PFAS Education

What are PFAS? 

PFAS are manufactured chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1940s. The most widely used are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS).  PFAS are not naturally found in drinking water, but are widely used in many consumer goods.

They have been used in non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, paper packaging for food, stain resistant fabrics and carpets, personal care products, some firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil.

How does PFAS enter our waterways?

During production and use, PFAS can migrate into the soil, water, and air. Most PFAS (including PFOA and PFOS) do not breakdown, so they remain in the environment. According to EPA’s analysis, 20% of an individual’s exposure comes from drinking water. The remaining 80% of exposure comes from consumer goods.

Final EPA PFAS Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed a National Primary Drinking Water Rule for six types of PFAS on March 14, 2023.  On April 10, 2024, the final rule was announced establishing legally enforceable levels, called Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs).   

EPA’s health advisory level is the minimum concentration of a compound which may present health risks to an individual over a lifetime of exposure (70 years). Health advisories look at lifetime exposure and consider other sources of PFAS exposure, such as consumer products.

The PFAS that are being regulated include PFOA, PFOS, PFHxS, PFNA, and HFPO-DA, as well as PFAS mixtures containing at least two or more of PFHxS, PFNA, HFPO-DA, and PFBS.   

EPA also finalized health-based, non-enforceable Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLGs) for these PFAS. 

The standards are measured in ppt (part per trillion).  For perspective, one part per trillion in water is equivalent to one drop of water in an Olympic size pool, or one second in 32,800 years. 


Final MCL (enforceable levels)


4.0 parts per trillion (ppt) (also expressed as ng/L)


4.0 ppt


10 ppt


10 ppt

HFPO-DA (commonly known as GenX Chemicals)

10 ppt

Mixtures containing two or more of PFHxS, PFNA, HFPO-DA, and PFBS

1 (unitless)

Hazard Index

What’s Next?

Public water systems must monitor for these PFAS and have three years to complete initial monitoring (by 2027), followed by ongoing compliance monitoring. Water systems must also provide the public with information on the levels of these PFAS in their drinking water beginning in 2027.

Public water systems have five years (by 2029) to implement solutions that reduce these PFAS if monitoring shows that drinking water levels exceed these MCLs.

Beginning in five years (2029), public water systems that have PFAS in drinking water which violates one or more of these MCLs must take action to reduce levels of these PFAS in their drinking water and must provide notification to the public of the violation. 

Plans for Henry County Water Authority

Henry County Water Authority has been proactively sampling our water, and will continue to submit data quarterly to EPA as required.  To date, we have not detected any of the newly regulated contaminants.  We will continue to monitor our findings and keep our customers updated to ensure everyone has safe drinking water.     

Please click the links below for more information.   

Georgia Environmental Protection Division Information on PFAS

Environmental Protection Agency Information on PFAS