Science Inventory

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in source and treated drinking waters of the United States.


Boone, J., C. Vigo, T. Boone, C. Byrne, J. Ferrario, B. Benson, J. Donohue, J. Simmons, D. Kolpin, E. Furlong, AND S. Glassmeyer. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in source and treated drinking waters of the United States. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. Elsevier BV, AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, 653:359-369, (2019).


This is the last paper in the series describing the results of a USEPA/ USGS collaboration examining 247 contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in source and treated drinking water from 25 drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs). Samples were collected from 2010-2012. The frequencies of detections and the maximum detections were previously published in Glassmeyer et al 2017. This paper goes into a detailed discussion on the per- and polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) detections at each DWTP. This dataset in particular provides PFAS data at concentrations below that available in the third round of the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 3) sampling, as well as for more PFAS compounds (17 versus 6), which will be useful in future health advisory determinations.


Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are of interest to regulators, water treatment utilities, the general public and scientists. This study measured 17 PFAS in source and treated water from 25 drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) as part of a broader study of CECs in drinking water across the United States. PFAS were quantitatively detected in all 50 samples, with summed concentrations of the 17 PFAS ranging from <1 ng/L to 1102 ng/L. The median total PFAS concentration was 21.4 ng/L in the source water and 19.5 ng/L in the treated drinking water. Comparing the total PFAS concentration in source and treated water at each location, only five locations demonstrated statistically significant differences (i.e. P < 0.05) between the source and treated water. When the perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) concentrations in the treated drinking water are compared to the existing US Environmental Protection Agency's PFOA and PFOS drinking water heath advisory of 70 ng/L for each chemical or their sum one DWTP exceeded the threshold. Six of the 25 DWTPs were along two large rivers. The DWTPs within each of the river systems had specific PFAS profiles, with the three DWTPs from one river being dominated by PFOA, while three DWTPs on the second river were dominated by perfluorobutyric acid (PFBA).

Record Details:

Product Published Date:02/25/2019
Record Last Revised:09/13/2019
OMB Category:Other
Record ID: 346656