Read the full article by Louise Dyble & Angela Levin (Environmental Law and Policy)

“The California State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) has issued Order WQ 2020-0015-DWQ, requiring Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) with dry weather design flows greater than 1 mdg to test for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in influent, effluent, biosolids, and, in some cases, groundwater. POTWs with existing groundwater monitoring programs may be required to submit initial documentation for compliance as early as August.

The order covers 31 PFAS analytes (see table provided here), as well as 11 additional analytes listed for ‘optional analysis.’ All treatment sampling and analysis and groundwater monitoring proposals and analysis must be uploaded to the Water Board’s GeoTracker system, and will be incorporated into the Board’s ongoing PFAS mapping project.

Starting in October, POTWs must sample and analyze influent, effluent, and reverse osmosis concentrate/retentate for the listed PFAS quarterly for one year.  Biosolids must be sampled for PFAS and moisture content quarterly by POTWs with dry weather design flows greater than 5 mgd, and just once by smaller POTWs.

POTWs with existing groundwater monitoring and reporting programs must also monitor groundwater for PFAS, and must submit a groundwater monitoring proposal at least 60 days before the next groundwater monitoring period that includes the following:

  • A figure of the groundwater monitoring well network and groundwater flow direction that indicates a minimum of three monitoring wells proposed to be sampled…”