How do these chemicals get into drinking water?

The way in which these chemicals reach groundwater is still being investigated. Drinking water contamination has occurred near industries manufacturing or using these chemicals to make consumer products. PFAS use at metal plating facilities for mist suppressant can also be a source of groundwater contamination. Because of their use in firefighting foams, it is possible that fire training schools, airports, and sites where there was a major fire may have releases of PFAS. Landfills can be sources of PFAS because many types of wastes that contain PFAS can end up in landfills. Once on the ground, these chemicals can gradually migrate down through the soil when it rains and affect groundwater. PFAS do not biodegrade and are known to be persistent in the environment. Once a release has occurred that has impacted groundwater, it is possible, depending on the magnitude of the release, for PFAS to travel far away from the release area.

Many consumer products also contain PFAS, so it is possible that PFAS can be washed down the drain and into septic systems, thus becoming  a source of groundwater pollution and potentially impact nearby wells. For more information on sources of PFAS, please refer to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s PFAS webpage.

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1. What are these chemicals and where do they come from?
2. What is the current Connecticut DPH drinking water Action Level for PFAS and how was it developed?
3. How do these chemicals get into drinking water?
4. There are thousands of PFAS chemicals. Why has CT only derived drinking water action levels for four of them?
5. If I have PFAS in my water, what precautions should I be taking for my pets, farm animals, home grown produce, and irrigation of my garden?
6. Can I remove PFAS by boiling my water?
7. I am a customer of a public water system. How can I find out if my water has been tested for PFAS?
8. How do I know if bottled water is safe?
9. How can PFAS affect my health?
10. Why have states set different acceptable levels for PFAS in drinking water?
11. Should I test my blood for PFAS?
12. How can I limit my overall exposure to PFAS?
13. I have a well, should I test the water for PFAS? How can I test my well for PFAS?
14. How does the State decide which wells are going to be tested for PFAS?
15. What happens if there are PFAS in my well?
16. Does the home water treatment system I have work to remove PFAS? What types of treatment address PFAS in drinking water?
17. What type of water treatment system will be installed if my PFAS levels exceed the Connecticut Action Levels? Who will maintain my treatment system, and how often?
18. CT DPH Contacts and Resources
19. External Resources