PFAS (per-and-polyfluoroalkyl-substances) water contamination, primarily generated at military bases and industrial sites, is pervasive in our water supplies and can be difficult to remove. Envirogen has successfully developed a highly efficient and cost-effective means to remove PFAS compounds from water. We can provide comprehensive engineering, system build, operations, ongoing sampling to assure compliance and service for our equipment.
The PFAS Dilemma
PFASs are a group of organic compounds, used for industrial and consumer applications such as nonstick coatings and firefighting foams. Specifically compounds such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, formerly used to make DuPont’s Teflon), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS, formerly an ingredient in 3M’s Scotchgard), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), and perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS) have potential health implications for humans and wildlife. These compounds have been detected in 162 U.S. drinking water systems in recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testing and they are persistent in the environment and highly soluble in water. Recent testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found some level of PFC’s present in the bloodstream of nearly all Americans (about 98%).
Current Regulatory Environment
As public pressure mounts to reduce the health effects of these compounds, the EPA has established a health advisory level at 70 parts per trillion, and water treatment experts are devising solutions. However, to date (early 2021) the US EPA has not established regulatory limits for PFAS chemicals. Instead, several states are considering or have announced their own regulations or guidelines for PFAS in groundwater and drinking water (Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Vermont) with the goal to reduce the amount of these compounds in the environment.
Those with specific Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) include:
- New York established MCLs for Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) (10 parts per trillion (ppt))
- New Jersey adopted MCLs for PFNA (13 ppt), PFOA (14 ppt), and PFOS (13 ppt)
- Michigan adopted MCLs for PFNA (6 ppt), PFOA (8 ppt), PFHxA (400,000 ppt), PFOS (16 ppt), PFHxS (51 ppt), PFBS (420 ppt), and HFPO-DA (370 ppt) in groundwater
- New Hampshire adopted MCLs for PFOA (12 ppt), PFOS (15 ppt), PFHxS (18 ppt), and PFNA (11ppt)
- Vermont adopted an MCL for the sum of PFHxS, PFHpA, PFNA, PFOS, and PFOA of 20 ppt
Envirogen Solution for PFAS Water Treatment
Envirogen has successfully validated a method for reducing PFASs in contaminated water streams to meet or exceed the EPA guidelines and the customer’s effluent targets. With over 25 years’ experience in solving the most complex water treatment problems, our engineering team assesses the site requirements, evaluates the variety of constituents in the water, selects the optimum treatment technology, and designs a robust system for our customers. We conduct a comprehensive validation program to evaluate a number of alternative treatment methods and rank them on overall efficacy of PFAS water treatment, as well as on long term cost to provide the lowest life cycle cost for the project. In addition, based on our experiences we have developed proper sampling techniques and a reliable sampling protocol that assures data accuracy and thereby the continued efficiency of the system. When choosing a supplier for an emerging issue like PFAS, it is critical to work with a team that has a proven background in selecting and applying best solutions for the site-specific problem, and who has the data to support the efficacy of their system. Not all PFAS water treatment systems behave the same and ongoing costs can be excessive if the wrong selection is made for PFAS removal. Envirogen provides the assurance of a robust, effective and cost-effective solution, with ongoing compliance.
Unlike some firms, Envirogen does not simply install a system and leave. Envirogen’s team works with consulting firms and directly with facility engineering teams to engineer best solutions, by adapting technology to meet the needs of a specific treatment application. We can provide design, build, permitting, system start-up, and on-site operations as required, monitor compliance with effluent targets, and deliver guaranteed performance and guaranteed costs over the life of an installation.