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PFAS

Learn more about harmful PFAS in drinking water and what it means for you.

PFAS in Madison area drinking water

PFAS contamination has been detected in the city of Madison and Dane County in soil, municipal wells, surface water and groundwater.
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of human-made chemicals used to make common household nonstick, water repellent, and stain resistant products — like carpet, clothing, furniture fabric, food packaging and cookware.

PFAS contamination of drinking water usually occurs locally, near a facility where PFAS or products using them are manufactured, as well as around airfields where these chemicals are used to extinguish fires. Known sources of PFAS contamination in Dane County include Truax Field Air National Guard Base and Regional Airport, Starkweather Creek and the Yahara Chain of Lakes.

The EPA has established the combined PFAS health advisory level at 70 parts per trillion. Because this is only an advisory level, enforcement is not mandatory. Public water systems are not required to test for PFAS and many in Dane County do not. However, Madison Water Utility does monitor drinking water in all municipal wells for potential PFAS contamination.

Adverse effects related to PFAS

    Bioaccumulation is a concern for PFAS. The chemicals can build up in the body over time so even small, but persistent doses can be dangerous. Adverse effects include:

  • Birth defects and developmental issues during pregnancy or for breastfed infants — including low birth weight, accelerated puberty and skeletal formation issues
  • Cancer (testicular and kidney)
  • Liver tissue damage
  • Weakened immune system (antibody production and compromised immunity)
  • Thyroid hormone imbalances
  • Hypertension and high cholesterol

Water filtration solutions for PFAS

Public water systems are required to notify consumers if their water is known to be contaminated with PFAS. Consumers can also contact their local water supplier and ask for information on PFAS in their drinking water.
The Culligan® Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with a Total Defense Cartridge has been tested in laboratory and field applications by the Minnesota Department of Health and Water Quality Association and found to reduce PFAS in drinking water.
In addition, the Culligan® Whole Home System with dual carbon filters has been installed in over 300 homes and is proven to reduce PFAS in well water.

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PFOA & PFOS solutions
Culligan has custom solutions to reduce dangerous PFOA & PFOS. Water treatment solutions for PFOA and PFOS include:
RO Drinking Water Systems