Final test confirms village water is PFAS free

Sampling ahead of new regulations finds no trace of ‘forever chemicals’ as expected but should give residents peace of mind, official says
Ozaukee Press staff

Not that there was concern about Fredonia’s drinking water, but now village residents know for sure that it is free of so-called forever chemicals knows as PFAS.

A test of water taken from the village’s Well 2 last month showed it did not contain perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances, two chemicals that are part of a larger group of man-made compounds found in firefighting foam and household products such as nonstick cookware and stain-resistant clothing, Director of Public Works Roger Strohm said.

PFAS, called forever chemicals because they are extremely resistant to degradation,  have been linked by research to a host of health problems that include an increased risk of kidney and testicular cancers, thyroid disease and fertility problems.

The village’s Well 1, which was sampled in June, is also free of PFAS.

“I had a pretty strong suspicion that the tests would come up negative, but it’s nice to know that for sure,” Strohm said. “PFAS are probably not on the radar of a lot of residents, but some may be concerned about them. Now they have peace of mind knowing it’s not a problem here.”

In addition to assuring residents that the water they drink is not tainted with PFAS, the tests mean the village will not have to grapple with the expensive remedies that communities whose municipal water systems contain forever chemicals face.

“Either you have to drill new wells or install expensive treatment systems,” Strohm said.

The village took part in a voluntary Department of Natural Resources testing program ahead of the rollout of new mandatory testing, which could be required, at least for large municipalities, later this year.

“Aside from my time to take the water samples, everything was covered by the DNR,” Strohm said.

The new regulations have raised a number of questions, including whether communities that have already tested for PFAS will have to do so again if the tests are negative. Strohm said he expects that PFAS testing will have to be done regularly, although how often is still a question.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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