PFOA & PFAS: Important Information About Drinking Water
What are "PFAS"?
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are an emerging group of omnipresent compounds that can be found in products treated to make them non-stick, notably food packaging, carpets, leather and apparel, textiles, paper and packaging materials, and non-stick cookware. It has spread throughout the environment and been found in soil and water. Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) are the most common of these PFAS compounds and have been detected in drinking water sources. These compounds are ubiquitous in the environment and have been for many years.
PFAS in the Township of Livingston
- In 2021 the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) enacted a limit for PFOA in 2021 of 14 parts per trillion (ppt), the most stringent limit in the country. They have enacted limits for other PFAS compounds as well, including a limit of 13 ppt for PFOS. The EPA and many other states do not currently have a limit for PFOA. The EPA health advisory for PFOA and PFOS combined is 70 ppt.
- The Township has detected PFOA over the NJDEP limit in some wells and is currently in violation at four out of eleven well treatment facilities. The Township water did not suddenly change, but the regulations have. Public notices regarding these violations were mailed to all customers in September 2021, December 2021 and March 2022. Quarterly notices will continue to be distributed until treatment construction has been completed.
- The Township is committed to designing and constructing treatment at the affected well facilities as quickly as possible. We are working with NJDEP and retained the services of Mott MacDonald, our professional engineer, in this effort.
- The Township water system is intermingled, and different wells are on at different times supplemented by purchased water from other utilities, making it difficult to characterize the exact proportion of water a house is receiving from any given source at any given time.
- The Township is limiting the use of the impacted wells as much as possible, but cannot meet the system demands, particularly during the peak water usage during the summer, without running some of these wells. Please note Well 10, the well treatment facility with the highest levels of PFOA, has been shut down until treatment is installed.
- Exposure to PFAS in drinking water is primarily from ingestion. Exposure to PFAS through other household uses of water such as showering, bathing, laundry and dish washing is not significant. Reverse Osmosis and Filters with the certification NSF 53 can reduce the level of PFAS compounds in water.
The following information was sent to all residential and business mail customers in March 2022:
The following information was sent to all residential and business mail customers in December 2021:
The following information was sent to all residential and business mail customers in September 2021:
Additional Resources & Information
View all drinking water quality data collected by the Livingston Township Division of Water:
- Visit New Jersey Drinking Water Watch and enter NJ0710001 for the PWSID.
NJ Department of Environmental Protection:
- View the NJDEP press release on the new standard
- NJDEP Site Remediation Program: Contaminants of Emerging Concern
US Environmental Protection Agency:
- Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
- Basic Information on PFAS
- Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFOA and PFOS
- PFAS Fact Sheet (PDF)
- PFAS Infographic -- What You Need to Know (PDF)
- PFOA/PFOS in Drinking Water
- Treatment Equipment meeting standard NSF 53 (Formerly NSF P473) for reducing PFOA/PFOS in Drinking Water
Environmental Working Group: