The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced an update to its Drinking Water Treatability Database with new treatment options and scientific references for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). This update is another important commitment under EPA’s first-of-its-kind PFAS Action Plan. The database update will further help states, tribes, and local governments, as well as water utilities, make better decisions to manage PFAS in their communities.
In the most recent update, EPA added treatment and contaminant information about four new PFAS compounds. This update brings the total number of PFAS compounds in the database to 26, including PFOA and PFOS. Researchers have also added 20 new scientific references to the existing PFAS entries, which increases the depth of scientific knowledge available in the database. The four new PFAS compounds are:
- Difuoro(perfluoromethoxy) acetic acid, also known as Perfluoro-2-methoxyacetic acid
- Perfluoro-3,5-dioxahexanoic acid
- Perfluoro-3,5,7-trioxaoctanoic acid
- Perfluoropropane sulfonate
PFAS are a large group of man-made chemicals composed of one or more carbon atoms on which all hydrogen substituents have been replaced with fluorine atoms. The compounds are used in consumer products and industrial processes. In use since the 1940s, PFAS are resistant to heat, oils, stains, grease, and water—properties which contribute to their persistence in the environment.
Following the extensive public input the agency received during the PFAS National Leadership Summit, multiple community engagements, and through the public docket, the PFAS Action Plan is the EPA’s response to a multi-media, multi-program, national research, management, and risk communication plan to address this challenge.
About the Drinking Water Treatability Database
The Drinking Water Treatability Database presents an overview of the properties of different contaminants and possible treatment processes to remove them from drinking water. Water utility managers, water treatment experts, states, tribes, local governments, researchers, and others can use this updated information to help treat PFAS in drinking water systems to protect the health of communities across the nation. The information included in the database is supported by scientific references, including journal articles, conference proceedings, reports, and webinars with treatability data.