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Update on Monitoring PFAS

Our number one priority is providing safe, reliable, great tasting water to the community. Which is why I am updating you on what we are doing to monitor for emerging contaminants such as PFAS.

There’s been a lot of media attention lately on PFAS chemicals being detected in drinking water. PFAS is an abbreviation for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances which are manmade chemicals used in metal plating and a wide variety of consumer products including fire-suppressing foam, carpets, paints, polishes, waxes, and cosmetics. Nationwide PFAS is being detected in source waters near manufacturing plants using PFAS in their processes. Here in Colorado, communities near military bases and airports have been seriously impacted by the presence of PFAS chemicals in their water supplies. A recent study completed by the U.S. Geological Survey found PFAS chemicals above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed drinking water standards in 45% of the drinking water tested.

The Roxborough community’s water supply is mountain snow melt diverted from the South Platte River. Roxborough Water and Sanitation District is fortunate to have excellent source water.

The EPA has proposed new drinking water standards known as Maximum Contaminant Limits (MCLs) for two PFAS chemicals – PFOA and PFOS – and a Hazard Index for four additional PFAS chemicals. While the Maximum Contaminant Limits Goal (MCLG) for these chemicals is zero, that’s simply not feasible to achieve given their widespread, ubiquitous use.

The District participated in a rigorous sampling program implemented by the Water Quality Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The results of that sampling compared to the new drinking water standards or MCLs are detailed on the following page.

Beginning this year, Roxborough’s water will be sampled for 29 PFAS chemicals under EPA’s Unregulated Contaminants Monitoring Rules (UCMR 5), and those results will be included in future Water Quality Reports.

While we monitor for emerging contaminants, the water in Roxborough continues to be safe to drink.

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