Hendersonville Water & Sewer issues statement on PFAS

Press release from City of Hendersonville:

Providing clean drinking water and protecting the community and environment are the highest priorities for Hendersonville Water and Sewer. The utility works to protect community health by regularly testing water sources to ensure water quality meets or exceeds all United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ) regulations.

Hendersonville Water and Sewer closely follows the emerging research about PFAS and public health. PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a family of chemicals widely used in industry for non- stick, waterproofing, fire containment, stain-resistance, and other uses. The most common PFAS often sited in press releases and literature include PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid), PFOS (Perfluorooctane sulfonate), GenX Chemicals (PFOA replacement), and PFBS (Perfluorobutane sulfonic acid-PFOS replacement). Research has shown, PFAS are resistant to being broken down in both the environment and the human body and, as such, are linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals. Many PFAS are still in use while some such as PFOA and PFOS have been largely phased out.

The EPA has recently released drinking water health advisories for the four most common PFAS in June of this year. The EPA is also currently working on legislation for the nationwide monitoring requirements for 29 PFAS in drinking water.

In 2019, The City of Hendersonville Water Treatment Facility participated in a state-wide testing event coordinated by NC DEQ to identify drinking water sources which contained PFAS. The testing was facilitated by State universities including Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and NC State University. The results of those testing events are just now being published which is the reason for increased national, state, and local media attention regarding PFAS. Fortunately, none of the three source waters currently used for the City of Hendersonville’s drinking water supply were identified as containing PFAS.

In 2023, the EPA will begin the UCMR5 sampling event (Fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule). This tier-scheduled sampling event will concentrate on 29 PFAS in drinking water and involves quarterly sampling over the course of a year. The City of Hendersonville’s Water Treatment Facility is scheduled to conduct this sampling/testing event beginning in October 2024 with final sampling in July 2025. The EPA will use the data obtained in the UCMR5 sampling to draft mandatory testing regulations regarding PFAS. Depending on the outcome of the sampling event, the City’s water treatment facility may consider voluntary PFAS testing prior to implementation of formal PFAS regulations.

Hendersonville Water and Sewer remains committed to delivering high quality drinking water to Hendersonville and surrounding areas. To review the Drinking Water Quality Report and other information visit https://www.hvlnc.gov/watersewerreports.

Should you have questions or concerns, please contact the City of Hendersonville’s Water Treatment Facility at 828-891-7779.

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