PFAS (PFOS & PFOA)
PFASs are man-made chemicals not naturally found in the environment. PFASs (poly and perfluoroalkyl substances, which include PFOS and PFOA) are a group of more than 4,000 different chemicals that are found everywhere in our homes and everyday products. No issues have been identified with the public water supply in Jersey relating to PFAS.
PFASs are created by joining carbon and fluorine, making one of the strongest bonds that can be made in organic chemistry. This strong bonding is the reason why PFAS chemicals are used to make items that are resistant to moisture, heat, and stains such as carpet and clothing treatments and firefighting foams. Some of the most commonly used PFAS chemicals, like PFOS and PFOA, have become known as “the forever chemical” because they do not breakdown in the environment.
The regulatory limits for PFAS in drinking water vary widely between countries. The strictest limits for PFAS around the world are set in the United States and the new limits recently set by the EU in the forthcoming Drinking Water Directive.
Jersey Water monitors both treated and untreated water for PFAS on a regular basis. The frequency of our testing already far exceeds the rate at which any testing would be required under regulation.
Because of our sampling and testing, we can be sure that the mains water supply in Jersey is fully compliant, and by a significant margin, with these strict international limits. Trace levels do exist in mains water and we will continue to report on these and minimise them by blending our various water sources and with our treatment processes.
Public water supplied by Jersey Water is regularly tested, managed, treated to an optimal level and regulated for quality. No issues have been identified with the public water supply.
Whilst we are confident of the quality of water supplied in Jersey, we are not complacent. We will continue to work with our scientific advisors and the Government of Jersey to understand the implications of any new research on the health effects of PFAS.
In February 2021, Jersey Water completed a project to extend the drinking water network to the area in St Peter, north of the airport, where in 2018 PFAS was identified in boreholes supplying private water supplies. The scheme was fully funded by Jersey Water, and a total of 1442 meters of new main was laid, enabling 45 properties previously on borehole water to access safe high quality mains drinking water.