Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) are part of a family of manufactured compounds called per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are used in a wide variety of applications. They are emerging contaminants that bioaccumulate in the environment, and are commonly found in and around populated areas throughout Australia and internationally.
PFAS and Drinking Water
The drinking water Hunter Water supplies is regularly tested throughout the water supply system, and complies with the National Health and Medical Research Council's Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) and other relevant guidelines.
In consultation with NSW Health, Hunter Water has adopted the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) guidelines for PFAS of:
- less than 0.07 micrograms per litre for PFOS and PFHxS; and
- less than 0.56 micrograms per litre for PFOA.
Hunter Water routinely samples for PFAS in all of its drinking water supply zones, and reports detections over 0.002 micrograms per litre, which is our independent laboratory's limit of reporting.
All results available to date show drinking water supplied by Hunter Water is safe to drink.
Water will continue to include PFOS/PFOA results in our monthly water quality report.