Protecting the Danish groundwater by investigating PFAS contamination
The Danish drinking water supply is based entirely on groundwater. It is the government’s official position that drinking water should be based on pure, untreated groundwater, which only needs aeration. For that reason, the Danish authorities make significant efforts to protect the groundwater from contamination.
The PFAS compounds PFOS and PFOA are classified as ‘carcinogenic’, ‘toxic for reproduction’, and ‘acutely toxic’ (Source: European Chemical Agency). The Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) therefore decided to fund a project that involved mapping the extent of PFAS contamination and identification of potential point sources in Danish groundwater. The Danish EPA granted funding through its Technology Programme for Soil and Groundwater Contamination. The Region of Southern Denmark was in charge of the project, and hired Orbicon to carry out the investigations.
This was the first time the national authorities in Denmark commissioned an investigation of the levels of PFAS in groundwater. The project aim was to identify potential point sources of groundwater PFAS pollution and to perform investigations at relevant sites. Another objective was to identify specific industrial activities that can be linked to higher potential point sources of PFAS contamination of soil and groundwater.
The project was an initiative under the Danish EPA’s risk management strategy for PFOS and PFOA and it examined PFOS, PFOA and seven other PFASs (6 long chained and 1 short chained).