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The City of Madison appreciates the guidance provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services as we work to learn more about this widespread class of chemical compounds. The recommended groundwater standard announced today of 20 parts-per-trillion for PFOA and PFOS combined is nearly two times higher than levels detected at Well 15 on East Washington Avenue. Concentrations of PFOA and PFOS have hovered around 12 parts per trillion at the well since advanced testing began in 2017. While Well 15 water more than meets the recommended standard, Madison Water Utility will continue to operate the city’s water system without Well 15 for the time being as we work with state and local health experts, the Department of Natural Resources and the public to determine next steps for the well.

PFAS are a concern to the City, and we support and welcome this initial action toward regulating PFAS compounds in water. It is estimated that only a portion of PFAS exposure to humans comes from water. PFAS are pervasive in our environment, and most of our exposure comes from other sources like food packaging and commercially treated products to make them stain- and water-repellent or nonstick. Here are actions you can take to reduce your exposure to PFAS chemicals: follow Dane County fish consumption advisories, reduce the use of consumer products, such as non-stick cookware, stain resistant carpeting, and water repellant clothing, and check product labels for ingredients that include the words “fluoro” or ”perfluoro.” Home charcoal filters have also been shown to reduce high levels of PFAS in water.

Find out more about PFAS in Madison at the following links:

Public Health Madison Dane County PFAS Information

Madison Water Utility PFAS Testing Results



  • Katie Crawley, Mayor’s office, 608-266-4611
  • Amy Barrilleaux, Water Utility, 608-266-9129
  • Sarah Mattes, Public Health, 608-242-6414
Health & Safety