Drinking Water: Per- and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 15 November 2023.

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Photo of Rupa Huq Rupa Huq Labour, Ealing Central and Acton

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to prevent the presence of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances in drinking water.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Water companies (for public drinking water supplies) and local authorities (for private drinking water supplies) have statutory duties to carry out assessments, identifying risks to the quality of the water. They must sample the drinking water supply for any element, organism or substance which could pose a danger to human health. This includes the detection of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The Drinking Water Inspectorate has provided guidance on PFAS since 2007, which was updated in 2021. Work continues across government to assess levels of PFAS occurring in the environment, their sources and potential risks, to inform future policy and regulatory approaches to safeguard current high drinking water quality.

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