June 6th, 2024

PFAS: A Challenge for Water Companies

PFAS (poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances) are a growing concern for water companies worldwide. Known for their water- and grease-repellent properties, these substances are used in a wide range of products, from cookware to water-repellent clothing. But their persistence in the environment and potential health risks make them a challenge for water quality. 

The UK organisation CHEM Trust has published an article entitled “The PFAS Challenge for Water Companies”, which describes the complexity faced by water companies in managing PFAS contamination. These substances hardly break down in the environment and can accumulate in water sources, complicating the purification of drinking water.

RIWA-Rijn is committed to protecting the Rhine as a source of drinking water and is aware of the risks posed by PFAS. Through accurate monitoring and analysis of water quality data, we continue to keep a close eye on the situation in the Rhine. Our efforts focus on identifying PFAS hotspots and evaluating the effectiveness of treatment measures.

Controlling PFAS pollution requires a combined effort from policymakers, industry and water companies. It is essential to tighten regulations and hold polluters accountable for clean-up. At the same time, water companies should be supported with the necessary technology and resources to effectively remove these substances from drinking water.

Read CHEM Trust’s full article for an in-depth analysis of the challenges posed by PFAS for water companies: The PFAS Challenge for Water Companies.

The interview with Harrie Timmer, senior policy advisor of VEWIN, the association of all drinking water companies in the Netherlands, provides valuable insights and recommendations that are also relevant to our efforts at RIWA-Rijn to safeguard water quality.

CHEM Trust is a UK non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting people and the environment from harmful chemicals. The organisation works to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals through research, policy advocacy and public education. CHEM Trust seeks stricter regulation and better control of the use of hazardous substances in products and industrial processes.