Village of Mayville Water Alert

12/24/20 Update:  The Do Not Drink Advisory for the Village of Mayville’s Public Water Supply is discontinued effective December 24, 2020. Your water is now acceptable for drinking, food preparation and all household uses.  Read more


State and County Health Departments Issued a “DO NOT DRINK” Water Advisory for Village of Mayville Water Customers on December 10, 2020.

Until further notice, the New York State Department of Health, working with the Chautauqua County Health Department, recommends that Village of Mayville water customers do NOT use the water for drinking, cooking, food preparation, tooth brushing, or for animal consumption. The water continues to be acceptable for household uses such as showering, bathing, cleaning and washing dishes. Boiling your water will NOT remove these chemicals.

12/16/20 Video Update from Christine Schuyler, Chautauqua County Public Health Director: 

Read Press Release issued 12/16/20

Read Press Release issued 12/10/20 

View 12/11/20 Virtual Town Hall Meeting 


Frequently Asked Questions:  Village of Mayville
“Do Not Drink” Water Advisory

This information is intended to help answer frequently asked questions individuals may have about the current drinking water advisory and emerging contaminants PFOA, PFOS, and related compounds. Additional Q&A will be added as received. For information about drinking water and health effects contact NYS DOH Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment at 518-402-7800. E-mail inquiries can be directed to waterreports@co.chautauqua.ny.us.

What should I NOT do under this “do not drink” advisory?  Do not use the water for drinking, cooking, food preparation, tooth brushing, or for animal consumption. The water should not be swallowed.

What can I do under this “do not drink” advisory? Do use the water for general household purposes such as showering, bathing, washing dishes, and cleaning.

If I boil the water, will it be safe to drink?  NO. Boiling will not remove the chemical that was detected in the water.

What was detected in the drinking water supply? A chemical belonging to the per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) group called perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) was detected at levels between 75-330 parts per trillion.

What are PFAS? Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, PFNA and many other chemicals. PFAS have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940s. PFAS are found in a wide range of products that people use daily such as cookware, pizza boxes and stain repellants.

Why are PFAS important?  Certain PFAS can accumulate and stay in the human body for long periods of time. The PFAS chemicals PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (Perfluorooctane sulfonate) have been the most extensively produced and studied of these chemicals. Scientists know that both of these chemicals can stay in the environment and in the human body because they don’t break down and can accumulate over time. There is evidence that exposure to these chemicals can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans. Studies indicate that PFOA and PFOS can cause reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney, and immunological effects in laboratory animals. Both chemicals have caused tumors in animals. The most consistent findings are increased cholesterol levels among exposed populations, with more limited findings related to low infant birth weights, effects on the immune system, cancer (for PFOA), and thyroid hormone disruption (for PFOS). PFOA and PFOS have been voluntarily phased out by industry, though they are still persistent in the environment. There are still many other PFAS chemicals in use throughout the US.

What is PFNA? Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) is one of many chemicals in the PFAS group. There is limited information about the health effects of PFNA in humans. PFNA has caused health effects when studied in animals that were exposed to high levels of the chemical. The most consistent findings in animals were effects on the liver and immune system, thyroid and delayed growth and development. There is inadequate information on whether PFNA causes cancer in animals or humans.

What are the regulated levels for PFAS? What levels were detected in Mayville’s drinking water?

  • In 2020, NYS began regulating PFOA and PFOS in public water supplies and established standards for the maximum amount allowable in drinking water. NYSDOH, USEPA and other states are beginning to take a closer look at the other PFAS chemicals to determine if they should also be regulated in drinking water.
  • Maximum contaminant levels (MCL’s) for PFOA and PFOS were set at 10 nanograms of the chemical per liter of water (ng/L) which equals 10 parts per trillion (ppt). These are the first chemicals in the US that have maximum levels set so low they are measured in ppt.  Most drinking water contaminants are measured in much higher quantities of parts per million or parts per billion.
  • PFNA is not currently regulated at the state or federal level and does not have a maximum contaminant level.
  • PFNA was detected in Mayville’s water wells at levels between 75 and 330 ppt. PFOA was also detected but at levels below 10 ppt, which is the maximum allowed. PFOS has not been detected in any of Mayville’s wells.

If PFNA isn’t regulated, then why do we have to stop drinking the water?  Because PFNA is in the chemical group PFAS and scientists know that the chemicals most studied in that group have adverse health impacts, state and local health officials are being very cautious about PFNA. Research is limited on the effects of this chemical and as such, proactive and aggressive actions are being taken to protect the health of those who use the Village of Mayville’s public water supply.

What caused this contamination? The NYSDEC and NYSDOH are investigating to determine the source of the pollution and how it can be cleaned up. However, in most cases it takes many years for groundwater to become polluted, and therefore, it takes many years for it to clean itself up after the source of pollution is found and removed.

How will this be fixed and how long will it take?

The Village of Mayville, Chautauqua County Department of Health (CCDOH), New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and Barton & Loguidice, are committed to solving this problem. Village engineers are working with County and State officials and engineers to identify the best options to provide the village with safe drinking water. This includes connecting a new fourth well into the system located in a different area that does not contain any PFAS. Work to bring this new well into service has been expedited. Another option may include installing treatment on the contaminated wells to remove PFAS.

Where can I get safe drinking water during this time?

The Village is securing bottled and canned water for customers to use for drinking and cooking.  This water will be available for pick-up at the Town of Chautauqua DPW Garage at 50 Patterson Street in Mayville and other locations as announced. To find out days and times for picking up water, contact the Town of Chautauqua at 716-753-7342.

What do I need to know about picking up water?

  • Any persons in Isolation or Quarantine for COVID-19 should NOT leave their homes to pick up water. If there is no one available to bring water to you, please call the Health Department at 716-753-4491. 
  • All COVID-19 precautions will be taken at distribution including masking and social distancing. 
  • Residents must stay in their vehicles. 
  • Water will be limited to one (1) case per household per day.
  • Those unable to pick-up water should call the Village of Mayville at 716-753-2013 to make alternate arrangements. 

Updated December 12, 2020


More FAQs from NYSDOH