Read the full article by Chris Hubbuch (The Journal Times)

“Annual testing showed hazardous chemicals known as PFAS have spread to all of Madison’s public water wells, though none were above the state’s proposed safe drinking water limits.

The Madison Water Utility released test results Friday showing total PFAS concentrations ranging from 2.5 to 47 parts per trillion in its 22 active wells.

Tests done in 2019 found contamination in only 14 wells.

Water quality manager Joe Grande said it’s possible that some low-level readings were false positives, but it’s reasonable to assume that the compounds are present in all wells.

Sometimes called “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the environment, PFAS are a group of thousands of largely unregulated synthetic compounds that have been shown to increase the risk of cancer and other ailments.

Used for years in firefighting foam, food packaging, nonstick cookware, water-resistant clothing, carpeting and other products, PFAS have been found in drinking water, groundwater, surface water, soil, sediments, air, fish and wildlife as well as human blood samples.

The Department of Natural Resources is in the process of setting safe drinking water guidelines for two of the thousands of known fluorinated compounds — PFOA and PFOS — and has proposed a combined limit of 20 ppt.

Concentrations of those two compounds in Madison wells ranged from 0.5 to 3.4 ppt, according to data provided by the utility…”