Water Quality


Topic: OEHHA Propose Public Health Goal for PFOS and PFOA

In 2019 the legislature began requiring water systems to monitor for PFOS and PFOA and upon identification publish their findings online and report them to their customers. In early 2020 the Division of Drinking Water (‘DDW’) issued updated response levels of 10 Parts-per-trillion (‘PPT’) for PFOA and 40 PPT for PFOS. Through today the Environmental Protection Agency’s Federal healthy advisory level is 70 PPT for PFOS and PFOA. As more research has been conducted additional compounds from the PFAS classification have been added to monitoring mandates and continued reduction of acceptable concentrations of PFAS in drinking water are ongoing.

Now, as of July 2021, The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (‘OEHHA’) has proposed Public Health Goals (‘PHG’) for PFOS and PFOA. OEHHA’s PHG is theoretically the concentration where the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) should try to set notification levels (NLs). The proposed PHG for PFOA is 0.007 parts-per-trillion (‘PPT’) and 1 PPT for PFOS. These levels, especially for disadvantaged water systems and without grant funding, present major concerns for mutual water companies. Due to the passage of AB756 (C. Garcia), PFOS and PFOA response and notification levels are transformed into enforceable standards much like an MCL, and CalMutuals is concerned with the ambiguity and difficult-to-reach concentrations established by this regulatory framework. The ambiguity of what these standards mean for mutual water systems combined with the dramatic decrease in expected treatable levels from a federal vs state perspective has a harmful effect on public confidence in water supplies. Though one should keep in mind that the EPA’s federal level is a combined value for PFOS and PFOA the comparison of 70 PPT to the proposed 0.007 PPT represents a 99.99% reduction in acceptable concentrations.

There will be a virtual workshop on this proposed action the SWRCB takes based on the report on September 28th. Details are available on the OEHHA website. You can read OEHHA’s draft proposed public health goal document here: and you can read CalMutuals’ comment letter here, and submit your own here if you would like.

Topic: Planned Compliance Legislation

CalMutuals has collaborated with Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia on its initiative to implement planned compliance with his bill AB588 which would allow water suppliers to take up to five years to implement compliance plans for new water quality standards.  When the Chromium 6 standard was enacted in July 2014 CalMutuals supported a similar bill, SB385 (Hueso) to accomplish the same thing. AB588 would apply to all contaminants and would require the State Water Board to have a plan for helping systems that can’t afford to comply with a new standard.
CalMutuals is calling on our members to affirm the importance of this legislation to mutual water companies by drafting a letter of support.  A  template for your reference is available by clicking here.
CalMutuals is pleased that to date a number of sister associations have expressed support of the bill including the Community Water Systems Alliance, ACWA and the San Gabriel Valley Water Association.

Please do not hesitate to contact Logan Largent, CalMutuals Public Affairs Associate, by email at logan@calmutuals.org  if you have any questions.



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