Will my city well be tested for PFAS?

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Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 3:43 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2022 at 3:45 PM CST
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(WSAW) - This week the city of Wausau confirmed the presence of manmade chemicals in city water at levels above the recommended Wisconsin DNR standard.

Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a group of more than 4,000 manmade chemicals used to create products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water. PFAS are most likely found on clothing, furniture, some adhesives, food packaging, and non-stick surfaces. The chemicals do not break down in the environment. PFAS can contaminate soil and drinking water sources. The chemicals can also build up in humans and animals.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry states high levels of certain PFAS may lead to increased cholesterol levels, decreased vaccine response in children, changes in liver enzymes, increased risk of high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia in pregnant women, and increased risk of kidney or testicular cancer.

In November, the town Rib Mountain confirmed PFAS was found in one of its wells. The well was shut down.

NewsChannel 7 contacted several surrounding communities to find out if they have tested for PFAS.


Mark Thuot the Public Works and Zoning Administrator in Schofield said the city was selected by the EPA to do PFAS testing. The testing has not yet been done, but will be soon. The city has three wells, two are in use.


Rothchild’s Water Works Operator Rick Stoviak said voluntary testing was recently conducted. Rothschild has not yet received the results. They have four wells


Mosinee Director of Public Works Kevin Breit said the city will meet in the coming days and decide how to move forward. Mosinee has six wells.


Public Utilities Director Joel Lemke said testing was done about six years ago. Lemke said at that time no PFAS was detected. He said testing will be done again in 2023. The city has seven wells, one well is offline. He believes future testing will again show no detection as the city lacks industry.


Village Administrator Keith Donner said the previous testing in 2014/15 showed ‘no detect’. He said Weston will again be tested in the next few weeks. The village has six wells.


Village Administrator Richard Downey said the village is in discussions about PFAS testing. Testing has not previously been done. The village has two wells.

Private well owners are responsible for their own PFAS testing.

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