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PFAS have been detected in the Orange County Groundwater Basin managed by the Orange County Water District (OCWD), which provides 85% of the water supply to 2.5 million people. OCWD and its local water suppliers continue making significant headway on new PFAS treatment facilities with the goal of getting all wells back online by 2024 at a capital cost of $300 million.



of water treated

to date

*as of 8/31/2023


There are 61 impacted wells in Orange County. 9 treatment facilities in design, 22 under construction and 30 now operational. =================================================================================================================

Important Happenings

Discussing Local Impacts of EPA Proposed Federal Standards for PFAS

Spectrum News recently interviewed Orange County Water District's executive director of water quality and technical resources, Jason Dadakis, and UC Irvine professor of environmental and occupational health, Scott Bartell, to discusses the EPA’s proposal for setting federal standards and what is being done locally to address PFAS contamination.

View the segment here:

Key Senate Committee Hearing Focuses on CERCLA Liability Exemption

On September 7, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing entitled, Implementing IIJA: Perspectives on Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, Part II, to hear from nonfederal stakeholders on the status of implementation of the law’s water sector investments, and how the government can improve implementation and continue to support federal water infrastructure programs. However, the hearing’s discussion focused on the threat PFAS poses to the affordability of water treatment and management of biosolids barring CERCLA liability exemption. 

Committee staff will continue to work on the Draft PFAS Proposal legislative package. 

OC Water Provider Highlight: City of Santa Ana

As part of the OCWD PFAS Program, OCWD is working with the City of Santa Ana to build treatment facilities for 5 of the City's wells which have been impacted by PFAS. Currently one well, located at Mabury Park and pictured on the right, is operational; one well is about to begin construction and three wells are in the design phase and are expected to be online in the next 15-18 months.

The City of Santa Ana has a total of 20 water production wells. In addition to the five current wells, eight additional wells within the City could be impacted by the U.S. EPA’s proposed regulations. OCWD continues to work closely with the City to identify future treatment needs. 


Make Your Voice Heard!

Orange County Water District has created a platform – through its PFAS Education Center - to help you take action in reaching out to the Orange County federal legislators about the importance of upholding the polluter pays principle and protecting ratepayers from the costs of treating PFAS in our water supplies. You can quickly and easily fill out this form to make your voice heard.


EPA Target For Finalizing PFAS Superfund Designation Slips By 6 Months

EPA has extended to February 2024 its internal deadline for finalizing a controversial rule to designate the two most-studied PFAS as “hazardous substances” under the Superfund law, a delay of six months from the agency’s previous target, according to the just-released Unified Agenda of regulatory actions.

The agency’s target for proposing the addition of PFAS to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), as required by the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), has also slipped by seven months, while the target to finalize the additional PFAS has slipped by nine months.

The timelines for other PFAS-related rules, however, either remain the same as the last Unified Agenda, or reflect the reality of the rulemaking process, such as now setting a September target to propose a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reporting rule that is currently undergoing White House interagency review.

Second Draft of California Public Health Goals for PFOA and PFOS in Drinking Water Were Released in July

The Office of Environmental Health and Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) recently released the Second Public Review Draft for the “Proposed Public Health Goals for Perfluorooctanoic Acid and Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid in Drinking Water,” proposing a Public Health Goal (PHG) of 0.007 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and 1.0 ppt for PFOS. PHGs are not regulatory standards and do not consider the feasibility of detection or treatment. The state Division of Drinking Water will use the final PHGs as the starting points for developing future enforceable standards for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.

The deadline for public comment was August 28. OEHHA will evaluate all the comments received and revise the document as appropriate. The final document will be posted on the OEHHA website along with responses to the external peer review comments and to major comments received during the two public comment periods.


PFAS are not exclusive to Orange County or even California. States across the country are in the midst of tackling PFAS in consumer products, groundwater supplies and other forms of contact. Here's what's happening around the country:



ACWA PFAS Fact Sheet
UCI PFAS Health Study
OCWD PFAS Fact Sheet
 EPA PFAS Fact Sheet 
 AWWA PFAS Briefing 
  National Academies  

The Orange County Water District (OCWD; the District) supplies clean, reliable drinking water to 2.5 million customers every day. OCWD and the local water suppliers in its service area are committed to operating in compliance with all state and federal guidelines and regulatory requirements. 


For more information about PFAS, please visit OCWD's PFAS Education Center.