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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued new, more rigorous drinking water health advisories for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Two of these levels are drastically more stringent than previous levels and likely mean hundreds, if not thousands, of drinking water systems nationwide will be affected. The agency also announced up to $5 billion in grant funding to help communities prepare and deal with these contaminants. Here is what water sector utilities need to know.

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Todd Williams from Jacobs Engineering at provided this presentation on PFAS in biosolids via WEFTEC Online in 2021.

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A panel of wastewater and public health experts has determined that occupational risk of COVID-19 infection for wastewater workers is low. The panel also found that standard wastewater treatment processes inactivate the virus and additional research should be conducted to further increase understanding of hazards and protections for personnel.

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To provide further clarification on the virus that causes COVID-19 infections and concerns about how it relates to residuals, sludge, and biosolids for water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) as well as the wastewater sector at large, this article includes a review of available data related to the virus and surrogates as well as their potential associations with residuals, sludge, and biosolids.

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WEF has made access free to “Biological Hazards at Wastewater Treatment Facilities,” via Access Water. This book chapter is written by water professionals for water professionals to help protect them against workplace exposure to pathogens, including viruses.

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A study published by the Lancet reported that as of Jan. 2, 2020 the most common symptoms at onset of illness were fever [98%], cough [76%], and myalgia, or fatigue [44%]. Less common symptoms were sputum production [28%], headache [8%], haemoptysis (coughing up blood) [5%], and diarrhea [3%].

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Within the coronavirus family, 2019-nCoV appears to be more easily transmitted but less severe than SARS or MERS.

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