Which laboratories are the best to use by public water systems for testing for PFAS in drinking water?

If you are considering testing to evaluate PFAS in a public water system, you should contact your state to learn whether they have state-certified laboratories to test for these contaminants. For drinking water, it is best to use an EPA-validated testing method.

The EPA does not currently regulate PFAS under the Safe Drinking Water Act

States usually certify laboratories that support drinking water compliance monitoring for regulated contaminants. Because the EPA does not currently regulate PFAS, it does not have any laboratory certification requirements for these chemicals. Nevertheless, some states offer programs for laboratories that want to be certified to analyze drinking water samples using the EPA’s methods.

The first step you should follow if you intend to test your drinking water for PFAS is to make sure the test is designed for your sample medium, which can be groundwater, surface water, or tap water. Afterward, look for a laboratory that has a certification, as there are some PFAS certifications you should look for when purchasing a test, such as:

  • PFAS testing certifications from states that offer it, such as California and Michigan
  • The Department of Defense Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (DoD ELAP) accreditation for PFAS
  • The International Organization for Standardization (ISO)17025 accreditation for PFAS

Laboratories can get certified to perform tests for specific analytes, such as PFOA or PFOS. Alternatively, you can look for a laboratory that uses standard EPA testing methods for PFAS. The agency developed, validated, and published 3 methods for testing for unique PFAS in finished drinking water:

  • EPA Method 537
  • EPA Method 537.1
  • EPA Method 533

It is worth noting that some laboratories provide modified versions of the EPA’s PFAS methods for different sample mediums or for specific PFAS not included in the original method. According to the EPA, there is no standardized description of modified methods. Finally, these are the laboratory testing guidelines for public water systems:

  • laboratories and analytical methods: analytical methods that use EPA Method 537 Rev. 1.1, EPA Method 537.1, or EPA Method 533 must be used
  • reporting limits: analytical methods with reporting limits of 2 nanograms per liter or lower, as achievable by the analytical method used, must be utilized for the compliance monitoring associated with PFOS, PFOA, PFNA, and PFHxS
  • sample collection procedures: you must obtain bottles from the accredited laboratory for EPA Method 537 Rev 1.1, 537.1, and EPA Method 533, and laboratory bottles should be stored in Ziploc bags and transported in coolers

If the drinking water of your community was affected by PFAS contamination, we strongly encourage you to get in touch with our experienced attorneys, as you might be eligible to join the PFAS water contamination lawsuit and obtain compensation.

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For over three decades, our diligent attorneys have been handling toxic exposure claims and will also help you join the PFAS water contamination lawsuit. If your drinking water source contains PFAS your community might be eligible for compensation, which can be used for water testing, remediation, and treatment. We will gladly help you join the lawsuit so you can enjoy clean and safe water.

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