OKC water beats new EPA “forever chemicals” levels


Oklahoma City reports recent tests show the city’s water surpasses recent new minimum EPA requirements for contamination by “forever chemicals.”

In other words, the city’s water level of six PFAS compounds is better than what is required in the first-ever National Primary Drinking Water Regulation released last week.

The new EPA regulation establishes limits on PFAS as low as 4 parts per trillion (ppt). For comparison, one part per trillion in time is the equivalent of one second out of nearly 32,000 years. To compare further, the EPA currently regulates all other contaminants in drinking water on a parts-per-billion scale.

Before the newly announced standard, Oklahoma City carried out testing for the “forever chemicals” in its water and the sample results were below 4 ppt. The city said it will continue to conduct more tests this year and the darta beginning in 2024 will be used to meet the EPA NPDWAR requirement that water systems must comply with by 2027.

“We understand that maintaining public trust is crucial, and we remain committed to transparently sharing information about the quality of our drinking water,” said Utilities Director Chris Browning.

“We will continue to work closely with regulatory agencies and scientific experts to stay informed about emerging concerns and implement appropriate measures to ensure the continued safety of our water supply.”

EPA expects that over many years, the regulation will prevent PFAS exposure in drinking water for approximately 100 million people, prevent thousands of deaths and reduce tens of thousands of serious PFAS-attributable illnesses.

The Oklahoma City Utilities Department (OKC Utilities) is the largest public water supply provider in the state, serving more than 1.4 million residents in Central Oklahoma, and because of our commitment to the safety and well-being of our community, we want to reassure the public that the water testing practices we have in place are in compliance with all applicable state and federal agencies.

According to the EPA, PFAS can be found in many places, including food, food packaging, certain non-stick cookware, paints, shampoo, dental floss, cosmetics, clothing and much more. To learn more about exposure to PFAS, visit epa.gov.

Source: OKC release