News Releases

Water Quality Association takes part in national discussion on PFAS contamination
EPA aims to have a national management plan by end of year

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 23, 2018) – Two representatives of the Water Quality Association (WQA) participated in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency PFAS National Leadership Summit May 22 and 23, which ended with the hope that the EPA can have a per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) National Management Plan ready by the end of the year.

PFAS are man-made chemicals found in such things as firefighting foams and stain-resistant, waterproof and nonstick coatings. More than 3,000 PFAS are used in the global marketplace; they are released into the environment through manufacturing, use, and PFAS-containing wastes.

Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) are the most studied chemicals under the umbrella of PFAS. PFOS and PFOA research has shown probable links to health risks.

Government Affairs Director David Loveday and Technical Affairs Director Eric Yeggy represented WQA at the summit, which discussed that:

  • The contamination is widespread and comes from many sources
  • The large number of PFAS in use and our knowledge gaps present significant challenges to implementing a comprehensive and uniform regulatory strategy
  • Point-of-use and Point-of-Entry treatment can serve as an inexpensive and immediate solution to help address the impacts on public health

“WQA is focusing on these emerging contaminants to provide our members and the public with the resources and education needed to protect their drinking water,” Loveday said. “We are encouraged by the PFAS National Leadership Summit and will continue to engage and collaborate with the EPA on addresses PFAS and other contaminants in drinking water.”

 There is no practical way to address such a large class of compounds through a short-term regulatory initiative, so consumers are justifiably concerned about the potential presence of these compounds in their drinking water.

 The EPA plans to hold a series of meeting across the country on the topic and release a PFAS National Management Plan later this year.

  “The Water Quality Association supports the national conversations this week on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances to understand the challenges associated with the contaminant,” said WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “We will continue to take part in addressing PFAS contaminants and encourage similar meetings bringing together stakeholders at every level to recognize treatment options, and to insure these solutions are shared with everyone.”

 WQA has published a PFAS in Drinking Water Factsheet, which provides an overview on sources of contamination, potential health effects, current research, and effective point-of-use and point-of-entry drinking water treatment methods – at the tap or whole house water filtration -- to address PFAS contaminates.

 WQA has also gathered a list of state actions to address PFASs to track the direction of regulations on PFAS in drinking water.

You can read more about the summit from the EPA.  

 WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. Since 1959, the WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).