Perfluorooctane Sulphonate (PFOS)

As reported in the media during February 2022, a chemical called PFOS was found in the Duxford aquifer.  This aquifer is a source of drinking water utilised by Cambridge Water who have removed this source from their mains water supply.  Further information on Cambridge Water’s response is available online.

PFOS belongs to a large, diverse group of man-made substances known collectively as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). Substances in this group are known for their water, grease and stain repellent properties and have been historically used in a variety of applications. They are not known to break down in the environment and research continues to be undertaken on this pollutant.

Whilst South Cambridgeshire District Council does not have any remit in sampling mains water, the Council considered it prudent to monitor private water supplies in the vicinity of the aquifer to determine whether or not supplies were affected.  Water sampling undertaken at 17 supplies demonstrated that the water remains ‘wholesome’  but will continue to be monitored.  The Council is also liaising with local businesses and commerce on this matter.

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