Wisconsin DNR tests find West Salem drinking water safe from PFAS, village says

West Salem

WEST SALEM, Wis. (WKBT) — Water in the Village of West Salem is safe to drink, the village’s water utility superintendent said Tuesday in announcing results of state testing for PFAS contamination.

“Surrounding communities in our area have discovered elevated levels of PFAS in their drinking water, Lee Schwier said in a news release. “We felt our water supply was at low risk for PFAS, but we felt it was wise to participate” in the state Department of Natural Resources’ volunteer testing program.

DNR workers sampled the village’s drinking water at three locations on May 11, the state Hygiene Laboratory tested the sample May 17 and returned the clean bill of health Tuesday, according to the news release.

“We felt it was a good decision to have this knowledge for our residents,” Schwier said. “The results validated our opinion, and this was great news for West Salem. Our residents can continue to enjoy the clean water supplied by the West Salem Water Utility.”

The voluntary testing program looks for 18 compounds and their levels of PFAS, with the state’s maximum contaminant level being 20 parts per trillion, the release said.

None of the compounds was detectable in West Salem’s water, it said.

PFAS are known as “forever chemicals” because they take so long to degrade and have been linked to health problems such as cancer, high cholesterol and birth defects, among others.

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