Water Quality

Annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR)

Each year, McFarland Water Utility gives customers in the Village of McFarland a Consumer Confidence Report, also known as an annual drinking water quality report. This report provides Village of McFarland water utility customers with information about their drinking water.

  • When is the report published?
    • Reports are mailed to utility customers by July 1st of each year.
  • How do I get a copy if I did not receive my report?
  • What type of information is in the report?
    • The source of the drinking water
    • Regulated contaminants found in drinking water
    • Health and educational information about the water system
    • Phone numbers of additional sources of information including the water system contact

The following information has been sourced via Green Bay Water.

What is PFAS?

You might have seen recent news reports about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (together abbreviated as PFAS). These are a class of human-made chemicals typically associated with non-stick coatings, waterproofing, stain-proofing treatments and fire-fighting foams. In recent years, a chemical group called PFAS has been linked to potential health effects. PFAS is heavily used in manufacturing and still found in a lot of fast-food wrappers. Please note that fluoride does not have connection to polyfluoroalkyl.

There are four individual PFAS family compounds that are specifically mentioned in the latest notice from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): PFOS, PFOA, GenX and PFBS:

  • PFOS – key ingredient in stain repellant, Scotchgard; used in surface coatings for carpet, furniture, and waterproof clothing.
  • PFOA – makes nonstick coatings for cookware; best known of these coatings, PTFE or Teflon™, is made from PFOA and may contain some traces of PFOA. It was also used in production of carpets, upholstery, clothing, floor wax, and sealants.
  • GenX – was developed as a replacement for PFOA once PFOA began being associated with negative health effects; however, GenX has now been linked to the same and health effects as PFOA, according to the EPA
  • PFBS – wetter in industrial processes and in water-resistant or stain-resistant coatings on textiles, carpets, and paper; 3M Company is reportedly its leading producer.

See how PFAS cycles through the environment.

What's New?

  • On June 15, 2022, the United States EPA made a health advisory (HAL) announcement with new numbers for PFAS. HALs are non-enforceable; rather, they provide technical information that guides the officials to develop monitoring plans, determine treatment solutions, and create policies. The EPA has not yet stopped polluters from discharging PFAS, but they plan to set an enforceable limit maximum contaminant level (MCL) by the end of 2023.
    • The HAL considers the effect of a lifetime of consumption.
  • Effective August 1, 2022, communities are required to conduct the initial sampling for PFOA and PFOSas follows:
    • Systems serving more than 50,000 people - sample beginning November 2022
    • Systems serving more than 10,000 to 49,999 - sample beginning February 2023
    • Systems serving less than 10,000 people - sample beginning May 2023
  • As of September 2, 2022, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) administrative rule process for two common forms of PFAS has ended, resulting in new standards for drinking water and surface water. This affects the PFOA and PFOS groups of PFAS
    • The new drinking water MCL for PFOA and PFOS is 70 parts per trillion (ppt). Previously, the 70ppt level was an advisory limit.

What action has the Village of McFarland taken?

On July 22, 2022, the McFarland water utility obtained samples from each well source within the village. This sampling was on a volunteer basis with the WDNR. Results were received on August 8, 2022. Two of the three wells had no detects found. The sample obtained from Well 1 had low level detects of some PFAS compounds. 

  • PFHxS was detected at 2.83 parts per trillion (ppt).
  • PFOS was detected at 1.04ppt
  • The levels detected are far below the 20ppt as recommended by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

The water received at locations within the village is not linked to any one well but rather could be a mix from all three sources.

We understand that it may be alarming to hear that PFAS have been found in our water supply. We are dedicated to providing you with safe drinking water. The utility will continue to monitor PFAS, report sample results and take action, if warranted. At this time due to the low levels, no formal action is proposed.

What can you do?

According to the EPA, PFAS contaminates the blood of 99% of Americans and pollutes most of the world and have been called unavoidable as they are "everywhere," specifically on former military bases and airports where PFAS firefighting foam has been used for years. Considering that, health experts advise:

  • Do not switch to plastic bottled water (Consumer Reports tested popular brands and found PFAS)
  • Stay away from waterproof/stain-resistant textiles and clothing that contain PFAS
  • Stop using PFAS-containing food-contact materials such as take-out containers
    • Avoid microwave popcorn which relies on PFAS to create nonstick surface inside the bag
  • Most nonstick cookware is made with PTFE, a type of PFAS, and should be avoided
  • If you use a water filter, make sure to replace it on-time to reduce contamination build up
  • Do not assume your home water filter removes PFAS; do additional research on the filter you have
  • Avoiding water-resistant products and products with PTFEor "fluoro-" in the ingredients can help limit exposure. 
    • Environmental Working Group (EWG) has created a database identifying which shampoos, dental floss, makeup, and other personal-care products do and do not contain PFAS. Learn more on the EWG Skin Deep website.

For more information on PFAS: