Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) 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.
PFOS / PFOA and 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). At present, there are no specific guideline values for PFOS/PFOA in the ADWG.
When there are no specific guideline values for a given substance in the ADWG, the guidelines recommend using an international guideline value, and therefore Hunter Water uses the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)'s guideline of 0.07 micrograms per litre.
Water routinely samples for PFOS/PFOA in all of its drinking water supply
zones, and reports detections over 0.002 micrograms per litre, which is our independent laboratory's minimum 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.