USGS Releases First-of-its-Kind Survey of PFAS in Pennsylvania Surface Waters

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USGS Pennsylvania Water Science Center in cooperation with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) released a first-of-its-kind Per- and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) dataset.

The USGS PAWSC collaborated with the PADEP and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission to collect 216 samples in a single month in September 2019. A USGS data release has recently been published that includes PFAS & associated quality-control (QC) data from integrated, discrete surface-water samples from 178 PADEP Surface Water Quality Network (WQN) sites and 36 QC samples.

PFAS and site location data include:

  1. Discrete sample concentrations from raw untreated surface water from WQN sites.
  2. QC results to evaluate effectiveness of sampling procedures & ensure data quality.
  3. Passive sampler (time weighted average) PFAS concentration data intended to describe a monthly average of PFAS concentrations at a single site; &
  4. Station identification numbers, latitude & longitude locations, & watershed characteristics


Total PFAS Concentrations in PADEP Surface Water Quality Network, 2019

PA, map, green dots, PFAS

Distribution of total PFAS concentrations across PADEP WQN. Total PFAS concentrations in individual samples ranged from non-detect (depicted as zero on this scale) to 113 nanograms per liter (ng/L). Total PFAS values are summed concentrations of each of 33 tested PFAS, plus 19 oxidizable PFAS precursors. (Joe Duris, USGS. Public domain.)

In September 2019, USGS led a workshop to ensure standard equipment cleaning and sampling procedures


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    Date published: March 12, 2021

    Per-and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) and associated ancillary data from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, USA, 2019

    The USGS Pennsylvania Water Science Center (USGS PAWSC) in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) has assembled this data release in support of ongoing USGS and PADEP evaluations related to the occurrence and distribution of Per-and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) within Pennsylvania surface water.