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Voluntary Drinking Water PFAS Sampling Project For Municipal Systems

This project has finished sampling. Please check back in the future for final reporting. There are new PFAS monitoring requirements for community and non-transient, non-community water systems; more information can be found at NR 809 Safe Drinking Water Standards Update.

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

About The Program

The purpose of this sampling project was 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 funded and supported local communities that wished 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), developed a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for this sampling project. The QAPP contains a Planning and Sampling Protocol for sample collection. The DNR provided 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 is being 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 are 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.