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Doylestown Borough addressing PFAS in water system


Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed the country’s first National Primary Drinking Water Regulation for six PFAS, commonly known as “forever chemicals” because they do not degrade in the environment.

If adopted and fully implemented, the EPA said, in a statement, “the rule will prevent thousands of deaths and reduce tens of thousands of serious PFAS-attributable illnesses.”

By establishing maximum contaminant levels at a national level, the EPA wants to require two common types of PFAS compounds, called PFOA and PFOS, to be limited to four parts per trillion, the lowest level reliably detectable by current testing.

Additionally, the agency wants to regulate the combined amount of four other types of PFAS, a group of compounds that are widespread, dangerous and expensive to remove from water. The chemicals have been linked to a number of serious health concerns, including low birth weight and kidney cancer.

Doylestown Borough initiated a study of its five wells last year. At the time, officials said, the community’s wells were well below the federal guidelines, then set at 70 parts per trillion. As the EPA looks to reduce those levels to four parts per trillion, the borough said its planning is based on zero. “It’s not any cheaper to treat to 0.14 than it is to zero,” said borough manager John Davis, last fall.

Davis estimated the cost to the small town of about 8,500 residents to be between $7.5 million and $10 million, with annual maintenance costs approaching $300,000 annually.

To learn more about the borough’s plans, visit

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