PFAS Information

Introduction to PFAS

Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are resistant to heat, water, and oil. Because of these characteristics, PFAS chemicals have a wide variety of industrial and commercial uses. Over time, researchers have studied the health effects of various PFAS chemicals, including PFOA, PFOS, PFBS, and GenX, with early research focusing primarily on PFOA and PFOS. Peer-reviewed studies of laboratory animals and epidemiological studies of human populations indicate that exposure to PFAS over certain levels may result in adverse health effects. For more information about PFAS generally, please visit EPA’s PFAS website.

Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs)

On April 10, 2024, EPA announced the National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for six PFAS: PFOA, PFOS, PFBS, GenX, perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS).  The NPDWR includes Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) of 4.0 parts per trillion for PFOA, 4.0 parts per trillion for PFOS, 10 parts per trillion for GenX, 10 parts per trillion for PFNA, 10 parts per trillion for PFHxS, and a unitless Hazard Index level for 4 PFAS (PFBS, GenX, PFNA and PFHxS). Regulated public water systems have three years (by 2027) to complete their initial monitoring for these chemicals. Systems must include their results in their Annual Water Quality reports to customers. Systems that detect PFAS above the new standards will have five years to reduce PFAS in their drinking water (by 2029). More details on the NPDWR can be found at EPA’s website,

For more information about PFAS, including EPD’s current drinking water monitoring initiative, and historical drinking water and surface water monitoring in Georgia, please visit the EPD PFAS StoryMap. If you are a drinking water system participating in EPD’s drinking water monitoring initiative, sample collection instructions and video are available.


GAEPD PFAS Monitoring

In the winter of 2021, EPD initiated a targeted PFAS monitoring project to assess the level of PFAS in drinking water across Georgia. EPD started monitoring finished drinking water in the Coosa and neighboring Tennessee basins due to the documented presence of PFAS and PFAS sources in the Coosa basin. EPD sent sample kits to all surface water public drinking water systems and all groundwater public drinking water systems serving populations of 500 or more.

Following the completion of the first phase of monitoring, EPD conducted a second round of monitoring of finished drinking water, which focused on large public water systems that serve populations of 100,000 or more, as well as those systems located in close proximity to significant Department of Defense installations.

Finally, in 2023, EPA initiated monitoring under Uncontaminated Monitoring Rule (UCMR) 5. This monitoring includes 29 species of PFAS, and all public water systems serving populations of 3,300 or more are required to participate. To complement this effort, EPD initiated a third and final round of monitoring in finished drinking water. This third round of monitoring focused on public water systems not included in UCMR 5; specifically, EPD sampled the finished drinking water from very small public water systems that rely on groundwater in areas where  Download this pdf file.  groundwater is highly susceptible to pollution 

This data is available in the “Current and Future Monitoring” tab of the PFAS Story Map.