to analyzing for targeted PFAS, we can also analyze matrices for total organic fluorine and PFAS precursors.
We’re certified/accredited by NELAC, ISO, DOD, DOE, and in every state with a PFAS lab certification program.
For emergencies, our Rapid Response Team can provide defensible results in as little as 24 hours.
We are committed to helping our customers advance their important work through building strong relationships, delivering upon expectations, and providing exceptional customer service.
We can test for PFAS in both solid and aqueous matrices, including potable and non-potable waters, soils, and biota.
We’re on the leading edge of science, working with EPA, DOD, ASTM, and others to develop new methods for analyzing PFAS.