In 2016 Hoosick Falls, NY confirmed that their tap water contained up to 21,000 parts per trillion (ppt) of a carcinogenic industrial chemical called PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid, or C8). You’re not misreading this: the water tested at 21,000 ppt vs the EPA lifetime limit of 70 ppt1. Sadly, it’s not just Hoosick Falls- the CDC estimates that 99.7% of all Americans have PFOA in their blood2. The Environmental Working Group reports that nationwide testing has found that 6.5 million Americans in 27 states are drinking water contaminated with PFOA. EWG also provides an interactive map 3. PFOA is linked with developing ulcerative colitis; high cholesterol; pregnancy-induced hypertension; thyroid disease; testicular cancer; and kidney cancer.4.

In 2014 a local physician brought unusually high rates of cancer in the town to the attention of village and state officials. But it was not until 2016 that EPA created a limit for lifetime exposure to PFOA, and their town dump was declared a Superfund site. “I do believe our citizens were advised incorrectly to consume water that was unsafe for at least for 12 months,” Dr. Martinez said5.

PFOA is still unregulated by EPA; the lifetime limit number is only a guideline, and there are no rules on EPA’s books. Even where rules do exist, EPA states that there is a serious problem with water utilities under-reporting regulated contaminants6. Outside of having your own water tested, which can cost hundreds of dollars, it is difficult to know what your tap water may contain. Additionally, testing is only point in time- tap water can and does change. Lastly, if you do find contaminants in your water, you are on the hook for fixing the problem, and Federally required to disclose what you found to homebuyers when you sell, potentially lowering your home value. The simplest path is to purify your water with a high-quality filter with detailed test results. Pure Berkey is an excellent choice, and costs less than lab testing your water.

Tap Water is complicated- but pure water is simple with Pure Berkey. Visit to learn more about how Pure Berkey protects your household from contaminants simply and cost-effectively.