What are PFAS?

PFAS Circle Graphic

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a group of manufactured chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products since the 1940s because of their useful properties. There are thousands of different PFAS, some of which have been more widely used and studied than others.

Modern-day use of PFAS is everywhere. It is found in fast-food packaging, non-stick pans, waterproofing products, clothing, makeup and in numerous other products that people use every day.

Learn More at: EPA - PFAS Information Page

 Why Are We Hearing About PFAS Now? 

With the improvement of testing technology in recent years, and because of its widespread use, PFAS in trace amounts is being found virtually everywhere—water, air, soil, and in animals around the world.

 Are PFAS Harmful?

Exposure to high levels of PFAS may lead to adverse health effects, and studies are ongoing to determine if low-level exposure over time has any impact on health.

See Also: EPA - Our Current Understanding of the Human Health and Environmental Risks of PFAS

Are PFAS Found in the Municipal Drinking Water? 

In accordance with EPA’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR), TMWA participated in “UCMR3” from 2013 to 2015, which required water systems to test for six different PFAS compounds. No PFAS contaminants were detected in our sources from that sampling event using the reporting levels required at that time.

On the Continued Protection of Water Quality: 

Currently there are no drinking water regulations for PFAS. EPA’s proposed PFAS Rule is expected to go into effect in December of 2026. All drinking water TMWA delivers to customers will meet any new regulations established by the EPA.

How do I know if PFAS are in My Well Water? 

PFAS are odorless and tasteless, so to determine if levels of the chemical are present, your well must be tested. For more information regarding available state, local and federal resources to assist domestic well owners, please contact Northern Nevada Public Health Environmental Health Services at 775-328-2434 or Nevada Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Safe Drinking Water at 775-687-9521.

Additional Action: 

Federal Level

To learn more about Key EPA Actions with partners across the country to more efficiently detect and measure PFAS in our air, water, soil, and wildlife, along with how to remove, manage and dispose of PFAS, click here.

State of Nevada 

To see the Final PFAS Action Plan, a set of steps to determine many objectives including “the location and extent of potentially significant discharges or releases of PFAS in the State,” click here.


Helpful Links:

EPA - PFAS Information Page

EPA - Key Action to Address PFAS

EPA - Our Current Understanding of the Human Health and Environmental Risks of PFAS

US Food & Drug Administration - Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention