MN to Monitor for PFAS in Public Water Supplies

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will begin to sample public water systems for perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) this year.

In the first phase of the project, which is scheduled to start in early 2021, MDH will collect samples from approximately 60 community water systems (CWSs), including municipalities, some manufactured home parks, college campuses, prisons, and long-term care facilities.

MDH has already begun inviting water systems to participate in the study. MDH encourages systems to participate to meet the long-term goal of testing all CWS customers’ drinking water for PFAS. The second phase of this project is scheduled to start later in 2021 and will cover additional CWSs.

The monitoring project is part of a larger effort at MDH to sample all CWSs for PFAS. MDH aims to cover 90% of CWS customers under its PFAS monitoring program by 2025. The goal of this effort is to evaluate whether Minnesotans are exposed to PFAS at levels above health-based guidance values in drinking water and whether actions are needed to reduce exposure to PFAS. Information is also needed to determine what processes, products, and industrial uses should be the focus to prevent PFAS from contaminating the State’s water.

The following links offer more information on the monitoring program:

In addition, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) released the State’s PFAS Blueprint on February 10. The PFAS Blueprint is a statewide strategy to prevent, manage and clean up PFAS contamination. The document identifies 10 priority areas that are centered on additional research, new health guidance, drinking water and food protection, and more tools for cleanup and prevention. However, the MPCA says it does not include specific final policy or regulatory actions.

The PFAS Blueprint can be accessed on the MPCA website.