The Village of East Troy water utilities number one priority is protecting public health. We work diligently to provide safe, high-quality drinking water that meets all federal and state standards.

About PFAS

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a group of over 5,000 human made chemicals that were invented in the 1930’s. They were introduced into industrial manufacturing and commercial use in the 1940’s, with peak production occurring between 1970 and 2000.

These PFAS can be found in everyday products, such as:

  • Cleaning products
  • Water-resistant fabrics, such as rain jackets, umbrellas, and tents
  • Some grease-resistant paper, fast food containers/wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, pizza boxes, and candy wrappers
  • Nonstick cookware
  • Personal care products, like shampoo, dental floss, nail polish, and eye makeup
  • Stain-resistant coatings used on carpets, upholstery, and other fabrics
  • Paints, varnishes, and sealants

They are exceptionally resistant to degradation and, when discharged into the environment, linger for prolonged periods of time and may bioaccumulate in humans, fish and wildlife. PFAS have been discovered in groundwater, soil, air, sediment, surface water and drinking water. Ingestion of contaminated water or food are the primary pathways through which they enter the human body.

PFAS exposure

The main ways people can be exposed to PFAS include:

  • Drinking contaminated municipal or private well water.

  • Eating fish with high levels of PFAS.
  • Eating food grown or raised near places that used or made PFAS.
  • Eating food packaged in material made with PFAS.
  • Swallowing contaminated soil or dust.
  • Using some consumer products, such as ski wax, nonstick cookware, and stain and water repellant sprays for fabrics.

How can PFAS affect my health?

Current scientific research suggests that exposure to high levels of certain PFAS may lead to adverse health outcomes. However, research is still ongoing to determine how different levels of exposure to different PFAS can lead to a variety of health effects. Research is also underway to better understand the health effects associated with low levels of exposure to PFAS over long periods of time, especially in children.

How can I reduce my exposure to PFAS?

PFAS are present at low levels in some food products and in the environment (air, water, soil etc.), so you probably cannot prevent PFAS exposure altogether. There are a few ways you can reduce exposure:

At this time, EPA is not recommending bottled water for communities based solely on concentrations of these chemicals in drinking water that exceed the health advisory levels. Note, PFAS cannot be removed by heating or boiling water.

What is the Village of East Troy doing about PFAS?

On November 15, 2023, East Troy Waterworks collected water samples of the Village of East Troy’s drinking water and tested them for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).  PFAS are a group of humanmade chemicals that have been used since the 1950s. PFAS compounds in the Village of East Troy’s drinking water are below all individual recommended health advisory levels but are present at levels above Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ (DHS) hazard index guidance. The hazard index is a way of assessing the potential health impacts associated with mixtures of PFAS. The sampling results are available here:

At this time, the risk to health is low. The Village of East Troy is not in violation of any drinking water standards or regulations and has proactively taken actions to protect the health of its customers. On 12/08/2023, Well 8 was shutoff. At the Village Board meeting on 12/18/2023, the board approved to have it remain off until further notice. The Village of East Troy is only using water from wells with levels below DHS health Advisory/Hazard Index guidance levels. People and businesses can continue to use the water from the Village of East Troy.