Doing our part for PFAS
Click to open this PDF about PFAS.
Across the nation, communities and public entities are struggling with how to best address the issue of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in our environment.
PFAS are manmade compounds that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s. They may be in nonstick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain resistant fabrics and carpets, some cosmetics, some firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil.
PFAS are an emerging concern in the world of water quality, which makes them a concern for everyone because we all need clean water to live. PFAS compounds are difficult to break down, so they are often called “forever chemicals.”
Given the widespread use of PFAS in making products used daily, there are background levels from PFAS in our wastewater and biosolids. The regional wastewater treatment plant is not an original source of PFAS but is a receiver of these chemicals through water used by homeowners, businesses, and industries. Because PFAS are forever chemicals, the compounds cannot be removed during the water treatment process.
Experts in water and the environment, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, are still learning about PFAS. For this reason, we are tracking national, regional, and local conversations about PFAS and considering the best actions to take for our community.
The best way to eliminate PFAS from water and, in turn, biosolids that are produced by wastewater treatment, is to prevent the chemicals from entering the wastewater stream in the first place. This is achievable through source reduction and elimination.
The Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission and our our staff in Eugene, Springfield, and Lane County are committed to your health, and the health of the land around us. We will continue learning about PFAS and searching for reliable and effective PFAS management for our area. Thanks for your interest and support on this evolving and potentially challenging topic.