© 2022 Maine Public
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Elevated PFAS found in Fryeburg well water

Coastal Review Online
Maine Water Company takes a Fryeburg well offline after elevated levels of PFAS were found in the well water.

Maine Water Company removed a well from operation in Fryeburg in May because PFAS chemicals were discovered at a concentration higher than Maine's 20 parts per trillion standard. Water customers received a letter this week informing them that PFAS levels were at 32.85 parts per trillion in recent tests. Fryeburg resident Donna Woodward contacted the water company and the state right away for more information when she got the notice.

"I always thought we were blessed and privileged because we had crystal clear water and to find that we are now being threatened by the environment and the lack of caring for the environment," Woodward said. "We've got to start paying attention, because this is horrible when you realize it's here."

Maine Water Company's website indicates the tests were done on May 12 and June 14. Prior testing in the Fryeburg water system was done in 2017 by Maine’s Drinking Water Program and did not detect PFAS, but that was prior to the state setting the 20 parts per trillion standard in 2021. PFAS, known as forever chemicals, have been linked to health problems. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention anticipates the federal Environmental Protection Agency will propose a maximum contaminant level for PFAS this fall, with a final rule expected in 2023.