PFAS Chemicals in Drinking Water

PFAS are known as “forever chemicals” because once released into the environment they do not break down, and they build up in our blood and organs. The Fairchild Air Force Base used these “forever chemicals” that have now contaminated the drinking water of Airway Heights.

Exposure to PFAS:

Biomonitoring studies by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the blood of nearly all Americans is contaminated with PFAS.


The most notorious PFAS compounds are PFOA, formerly used by DuPont to make Teflon, and PFOS, formerly an ingredient in 3M’s Scotchgard. Those compounds have been phased out under pressure from the EPA, but they persist in drinking water, people and the environment. In EWG’s tests, PFOA was detected in 30 of 44 samples, and PFOS in 34 samples. The two compounds represented approximately a quarter of the total PFAS level in each sample.

Fairchild Airforce Base & Airway Heights

Fairchild Air Force Base used aqueous film-forming foam containing PFAS for firefighting training in the past. The foam was also used to extinguish fires from aircraft crashes at two sites near the Base. Groundwater sources for the city of Airway Heights’s drinking water supply system were contaminated with PFAS.

PFAS were first detected in the Airway Heights water system during sampling by the Air Force in May 2017. Water from three wells had PFAS concentrations higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) health advisory level (HA). The HA is 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for two PFAS (PFOS and PFOA), individually or combined.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

Studies have demonstrated that reverse osmosis treatment is effective for removal of all types of long and shorter-chain PFAS that was tested for, including PFOS, PFOA, PFBS, PFHxS, PFHxA and PFNA. This technology can also be combined with GAC to achieve higher removal rates or maintain the efficacy of the sensitive reverse osmosis membranes. However, water-treatment-plant-size reverse osmosis systems are expensive, require significant expenditures of energy and waste a lot of water, a problem in water-scarce areas.

Because PFAS’s are so prevalent in the environment, and because they are a potential health risk, it is important to reduce the chemicals in your drinking water and you can right at your sink faucet. WaterDaddy can help ensure your tap water is clean and safe to drink.

For more information about PFAS and how our water filtration systems can help you stay healthy, please call 509-381-7818 or schedule your FREE in-home water test here.

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