The Department of Health is creating drinking water standards for PFAS, toxic chemicals that have been found in the water supplies serving around 100,000 Washington residents. It has just released its draft rule, which is open to public comment.

This is our chance to make sure that protections from PFAS chemicals in drinking water are as strong as possible in our state! Please submit your public comment today in a few simple clicks. 

PFAS chemicals are associated with cancer, hormone disruption, and immune system. Their presence in drinking water systems is largely due to their use in firefighting foam. PFAS are so mobile and persistent that their release into the environment poses a major risk to our drinking water supplies. The implementation of drinking water standards is essential to ensure that Washington residents have safe drinking water.

While we applaud the Department of Health for moving forward with drinking water standards, the draft rule as it currently reads needs improvement. Specifically:

  1. Testing: The draft rule requires testing for PFAS in drinking water for the largest water systems in the state but leaves out places like churches, motels, and parks. It also leaves out smaller water systems and private wells. All drinking water should be tested to ensure there is no PFAS contamination. DOH should pursue resources to help fund testing of smaller systems.
  2. Action Levels: The draft action levels only cover 5 PFAS, but there are over 4500 PFAS. It is important to address all PFAS.
  3. Public Notification and Action: The draft rule says that if levels are exceeded, public notice is required. But the rule needs to also ensure that if the levels are exceeded, DOH will require treatment for all PFAS.

Please help protect drinking water in Washington State and submit your comment today!