Read the full article by Laura Schulte (Milwuakee Journal Sentinel)

“Marshfield is the latest city to find elevated levels of ‘forever chemicals’ in its water supply. 

The city found levels of PFAS above the state’s current recommended health standard of 20 parts per trillion in one entry point to its water system, according to a news release from the city Thursday. The system consists of three entry points fed by 15 wells throughout the area. 

The city shut down the entry point upon learning its results on Tuesday, the release said, as well as the four wells that contribute to it. Residents in the meantime can continue to use their water as normal, as all of the other wells are below the recommended health guidance of 20 parts per trillion. 

Marshfield will begin testing the individual wells to find the source of the PFAS and will seek future options to deal with the contamination, such as digging new wells or treating water within existing wells. 

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a family of man-made chemicals used for their water- and stain-resistant qualities in products like clothing and carpet, nonstick cookware, packaging and firefighting foam. The family includes 5,000 compounds, which are persistent, remaining both in the environment and human body over time.

The chemicals have been linked to types of kidney and testicular cancers, lower birth weights, harm to immune and reproductive systems, altered hormone regulation and altered thyroid hormones. The chemicals enter the human body largely through drinking water.

Other communities are discovering PFAS in water supplies. In central Wisconsin, high levels forced Rib Mountain, Rothschild, and Weston to shut down some wells, and the city of Wausau is now providing water filters for residents after contamination was found in all of the city’s wells. Eau Claire in northwestern Wisconsin also shut down half of its wells after PFAS were found in its water.”…