The recent news about PFAS chemicals in drinking water may raise concerns about whether your drinking water is at risk. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) are fluorinated organic chemicals that are part of a larger group of man-made chemicals referred to as per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Customers can have confidence in knowing that Rancho Water has tested for PFOA and PFOS as required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and they were not detected in our drinking water supply. Additionally, the Metropolitan Water District, who supplies imported water to Rancho Water, has not detected PFOS or PFOA in their system.
PFAS are synthetic compounds. They have been used extensively in consumer products such as carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food, fire-fighting foams, and other materials (e.g., cookware) designed to be water proof, stain-resistant or non-stick. Two of the most well-known chemicals, PFOS and PFOA, have been phased out in the United States, but they do not break down easily and can linger in the environment. In fact, most people in the U.S. have PFAS in their blood. People are typically exposed through ingestion by eating foods from packaging containing PFAS, inhaling certain fabric sprays or breathing air with dust from contaminated soil, carpets, and clothing.
The presence of PFAS in source water and drinking water is complex and concerning to water professionals due to their widespread use and environmental persistence. Continued exposure to high levels of specific PFAS can lead to adverse health effects. Rancho Water takes any risks to water quality seriously. The District will continue to closely monitor the quality of the community’s drinking water supplies and is tracking the latest information on PFAS.
To learn more about Rancho’s drinking water quality, customers can view the District’s annual Water Quality Reports. Customers who want a hard copy of the report may email or call the Public Information Department at (951) 296-6933. (Note: PFAS sampling is not included on Rancho’s water quality reports, as the District is not required to report on chemicals that were not detected).