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Voluntary Drinking Water PFAS Sampling Project For Municipal Systems

As part of the DNR's efforts to ensure Wisconsinites have access to safe drinking water, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has launched a new, voluntary program for communities that are interested in learning whether their municipal water supply is impacted by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Sampling is voluntary and available to all municipal drinking water systems in Wisconsin. The DNR will partner with participating communities to facilitate sampling, communicate results and support follow-up actions. Impacted communities may be able to access resources from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The DNR will work closely with any impacted system and communities to leverage all resources available.

Communities interested in sampling for PFAS in their municipal drinking water sources should contact the DNR directly by emailing DNRDGPFASSampling@wisconsin.gov.

About The Program

The purpose of this sampling project is to get data to communities to know that they are providing safe water to their residents. Through funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the state of Wisconsin will fund and support local communities that wish to sample for PFAS. If the DNR receives additional federal or state funding, the sampling effort may expand.

The Wisconsin PFAS Action Council (WisPAC) recommended sampling of municipal drinking water systems in the Wisconsin PFAS Action Plan. Other Midwest states, such as Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota, have sampled or are sampling their municipal water supplies.

Sample Collection Information

The DNR, in conjunction with the U.S. EPA and the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene (WSLH), has developed a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for this sampling project. The QAPP contains a Planning and Sampling Protocol for sample collection. The DNR will provide online training to water system-certified operators on how to follow this protocol while collecting samples.

As part of U.S. EPA's requirements, laboratory analysis of the samples will be performed using EPA Method 537.1 for PFAS in Drinking Water, which detects 18 different PFAS compounds.

Compounds Included

Through the State of Wisconsin's groundwater standards-setting process, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has made health-based advisory level recommendations for 12 individual PFAS compounds and a combined value for 6 additional compounds. Some of these compounds are not included in EPA Method 537.1.

The DNR has created a table providing an overview of the EPA Method 537.1 analytes and the PFAS compounds with DHS health-based advisory level. The DHS also recommends using a method to evaluate mixtures of PFAS compounds in drinking water using a PFAS Hazard Index. If PFAS are detected at a Hazard Index value that raises concern (i.e., 0.5 or higher) during the initial sampling, follow-up sampling may occur that will include the additional PFAS compounds with health advisory recommendations.

Additional Information From DHS

Training and Information Sessions

How To View Results

All results of samples taken as a part of this voluntary testing program will be available online to the public and available through this webpage. If results exceed any recommended advisory levels, the DNR will work with communities to communicate results, potential health impacts and consumption recommendations directly to its customers.