Update on PFOA and PFOS Detected in Two City Water Wells that Were Immediately Shut Down

PRESCOTT, AZ (July 12, 2022) -sampling of these two wells showed levels of PFOA as high as 15 ppt and PFOS as high as 12 ppt. Immediately upon receiving test results that were greater than the recommended HAL, the City shut down water production at the two affected well sites.  The wells remain inactive and city officials do not plan to reactivate these wells until the city has implemented measures to reduce PFOA and PFOS to recommended levels. The city operates a total of 8 wells located in and around Prescott.  There will be no noticeable difference in water delivery to any customers.

The City of Prescott is partnering with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to address the current issue and gain compliance with the EPA’s Health Advisory.  Additionally, the city will promptly investigate the possible source(s) of the PFOA/PFOS. 

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues health advisories for contaminants that it does not regulate but which may pose a risk to public health.  PFOA and PFOS, collectively known as PFAS, are in that category of emerging contaminants that the EPA monitors, but does not regulate; therefore, these are health advisories.  On June 22, 2022, the EPA implemented a change in criteria for Health Advisory Levels (HAL) for man-made chemicals called perfluooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) from 70 ppt combined PFAS to .004 ppt for PFOA and .02 ppt for PFOS. PFOA and PFOS are chemicals typically used in cosmetics, non-stick surfaces, food containers and textiles to name a few. One part per trillion (ppt) is approximately equivalent to one drop of water in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools, 1 second in 32,000 years, or ¾ of a teaspoon in Watson Lake.    

On Wednesday, July 13, at 1:30 pm, at City Hall Council Chambers, 201 S. Cortez Street, staff from the City’s Public Works Department will be present at a Town Hall meeting hosted by Mayor Phil Goode. This meeting can be attended in person or via Zoom. City staff from the Public Works Department will discuss the recent test results, actions that have been taken so far, and evolving plans to address the issue.   

There is no immediate health risk.  You DO NOT need to use an alternative water supply since the affected wells are no longer in use.  However, if you have specific concerns, please consult your doctor.  

More Information

For more information about PFOA or PFOS please visit the City of Prescott website at https://www.prescott-az.gov/water-sewer/water-operations/water-quality-reports/ or contact the City of Prescott Public Works Department – Water Division at 928-777-1118.

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) – https://azdeq.gov/press-releases/press-release-adeq-committed-protecting-arizonans-and-assisting-public-water-systems

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – http://www.epa.gov/pfas

Zoom Link for Town Hall Meeting

When: Wednesday July 13, 2022 1:30p Arizona time

Topic: Mayor’s Town Hall Meeting Regarding Water Quality at Prescott Airport Wells

Link to join meeting online – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81079577824?pwd=WStxWExBSFp2bFBQcU5TYnF0VTdnQT09

Meeting passcode: 318523

Call-in number: +1 (253)-215-8782

Webinar ID: 810 7957 7824