PFAS Per-And Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

Pasco County Utilities Testing For Per- And Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

Pasco County Utilities, along with five other regional member utilities, are participating in sampling for the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) nationwide fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5) Study to identify PFAS concentrations. This study involves testing raw and treated drinking water and helps EPA set regulations for PFAS. Pasco County Utilities began testing in July 2023 and will continue sampling through December 2025.

UCMR sampling collects data for contaminants that are suspected to be present in drinking water but do not have health-based standards set under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The UCMR provides the scientifically-valid data needed to regulate previously unregulated contaminants in drinking water. EPA regularly monitors and evaluates water quality data and human health effects studies involving these unregulated contaminants to ensure safe drinking water standards.

First Quarter Sampling Results (July 2023)

EPA Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 5 Study Sampling Results in Parts Per Trillion

First Quarter (of four quarters) - July 2023. The UCMR5 quarterly time frames are as follows: Quarter I is July-September; Quarter II is October-December; Quarter III is January-March; Quarter IV is April-June.

 
 

 
 

 
 

4 PFAS in Hazard Index 

Delivery point sampled 

PFOA 

PFOS 

PFBS 

PFHxS 

PFNA 

HFPO-DA 

Hazard Index 

Little Road Water Treatment Plant 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

0.13 

Autumn Oaks Water Treatment Plant 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

0.13 

Southwest Water Treatment Plant 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

0.13 

Southeast Water Treatment Plant 

ND 

7.40 

7.90 

ND 

ND 

ND 

0.14 

Gowers Corner Point of Entry 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

0.13 

One Pasco Center Point of Entry 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

0.13 

US 41 Intertie 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

0.13 

Lakebridge Connection 

ND 

4.40 

4.00 

ND 

ND 

ND 

0.14 


Second Quarter Sampling Results (October 2023)

EPA Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 5 Study Sampling Results in Parts Per Trillion

Second Quarter (of four quarters) - October 2023. The UCMR5 quarterly time frames are as follows: Quarter I is July-September; Quarter II is October-December; Quarter III is January-March; Quarter IV is April-June.

 
 

 
 

 
 

4 PFAS in Hazard Index 

Delivery point sampled 

PFOA 

PFOS 

PFBS 

PFHxS 

PFNA 

HFPO-DA 

Hazard Index 

Little Road Water Treatment Plant 

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.13

Autumn Oaks Water Treatment Plant 

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.13

Southwest Water Treatment Plant 

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.13

Southeast Water Treatment Plant 

ND

7.8

8.7

ND

ND

ND

0.14

Gowers Corner Point of Entry 

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.13

One Pasco Center Point of Entry 

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.13

US 41 Intertie 

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.13

Lakebridge Connection 

ND

ND

3.5

ND

ND

ND

0.14


Third Quarter Sampling Results (January 2024)

EPA Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 5 Study Sampling Results in Parts Per Trillion Third Quarter (of four quarters) - January 2024. The UCMR5 quarterly time frames are as follows: Quarter I is July-September; Quarter II is October-December; Quarter III is January-March; Quarter IV is April-June.

 
 

 
 

 
 

4 PFAS in Hazard Index 

Delivery point sampled 

PFOA 

PFOS 

PFBS 

PFHxS 

PFNA 

HFPO-DA 

Hazard Index 

Little Road Water Treatment Plant 

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.13

Autumn Oaks Water Treatment Plant 

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.13

Southwest Water Treatment Plant 

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.13

Southeast Water Treatment Plant 

ND

7.8

8.3

ND

ND

ND

0.14

Gowers Corner Point of Entry 

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.13

One Pasco Center Point of Entry 

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.13

US 41 Intertie 

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.13

Lakebridge Connection 

ND

4.2

4.10

ND

ND

ND

0.14


What Does The Data Mean?

Very low levels of PFAS compounds were detected in drinking water samples collected at two of the sampling points in the first, second, and third quarter. These samples were analyzed by a PFAS Certified Lab and were taken by Pasco County Utilities at the entry point into our distribution system. We will continue to update this page with sample results from subsequent quarters.

Our wholesale water provider, Tampa Bay Water (TBW), conducted its own voluntary sampling at upstream points of connection into the Pasco County Utilities distribution system. Those results are posted on the TBW PFAS webpage.

Terms And Abbreviations

  • Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS)
  • Perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS)
  • Perfluorononanoic (PFNA)     
  • Hexafluoropropylene Oxide Dimer Acid (HFPO-DA)
  • GenX Chemicals

Learn more about the terms used by visiting EPA.gov.

What Are Per-And Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)?

PFAS are man-made compounds that have been widely used in the manufacturing of clothing, sealants and stains, furniture fabrics, Teflon™-coated products, food packaging, and other materials since the 1940s. They are also used in firefighting foam, carpet manufacturing and other industrial processes. The EPA is focused on a small number of these compounds --  perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) – that may have health effects at very low concentrations. It is not uncommon to find low levels of PFAS in drinking water sources. These compounds are slow to break down.  When products containing PFAS are used and discarded, they can release PFAS into the environment, including into drinking water sources.

What Is A Hazard Index?

The Hazard Index (HI) is a long-established tool that the EPA regularly uses to understand health risk from chemical mixtures. The EPA is proposing a Hazard Index Maximum Contaminate Level (MCL) to limit any mixture containing one or more of PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS, and/or GenX Chemicals. The HI considers the different toxicities of PFNA, GenX Chemicals, PFHxS, and PFBS. For these PFAS, water systems would use an HI calculation to determine if the combined levels of these PFAS, in the drinking water at that system, pose a potential risk and require action.  If the running annual average HI is greater than 1.0, it is a violation of the proposed HI MCL.

What Is The Pasco County Utilities Doing About PFAS?

Providing high-quality, clean, safe drinking water is a top priority for Pasco County Utilities and Tampa Bay Water, our wholesale water provider. The water we deliver to our customers is safe and meets or is better than state and federal drinking water regulations. We understand PFAS are a concern for all communities, and we want to help our customers understand about PFAS, how they affect our drinking water and what is being done.

In addition to monitoring, Pasco County Utilities and Tampa Bay Water have been exploring treatment processes that can remove PFAS and other contaminants, if needed. 

Pasco County Utilities strongly supports holding polluters accountable for cleaning up PFAS contamination. Working with Tampa Bay Water and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Pasco County Utilities will stay current with scientific and technological updates to continue to meet all regulatory requirements.

What is The EPA Doing?

The EPA and the state of Florida do not currently regulate PFAS in drinking water; however, the EPA has proposed regulating PFOA and PFOS at a level of 4 parts per trillion (ppt).  Until the proposed regulation is finalized, a 2022 interim Health Advisory for PFOA and PFOS will remain in place. Current Health Advisory Levels for PFOA are 0.004 parts per trillion (ppt) and for PFOS are 0.02 ppt.

PFAS Statistics

What Can You Do?

  • Avoid buying non-stick cookware, stain-resistant furniture and carpeting that contains PFAS. Finding PFAS-free products can take some research – look at ingredient lists for “fluoro” or “perfluoro” or ask the manufacturer.
  • Limit eating foods packed in materials that use PFAS. Common food packaging that may have PFAS includes microwave popcorn bags, fast food boxes (like french fry containers and pizza boxes) and bakery bags.
  • Minimize the dust in your home to limit PFAS particles in the air. Change air filters on a regular basis and leave your shoes at the door to avoid tracking in dirt and pollutants.
  • Avoid personal care products that contain PFAS. These include certain types of dental floss, nail polish, facial moisturizers, and cosmetics.

Other PFAS Resources

FAQs
Can I have my water tested for PFAS at my home?
When will health effects be known?
What is the plan to treat/remove PFAS from my water?
Should I be worried if I am watering edible plants at home?
Is PFAS in bottled water?
Can PFAS be boiled out?
Testing started in July of 2023, but when is the full study completed?
How will results of the study be communicated with me?