EPA proposes PFAS levels standard for the first time ever

Rib Mountain is looking to begin construction on a new water treatment plant in the next few years
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 7:16 PM CDT
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RIB MOUNTAIN, Wis. (WSAW) - Northcentral Wisconsin has had problems with PFAS for a while. It’s been found in drinking water and has been linked to causing health concerns.

The EPA is proposing that PFAS levels be regularly tested and have a standard of four parts per trillion. Rib Mountain has four wells and had to get rid of one of them because they found too much PFAS forcing them to use a temporary replacement.

Rib Mountain Sanitary District Director Michael Heyroth said that replacement is getting the job done. “We installed temporary treatment and that treatment is working very effectively. It’s bringing the PFAS levels down to zero or non-detect and so other wells have a little bit of concentration in them.”

Heyroth said the new standards are great, but Rib Mountain is already meeting them, and with a new water plant on the way he plans to make the drinking water for the people of Rib Mountain even safer.

“Just down the road we’re building that and so that is going to take out the iron and manganese in our water and also all the PFAS,” says Heyroth.

Heyroth believes drinking water is not a problem nationally. “We’re so well regulated by the DNR and the EPA. They keep very close tabs and they give us guidance like these standards for PFAS they’ll give us and so then we are required to test for those whether it be monthly, or weekly, or even yearly,” said Heyroth.

In a Facebook post, Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenburg said Wausau is planning on having a meeting about these standards and how they will be funded.