Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are widespread contaminants emanating from, among other sources, the production/degradation of fluorinated chemicals used in surface repellant applications, such as carpet manufacturing. The goal of the present study was to assess the concentrations of PFAAs, including perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA), perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUA), and perfluorooctane sulfonamide (PFOSA), in surface waters both near a wastewater land application system (LAS) in Dalton (GA, USA), home to North America's largest carpet manufacturing site, and distant to this location (Altamaha River, GA, USA) to understand the fate of PFAAs in freshwater. Levels of PFAAs were high in the Conasauga River (GA, USA) downstream of the LAS (PFOA, 253-1,150 ng/L; PFOS, 192-318 ng/L; PFNA, 202-369 ng/L; PFDA, 30.1-113 ng/L; PFUA, 58.0-99.2 ng/L; PFOSA, 162-283 ng/L) and in streams and ponds in Dalton (PFOA, 49.9-299 ng/L; PFOS, 15.8-120 ng/L), and were among the highest measured at a nonspill or directrelease location. Perfluoroalkyl acids in the Altamaha River were much lower (PFOA, 3.0-3.1 ng/L; PFOS, 2.6-2.7 ng/L), but were a source of PFAAs to Georgia's estuaries. A preliminary hazard assessment indicated that concentrations of PFOS at two sites in the Conasauga River exceeded the threshold effect predicted for birds consuming aquatic organisms that are exposed continuously to the PFOS levels at these sites. Assuming that toxicity for all PFAAs quantified is equal to that of PFOS, the sum total PFAAs at two sites within the Conasauga River exceeded PFOS thresholds for aquatic and avian species, warranting additional research. ?? 2008 SETAC Printed in the USA.