Wausau, Wisconsin, to Provide Bottled Water & Filters to Residents

March 10, 2022

An investigation and a pilot study to assess PFAS removal options from the water supply will occur

The Wausau, Wisconsin, city council approved funding of up to $150,000 to provide bottled water and in-home filter devices to combat per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination.

This is a solution proposed to assist the quality of the city’s drinking water, reported Wausau Pilot & Review.

According to Wausau Pilot & Review, the council allocated the sum from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Fund. Staff will decide the product mix of bottled water and individual filtration solutions. Recent testing of all municipal drinking water supply wells for PFAS showed the chemicals at levels ranging from 23 to 48 parts per trillion (ppt) and all Wausau wells were above the recommended level of 20 ppt for PFAS.

The council amended an amount approved previously by its Finance Committee, $13,200, to provide bottled water through The Neighbors’ Place to the residents most vulnerable to the drinking water contamination. 

The amendment increased the amount and added water filter devices, according to District 7 Alderwoman and Finance Committee Chair Lisa Rasmussen, reported Wausau Pilot & Review.

City council and Wausau Water Works Commission members want to address concerns and make safe drinking water available to the residents immediately. City officials recently published a formal drinking water advisory asking residents to limit their consumption of Wausau’s drinking water.

The council approved $240,375 in ARPA Funds for PFAS remediation. Additionally, an investigation and a pilot study to assess PFAS removal options from the water supply will occur, all before the city’s new $120 million water treatment facility is operational.

The new treatment facility is not designed to remove PFAS from treated water, according to state officials, reported Wausau Pilot & Review. The pilot study will still assess how chemicals can be removed from the water supply, however.

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Cristina Tuser

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