PFAS Summit Recap
Two representatives of the Water Quality Association (WQA) participated in the US EPA PFAS National Leadership Summit in May, which ended with the hope that the agency can have a per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) National Management Plan ready by the end of the year. Government Affairs Director David Loveday and Technical Affairs Director Eric Yeggy represented WQA at the summit, which noted:
- The contamination is widespread and comes from many sources
- The large number of PFAS in use and our knowledge gaps present significant challenges to implementing a comprehensive and uniform regulatory strategy
- POU and POE treatment can serve as an inexpensive and immediate solution to help address the impacts on public health
WQA has published a PFAS in Drinking Water Factsheet, which provides an overview on sources of contamination, potential health effects, current research and effective POU/POE drinking water treatment methods – at the tap or whole house water filtration — to address PFAS contaminants. WQA has also gathered a list of state actions to address PFAS to track the direction of regulations on PFAS in drinking water.
New study funded
WQA said a new study conducted on behalf of the Association for Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) underscores the need to combat counterfeit water treatment products. The Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) helped with the study by performing extraction testing and funded a portion of the research production at a total cost of $35,000. Among the findings, according to AHAM, “Of the 32 filters tested for removal of lead, 100 percent failed to meet NSF/ANSI standards to two times the life cycle (200 percent of the rated or specified capacity), which is notable since most consumers do not replace their filters at the required six-month mark.” WQA has worked with AHAM on the counterfeit issue and continues to work with federal authorities to eliminate counterfeits from the marketplace. Consumers can now access a “Report IP Theft” button on the WQA website to report suspected counterfeit products to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) in Washington.
Prop 65 requirements
Updated warning label requirements under California’s Proposition 65 go into effect on August 30. The law requires companies to provide “clear and reasonable” warnings to consumers if the product can expose them to a chemical known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity and listed under Prop. 65 by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). In August 2016, the OEEHA adopted the revisions to Article 6 relative to “Clear and Reasonable Warnings” and made the operative date of the regulation August 2018.
The latest J.D. Power 2018 Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study that shows 30 percent of residential water utility customers indicate having concerns about the quality of their tap water, indicates the need for POU testing and, in some cases, further water quality treatment. Among the 30 percent who mention a quality problem, 11 percent cited bad taste, eight percent cite scaling/water hardness and eight percent cite discoloration, according to a news release from J.D. Power. The rate of consumers indicating a water quality issue is higher than what’s typically found in their annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), which US EPA requires every community water system to issue by July 1 of each year.
US EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act requires municipalities to test water supplies from once to several times per year, depending on the potential contaminants and size of the population served. However, most of these tests are not designed to monitor the water quality in the pipes that transport water to residents’ homes. That’s not to say the CCR is unimportant. WQA urges all consumers on municipal or community water supplies to examine the report because it provides recent test results about what contaminants may be in their water. However, a national study conducted last year on behalf of WQA found that 62 percent of households across the United States either didn’t receive or did not know if they received their community’s CCR.
Call for papers
WQA is calling for presentation proposals for its 2019 Convention & Exposition on April 23-26, 2019, in Las Vegas, NV. Potential speakers are invited to submit proposals on technical topics such as treatment innovations or water-related legislative issues, or on small business operations topics such as consumer trends or conflict resolution. The call also is open for potential presenters to suggest their own topics, and dealers are invited to submit proposals on interesting or puzzling applications they’ve worked on.
While original works are strongly encouraged for the presentations, topics modified from materials previously presented at other venues may be submitted. Manufacturers with product on the market must be registered exhibitors to participate in presentations. Preference is given to WQA members. All technical educational presentations must avoid reference to specific manufacturers and brands. Commercial messages are inappropriate and will not be accepted. Proposals are due by June 29 and must be submitted online using the form and guidelines found online.