Water Quality Updates – PFAS

Emmaus Consecutive Division

Water Purchased from the Borough of Emmaus Has Levels of Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS)/ Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) Above Drinking Water Standards

Lehigh County Authority (LCA) purchases all water for its Emmaus Consecutive Division customers from the Borough of Emmaus. In December 2021, LCA learned the Borough found a water quality issue for two of the five water supply wells they operate. The wells were over the maximum contaminant levels allowed for Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)/ Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as PFAS or “forever chemicals.” The Borough investigated and found the PFAS is associated with foam used at the nearby fire training facility. The more problematic well, Well # 2, was removed from use. The other well remains in service to manage customer demand. The Borough continues to work on a solution for treatment to remove PFAS.

LCA is now conducting quarterly sampling for these contaminants at locations within our distribution system. This approach started in the second quarter of 2024 and will help to provide sampling results to keep customers informed. Some samples exceeded the current Pennsylvania standard, or maximum contaminant level (MCL) for PFOS and/or PFOA.

Sample results are in parts per trillion or ppt, equivalent to one drop in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The standard for PFOA is 14 parts per trillion (ppt) and for PFOS is 18 parts per trillion (ppt).

The system average for PFOA was found at a level of 13.7 ppt and 78.1 ppt for PFOS. Although the system average for PFOA is below the MCL, individual results may be higher or lower at any given time due to the mix of water supplies being used. The results displayed in the table below provide the individual sample results and distribution system locations.

Second Quarter 2024 – Sample Results

Sample DateSite #PFOA pptPFOS pptLocation/Address
5/14/20247014.624.55182 Woodhaven Dr
5/14/202470224.922675 Chestnut Hill Road
5/14/202470312.790.8Camp St. between 3353 W Emaus Ave & 3368 Capitol St.
5/14/20247049.174.17Miriam by Chris Dr
5/14/202470512.641.43501 Orchid Cir
5/20/20247062219450 White Oak Ln
5/20/202470715.3102Pike Rd by 3128 S 6th St
5/14/202470810.531.74302 David Drive - Salem Ridge
5/20/202470911.47.933461 S Cedar Crest Blvd, Lutheran Church

The Borough of Emmaus is working with DEP on a treatment solution to remove PFOS and PFOA from the water supply.

Learn more on the PFAS Information & Resources page. View the Emmaus Consecutive Division on the Interactive Map.

Learn about Point of Use Devices Certified to Reduce PFAS

Many types of water filters are available, but not all filters reduce PFAS. If you choose to use a filter, be sure to get one that is certified to reduce PFAS in drinking water.

Customer Notifications

Read background information about the Emmaus PFOA/PFOS issue
November 2023 customer notification
June 2024 customer notification

Read more about this issue on the Borough of Emmaus website.