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Massachusetts Water Resources Authority


May 10, 2019


Ria Convery, (617) 788-1105

PFASs Not Found in MWRA Drinking Water

This information is no longer current. Please visit this page for updated information about PFAS in drinking water.

You might have seen recent news reports about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (together abbreviated as PFASs). These are a class of human-made chemicals typically associated with manufacturing of non-stick coatings, and water proofing and stain proofing treatments. They have also been associated with certain fire-fighting foams.

The US EPA has issued health advisories of 70 parts per trillion for two of the perflourinated compounds (they have also been called PFCs, a larger group of perfluorinated chemicals that include PFASs) perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).  PFOA and PFOS have been the most extensively produced and studied of the PFAS chemicals. Massachusetts and other states have also taken action to set guidelines or conduct additional sampling.

PFASs are not a concern for MWRA water and have never been detected. 

PFASs would not be expected to be found since MWRA’s reservoirs, the Quabbin and Wachusett, are very well protected, and mostly surrounded by conservation land.  
Below is a list of the PFASs that MWRA has tested for and did not find:

  • Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)

  • Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)

  • Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA)

  • Perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS)

  • Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA)

  • Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS)

MWRA tests the water supply each year for over 120 contaminants to ensure the water supplied is of the highest quality.

If you have any questions about water quality, please visit MWRA's Water Testing page, which includes all of our annual and monthly test results, or contact us at 617-242-5323.


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Updated November 28, 2018