Largely domestic utilities like ReWa are 'passive receivers' of these 'forever chemicals'
What are PFAS?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a group of manufactured chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products since the 1940s. There are thousands of different PFAS, some of which have been more widely used and studied than others. One common characteristic of concern of PFAS is that many break down very slowly and can build up in people, animals, and the environment over time. PFAS can be found in many places including water, soil, air, and food as well as in materials found in homes or workplaces.
Understanding the long-term effects of PFAS is in its infancy. Many public and private sector organizations are conducting PFAS-related research. Robust information is needed to better understand the risks PFAS pose and to be able to take effective actions to protect human health and the environment. EPA’s research is helping to deepen understanding of these chemicals so that steps can be taken to continue reducing the risks posed by PFAS.
EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/pfas provides more detailed information.
What is ReWa’s approach to PFAS?
ReWa is committed to public health and environmental protection. We are closely monitoring the scientific community’s continued focus on PFAS and the potential effects these substances can have on our own local environment. Our management approach is informed by the current science that is available.
Like all public water and wastewater agencies, ReWa does not create PFAS but is a "passive receiver" from various domestic, commercial, and industrial sources. ReWa performs testing for PFAS on the receiving streams where our Water Resource Recovery Facilities (WRRFs) are located to better understand the potential for PFAS in our WWRFs. There are many unanswered questions about not only the long-term effects of PFAS, but also state and national efforts to curtail their use in industrial settings.
Additional information can be found on the website of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) at: