PFAS in Drinking Water—Monitoring and Analysis

The State Board of Health recently revised the Group A drinking water rules to require water systems to monitor for select per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compounds using specific analytical methods. The new rule establishes state action levels (SALs) for five PFAS compounds.

For general information on PFAS, visit the DOH PFAS Contaminant webpage.

PFAS FAQ 331-681 (PDF)

State Monitoring Requirements for PFAS

Group-A Community and non-transient non-community (NTNC) water systems will be required to monitor for PFAS beginning January 2023 through December 2025. Each water system's Water Quality Monitoring Schedule will list the PFAS monitoring requirement starting in 2023. PFAS Monitoring and Follow Up Actions 331-668 outlines the monitoring requirements in the revised rule.

Systems must collect samples at the entry point to the distribution system and have them analyzed by EPA Method 537.1 or 533 by a lab accredited for these analytes in Washington State.

Transient non-community (TNCs) systems may be required to monitor if their source of supply is near a known PFAS contaminated site. ODW will notify affected TNCs when more information is known.

Free PFAS Analysis Offered

DOH has a free-PFAS sample program for Community and NTNC systems which we will continue through early in 2022. Results will count toward the state-required monitoring that would otherwise be scheduled in 2023-2025.

For water systems not currently signed up to participate in this sampling program, you can still sign up by emailing us about your interest in the program with the required information. Please include your water system name and ID, contact person (including name, phone and email), and shipping address in the email to: odw.wqcompliance@doh.wa.gov.

Systems with detections will be required to collect follow-up samples and comply with the rule requirements.

Funding is limited and DOH may prioritize systems based on risk if volunteers exceed available funding.

State Action Levels

The SALs represent the maximum level in tap water that DOH considers to be without health concern for long-term consumption in daily drinking water, including by sensitive groups.

Specific PFAS Contaminant State Action Level (parts per trillion)
PFOA 10
PFOS 15
PFNA 9
PFHxS 65
PFBS 345

Exceeding a State Action Level (SAL) for PFAS

Systems with a PFAS sample result that exceeds a SAL should collect a confirmation sample. If the average results of the initial and confirmation samples exceed the SAL, or if the system doesn't collect a confirmation sample, the system must notify its customers of the SAL exceedance event. Use the public notification template below.

331-683 Public Notice PFAS Detection (Word)

Regional Office Contacts for Monitoring Requirements

Eastern Region, Stan Hoffman, 509-329-2132

Northwest Region, Steve Hulsman, 253-395-6777

Southwest Region, Sophia Petro, 564-669-0856

Funding for PFAS Mitigation

The federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will make additional funding available in grants and loans to public water systems for PFAS treatment, new source, or another preferred option for mitigating PFAS contamination. If interested, email dwsrf@doh.wa.gov.