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PFAS found in Eau Claire drinking water


EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - Small levels of PFAS have been found in Eau Claire's water, but city management says it is safe to drink.

That is because the four wells the water was coming from have been shut down.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals used in a variety of industries.

Test results between June 2020 and April 2021 detected "small amounts" of PFAS in the city's water. The numbers were lower than recommended standards.

Last month, the Wisconsin DNR and DHS developed a new method for analyzing PFAS results called a Hazard Index. This new way of scoring the results prompted additional testing of the city’s wells and as a precautionary measure four of the wells that tested slightly high were immediately shut off.

“We have taken swift action to protect the public’s health and safety by immediately shutting down wells that had PFAS levels above newly recommended standards,” said Dave Solberg, interim city manager. “Because the wells were immediately shut down, Eau Claire residents do not need to stop drinking or using water from the city’s water supply.”

Lane Berg, utilities manager for the city, said they are working with the DNR to identify the source of the PFAS in the water.

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