PFAS: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances
July 20, 2022 - Recently, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued a health advisory on PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in drinking water, but it has yet to regulate them. As state and federal regulators review the current science on PFAS prior to establishing allowed limits in drinking water, they have established “health advisories” for some of these substances. The EPA lifetime health advisories identify levels to protect all people including sensitive populations from adverse health effects resulting from a lifetime of exposure to PFAS.
The Village purchases its Lake Michigan water from the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency (CLCJAWA). CLCJAWA delivers drinking water to 13 members serving 19 communities situated in Central Lake County. Member communities include Grayslake, Gurnee, Lake Bluff, Lake Village, Libertyville, Lindenhurst, Mundelein, Round Lake Beach/Heights, Round Lake, Round Lake Park, Volo, Wauconda and areas of unincorporated Lake County including Knollwood/Rondout, Wildwood, Vernon Hills, Grandwood Park and Fox Lake Hills to approximately 285,000 residents.
CLCJAWA has monitored for PFAS since 2006 and continues to closely monitor for these substances. Since the monitoring began, CLCJAWA has not seen increasing or decreasing concentrations. CLCJAWA is starting the process to evaluate treatment options to reduce public exposure to PFAS in potable drinking water.
Though CLCJAWA’s drinking water meets all state and federal drinking water regulations, the drinking water at CLCJAWA exceeds the new national health advisory for two PFAS known as PFOA and PFOS. The average level of PFOA detected in CLCJAWA drinking water is 2.4 parts-per-trillion (ppt), while the PFOS level is 2.3 ppt.