“ Dark Waters ,” a feature film centering on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), starring Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway and Tim Robbins, is scheduled to open in select theaters beginning November 22. The plot centers on a corporate defense attorney taking on a lawsuit against DuPont to fight PFAS and their effect on the environment. While the movie has not yet been released, it reportedly follows the narrative laid out in a January 2016 story in The New York Times Magazine . While water professionals have been discussing PFAS for many years, “Dark Waters” may be the first introduction to the issue for many consumers. Water utilities should therefore be prepared to answer consumer and media questions about PFAS arising from the movie. The AWWA Briefing on PFAS is a new, 16-page tool designed to help water utility professionals explain PFAS to general audiences in a simple way. It includes information about PFAS sources, removal and treatment options, health impacts, cost estimates and AWWA’s guiding principles regarding potential PFAS regulation. When speaking with non-technical audiences about PFAS, AWWA advises utilities to: Demonstrate empathy and care for your customers, acknowledging that the movie may raise questions. Explain that your utility is committed to the protection of public health. Emphasize your willingness to talk about PFAS and other water quality concerns with transparency. [Provide AWWA Briefing on PFAS if helpful]. Point out that the “Dark Waters” movie may help people better understand the importance of source water protection in keeping drinking water supplies safe. As a water utility, you welcome this conversation. Underscore that your utility provides superior water quality that surpasses the standards under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Report what you know about PFAS in your community, including any information from UCMR monitoring. Explain that potential human health impacts related to PFAS from all sources – water, food, firefighting foams, etc. -- are still being studied and more research is needed. If possible, coordinate with a trusted public health professional to provide supporting information on PFAS health impacts and research. Invite them to learn more about water quality from your utility’s consumer confidence report and other materials, emphasizing that the more people know about your water quality, the higher confidence they will have. Additional information is available on AWWA’s PFAS Resource page , including: The AWWA Briefing on PFAS PFAS Cycle Infographic Summary of State Regulation to Protect Drinking Water Treatment Overview and Prevalence Monitoring, Sampling, Analysis EPA Methods for PFAS in Drinking Water Information can also be found on AWWA's DrinkTap page on PFAS . Questions can be directed to Greg Kail , AWWA’s director of communications.