PFAS chemicals, per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances, are known as “forever chemicals.  They do not break down easily in the environment and can be found in air, water and soil. They have been used in various industries since the 1940s, many of which are still in production today.   PFAS can be found in non-stick cookware, waterproof clothing and shoes, stains, water repellants, paints, cleaning products, personal care products, food packaging, firefighting foam, and numerous other products. In the body, PFAS concentrates in various organs, tissues and cells.   High concentrations of PFAS chemicals have been linked to potential health effects. 

The City has been following the increasing awareness of PFAS and the potential threats it may have in drinking water.  Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services (DHS) has proposed limits of detection for various types of PFAS.  These limits are currently under review at the Department of Natural Resources.

The City of Fitchburg tested for 28 PFAS compounds at each municipal well in the summer of 2021. The intent of this testing was to verify that the system wells do not exceed the limits proposed by DHS, and if they do, to be prepared to meet compliance regulations when the limits are established. The City of Fitchburg is pleased to report that none of these PFAS compounds were detected in any of the City's North System wells (Wells 4, 5, 10, and 11). Low-level concentrations of four PFAS compounds were detected in the City's South System wells (Wells 7 and 8). These detected concentrations are well below the enforcement and preventative limits proposed by DHS. View Results here.

If you are serviced by the Madison Water Utility (Rimrock Road and Danville Systems) and have concerns about PFAS concentrations in the Madison wells, please visit Madison Water Utility’s website for more information.

If you have any questions in regards to PFAS, please contact Tracy Foss, Senior Utility Engineer, at