For Immediate Release: March 24, 2023

Contact: | (215) 380-9327

Philadelphia Water Dept. Statement on Proposed PFAS Regulations

PHILADELPHIA – On March 14, 2023 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced proposed national primary drinking water regulations for certain PFAS compounds. These proposed regulations include a maximum contaminant level (MCL) of four parts per trillion each for PFOA and PFOS and an enforceable limit on a combination of PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS, and GenX.

Please see the below statement on this proposal: 

“The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) has spent years following the latest science on PFAS, and proactively worked to analyze the concentrations of PFAS compounds in our drinking water. We have shared the results of that work with the public on our website: PFAS Management

In January 2023, the state of Pennsylvania set its own limits of 14 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and 18 ppt for PFOS in drinking water to protect human health. PWD found PFAS levels well below the criteria for drinking water in Pennsylvania. However, the proposed EPA standards for PFAS are much more stringent.

We are currently evaluating PFAS treatment technologies for drinking water, including established technologies for PFAS removal such as granular activated carbon, reverse osmosis, and ion exchange, and a host of emerging technologies that may provide cost-effective solutions.

Our goal is to start evaluating the top technologies within the next year at our Advanced Drinking Water Treatment Pilot Facility. We do not yet have a cost estimate for PFAS treatment and are reviewing that expense along with the feasibility of upgrades, which includes availability of materials, required maintenance, construction, and compatibility with our existing treatment process. PWD continues to track and investigate how federal funding may help support these treatment upgrades.

PWD is one of many water utilities nationwide that may be required to upgrade its treatment process to comply with these proposed regulations. While we are committed to providing safe, clean drinking water, the cost burden should not be passed along to customers through higher water bills. PFAS producers and manufacturers must be held accountable for the control of this pollution at its sources and for its cleanup.”

The EPA anticipates finalizing the rule by the end of 2023.

More information is available on the EPA website here.