<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=239521&amp;fmt=gif">

PFAS and PFOA: Why Municipal Water Treatment Operators Can’t Ignore It

by Leanne Hersey

Municipal water treatment operators face major challenges in removing PFAS chemicals from their water supplies. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals like PFOA and PFOS have been used around the world in hundreds of industrial and consumer applications since the 1940's. They're found in everything from pizza boxes and Teflon cookware to paints and firefighting foam. These chemicals seep into soil and water systems. One of the best ways municipal water treatment operators can use to remove these chemicals is an industrial reverse osmosis system.

Here are a few reasons why municipal water operators can’t ignore PFOA and PFAS:

They Bio-Accumulate

PFAS, PFOA and PFOS are “forever chemicals”. So, although many companies have voluntarily started to phase out these chemicals, what they've used in the past remains in the environment. These chemicals accumulate in water, agricultural soil and animals, including humans. Scientific studies about the health impacts of these chemicals raise worrying public health concerns.

They are Toxic

Scientific studies indicate that PFOA and PFOS may cause a wide-range of potential health problems. Just a few of the most well-documented issues include:

  • Reproductive health problems
  • Child development problems (low birth weight)
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • May cause cancer
  • Immune system damage
  • Higher cholesterol levels
  • Thyroid dysfunction

It’s no wonder that municipal water treatment authorities are searching for ways to eliminate these chemicals from the water supply. The EPA has studied and approved industrial-grade reverse osmosis systems as one of the most effective ways of reducing PFAS, PFOA and PFOS in the water system to protect public health.

Stronger Regulations are Coming Soon

Although the EPA has not yet established Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for PFAS, they likely will do so at some point. With this in mind, many communities are participating in PFAS, PFOA and PFOS removal projects on a voluntary basis for the health and safety of their communities. It’s safe to say that municipalities that get an early start on removing these chemicals from their water supplies will be well-placed to pass regulatory inspections while also helping improve their citizens’ health and wellbeing.

They’re Still Widely Used

Unfortunately, many companies have not stopped using PFOA and PFOS, and they will not be going away anytime soon. But water treatment facilities can play an important role in protecting their communities from elevated exposure to these chemicals, along with helping them reduce their associated health risks.

If you’re a municipal water treatment operator looking for a better, safer system for removing PFOA and PFOS from your city’s water supply, contact Desalitech’s water treatment experts to find out more about our industrial reverse osmosis systems: Closed Circuit Reverse Osmosis (CCRO). Using the most advanced technology, our CCRO can recover up to 98 percent of water while removing most harmful chemical contaminants. This safeguards community health and ensures a reliable, high-quality water supply for your municipality. Fill out our online form, and we’ll get in touch with you within 24 hours, or just call 1-617-564-1647 to talk with a municipal reverse osmosis water purification system expert now.

Read More Stories