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DNR asking 125 municipalities to test for PFAS in wastewater facilities

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MADISON (WKOW) — The Department of Natural Resources is initiating a new PFAS testing program.

These are man-made chemicals used in products like non-stick cookware and firefighting foam. The DNR asked more 125 municipalities to voluntarily begin sampling and analyzing water used in wastewater treatment facilities. 

The goal is to gain a better understanding of how and where PFAS are contaminating drinking water. DNR officials sent a letter to wastewater treatment facilities requesting they sample PFAS in these areas because they are likely to contain PFAS contamination.

Officials said this data will help implement a plan to reduce the amount of PFAS entering these facilities and create water standards for the future.

“Identify the largest source of PFAS in the state and work with those municipalities to address industrial users that discharge PFAS into their sewers to really tackle this at the source and not at the back end,” said Jason Knutson, DNR Wastewater Section Chief.

In addition to this wastewater sampling initiate, the DNR is also developing administrative rules in the fall to establish groundwater quality standards for two PFAS compounds, PFOA and PFOS. The public will be invited to provide input at several steps in the process.

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