The Village of Algonquin, IL

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PFAS Information

WHAT ARE PFAS?

According to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. PFAS have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940s. PFAS are utilized for a variety of applications ranging from water and stain-proofing to firefighting. PFAS persists in the environment and may contaminate surface and ground waters. These chemicals are widely used because they are resistant to heat, water, and oil.

WHERE CAN PFAS BE FOUND?

PFAS can be commonly found in every American household, and in products as diverse as:

  • Non-Stick Cookware
  • Furniture
  • Clothes
  • Carpets
  • Pizza Boxes
  • Dental Floss
  • Cosmetics
  • Lubricants
  • Paint
  • Popcorn Bags

Certain PFAS chemicals are no longer manufactured in the United States as a result of phase-outs including the PFOA Stewardship Program in which eight major chemical manufacturers agreed to eliminate the use of PFOA and PFOA-related chemicals in their products and as emissions from their facilities. Although PFOA and PFOS are no longer manufactured in the United States, they are still produced internationally and can be imported into the United States in consumer goods such as carpet, leather, and apparel, textiles, paper and packaging, coatings, rubber, and plastics.

WHO SETS GUIDELINES FOR PFAS?

There is not enough information available for scientists to develop health-based screening levels for all of the PFAS sampled. Neither the Illinois EPA nor the U.S. EPA has yet developed enforceable drinking water standards for PFAS. Both regulatory agencies are currently studying PFAS. This will take several years to complete. In the interim, Illinois EPA has developed health-based guidance levels for seven PFAS compounds. Laboratory data from the studies being conducted will be used to support the potential development and promulgation of maximum contaminant level (MCL) standards in Illinois and nationally.

HAVE PFAS BEEN DETECTED IN ANY VILLAGE WELLS?

Yes. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) recently tested our water system for 18 compounds known as Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) as part of a statewide investigation of community water supplies and PFAS.

The Village owns and operates nine (9) wells located throughout Algonquin. Each well is treated by one of the three (3) Village water treatment plants. None of the analytes sampled by Illinois EPA were above Illinois EPA health-based guidance levels.

It was determined through testing that one unregulated PFAS compound, perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS), was present in water sampled from Water Treatment Plant #3. Well 15 is one of two shallow groundwater wells located at Water Treatment Plant #3, near the corner Square Barn Road and Dr. John Burkey Drive on the far west side of the Village. Out of an abundance of caution, no water from Well 15 is entering the Village’s water distribution system at this time. No other wells showed presence of PFAS and the remaining wells are able to meet all other current demands on the water system.

IS MY WATER SAFE TO DRINK?

Yes. The Village of Algonquin’s drinking water continues to meet all Federal and State drinking water standards and is safe to drink. The U.S. and Illinois EPA are developing standards for safe PFAS levels in drinking water. In the interim, the Illinois EPA has asked local agencies to provide information if PFAS is detected in drinking water.

Additional water quality information is available on the Village of Algonquin Consumer Confidence Report found online.

WHAT ARE THE MONITORING GUIDELINES FOR PFAS?

The Illinois EPA PFAS health-based guidance levels are provided in the table below. At this time, no enforceable federal or state drinking water standard, called a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), exists for any of the more than 5,000 known PFAS chemicals. Illinois EPA is in the process of collecting data in the PFAS Investigation Network to develop a state MCL. The development of an MCL may take the IEPA multiple years.  The levels are presented in nanograms per liter (ng/L), equal to parts per trillion (ppt). For reference: 1 ng/L is equivalent to about 1 ounce in 7.5 billion gallons.

While none of analytes sampled were above health-based screening levels, Illinois EPA testing has determined that one PFAS was detected in our water system at levels greater than or equal to the lowest concentration the laboratory can reliably detect, shown as the Minimum Reporting Level in the table below. The levels are presented in units of nanogram per liter (ng/L) or parts per trillion (ppt).

PFAS Analyte Acronym Minimum Reporting Level (ppt) Screening Level (ppt) Analytical Result (ppt)

Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid

PFBS

2

140,000

25 ng/L

Perfluorohexanesulfonic acid

PFHxS

2

140

ND

Perfluorononanoic acid

PFNA

2

21

ND

Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid

PFOS

2

14

ND

Perfluorooctanoic acid

PFOA

2

21

ND

Hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid

HFPO-DA

2

----a

ND

N-ethyl perfluorooctanesulfonamidoacetic acid

NEtFOSAA

2

----

ND

N-methyl perfluorooctanesulfonamidoacetic acid

NMeFOSAA

2

----

ND

Perfluorodecanoic acid

PFDA

2

----

ND

Perfluorododecanoic acid

PFDoA

2

----

ND

Perfluoroheptanoic acid

PFHpA

2

----

ND

Perfluorohexanoic acid

PFHxA

2

----

ND

Perfluorotetradecanoic acid

PFTA

2

----

ND

Perfluorotridecanoic acid

PFTrDA

2

----

ND

Perfluoroundecanoic acid

PFUnA

2

----

ND

11-chloroeicosafluoro-3-oxaundecane-1-sulfonic acid

11Cl-PF3OUdS

2

----

ND

9-chlorohexadecafluoro-3-oxanone-1-sulfonic acid

9Cl-PF3ONS

2

----

ND

4,8-dioxa-3H-perfluorononanoic acid

ADONA

2

----

ND

a  Toxicity criteria is not available to calculate a screening level.

Additional information on the IEPA’s PFAS Statewide Investigation is located online.

WHAT IS THE VILLAGE DOING ABOUT PFAS IN ITS WELLS?

Neither the Illinois EPA nor the U.S. EPA has developed enforceable regulatory drinking water standards for PFAS. The IEPA has requested the Village continue to monitor drinking water following the IEPA PFAS investigation plan. The Village’s drinking water continues to meet all Federal and State drinking water standards and is safe to drink.

The Village is taking a pro-active approach working with the IEPA and consulting engineering firms to develop options to mitigate PFAS in its drinking water. The Village has and will continue to reduce flows from the wells with PFAS detects, based on water system demands.

WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION?

Additional information regarding PFAS, the statewide PFAS investigation network, and the impact on public health can be found on the Illinois EPA PFAS webpage.

All confirmed drinking water sampling results for Algonquin are available on Illinois EPA’s Drinking Water Watch system online.

If you have questions about PFAS and drinking water, please contact:

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Illinois Department of Public Health
Barb Lieberoff, Office of Community Relations Brian Koch, Division of Environmental Health
epa.pfas@illinois.gov  Brian.Koch@illinois.gov 
217-524-3038 217-782-5830

For questions regarding the Village of Algonquin’s water system, please contact Jason Schutz, Utilities Superintendent, at 847-658-1187.