PFOA and PFOS Information

Introduction to PFOA and PFOS

PFOA and PFOS are part of a larger group of chemicals referred to as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) that are resistant to heat, water and oil. Peer-reviewed studies of laboratory animals and epidemiological studies of human populations indicate that exposure to PFOA and PFOS over certain levels may result in adverse health effects.

Health advisories provide information on contaminants that can cause human health effects and are known or anticipated to occur in drinking water. To provide Americans, including the most sensitive populations, with a margin of protection from a lifetime of exposure to PFOA and PFOS from drinking water, EPA established health advisory levels at 70 parts per trillion for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.

For more information about PFOA and PFOS, 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.

      Current PFOA and PFOS Issues

      City of Summerville

      EPA and EPD conducted joint sampling of the City of Summerville’s drinking water sources and finished drinking water on January 23, 2020. On January 30, 2020 sample results came back showing combined levels of PFOA and PFOS in the finished drinking water from the Raccoon Creek Treatment Plant of 98 parts per trillion, which is above EPA’s health advisory level.  In addition, combined levels of PFOA and PFOS in the Goodwin Hill Tank were found to be 92 parts per trillion. In light of the EPA health advisory, the City of Summerville took steps to notify its customers and identify alternative water sources.

      As of November 12, 2020, the health advisory for the City of Summerville has been lifted. PFAS levels have been reduced below EPA’s lifetime health advisory level following the installation of additional drinking water treatment by the City. This reduction has been verified through monitoring. EPD will continue to provide technical support to and review sampling results from the City of Summerville.

      For more information about the City of Summerville’s response, please visit the City’s webpage: