Water Quality

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances​

One of the class of compounds we are monitoring very closely are Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) which are a large group of manmade environmentally persistent chemicals that are used to make carpets, furniture, and cookware resistant to water, grease, and stains. These substances are also used in firefighting foam on airfields. 

an infographic of how PFAS travel from a manufacturing plant into the environment

The EPA has not designated maximum contaminant levels (MCL) for this group of chemicals and therefore we are not required to monitor for them. But with such prevalence in the environment and the growing research supporting the need to monitor these substances, Charlotte Water has been working with partners across the country to monitor the prevalence of these compounds in our drinking water. Samples were sent off to an independent lab for testing.

Luckily the presence of these compounds in Charlotte's drinking water is extremely low and comes nowhere near the suggested EP health advisory of 70 ppt.

PFAS Test Results

​Highest Result
​EPA Health Advisory
Perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA)2.4 ppt
Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) 2.2ppt70 4
Perfluoropentanoic acid (PFPeA)2.4ppt 

 4Lifetime HA: The concentration of a chemical in drinking water that is not expected to cause any adverse noncarcinogenic effects for a lifetime of exposure, incorporating a drinking water RSC factor of contaminant-specific data or a default of 20% of total exposure from all sources. The Lifetime HA is based on exposure of a 70-kg adult consuming 2 liters of water per day. For Lifetime HAs developed for drinking water contaminants before the Lifetime HA policy change to develop Lifetime HAs for all drinking water contaminants regardless of carcinogenicity status in this DWSHA update, the Lifetime HA for Group C carcinogens, as indicated by the 1986 Cancer Guidelines, includes an uncertainty adjustment factor of 10 for possible carcinogenicity.

Complete test results can be found in the Unregulated Contaminants Monitoring Test Results 2018-2019

Charlotte Water is also participating with the North Carolina PFAS Network which is a statewide research collaboration testing for current levels of PFAS chemicals in drinking water and air samples across the state. The collaboration took additional samples from our water intakes, their results reflected our findings, that the presence of these compounds is low.

Please visit the North Carolina PFAS Network's website for statewide results.

Additional PFAS Resources