Emerging Contaminant Solutions
Services offered include:
Surface and ground water testing
Contaminant transport modeling
Alternatives cost analysis
Water treatment evaluations
Source Water Protection Planning
Alternative water supply options
Point of entry treatment systems
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a class of man-made chemicals developed in the 1940s, and used in a wide range of familiar products such as water repellent fabrics, non-stick cookware (e.g., frying pans), food packaging, and fire- fighting foam. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), both PFAS, have quickly gained notoriety due to their detection above the USEPA Health Advisory Level in public and private drinking water supplies across the country. Despite PFOS and PFOA having been phased out in recent years, the chemicals continue to persist in the environment. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), health studies have shown certain PFAS may increase cancer risks, affect the immune system, increase cholesterol levels, interfere with hormone levels, and affect pregnancy.
What we know about these compounds:
Persistence - PFAS are resistant to natural chemical and bio transformation in the environment;
Migration - PFAS solubility in water can result in significant migration from source areas;
Bioaccumulation - PFAS bioaccumulation in fish have resulted in numerous incidents of fish consumption advisories in various states;
Science & Regulations - No clear consensus has been established with regards to safe levels for this class of chemicals. State requirements are being promulgated at differing concentrations significantly lower than USEPA’s health advisories;
Remediation - Remedial designs must consider the different characteristic of short and long chain PFAS; and
Risk Communication - many PFAS (e.g., PFBA and PFHxS) are not analyzed or reported by drinking water suppliers since standards do not exist which create incomplete understandings of environmental and human health impacts.
Advanced GeoServices can help.
We have extensive experience evaluating and remediating contaminated sites, working with clients around the country to characterize risk and evaluate options. We are skilled at working with regulators to find win-win solutions, and educating stakeholders in high profile situations.
PFAS regulations, testing methodology, and treatment options continue to evolve as the scientific and regulatory communities better understand PFAS. We can provide immediate assessment and solutions in urgent situations, and risk management for clients with lead time to plan ahead.
Advanced GeoServices is serving as the community technical advisor for the installation of a large scale public drinking water treatment system and source investigation. Multiple sources of PFAS releases due to the use of firefighting foam at civilian and military facilities within the watershed have resulted in significant impacts.
Project components include:
- Assess the extent of surface and groundwater contamination;
- Evaluate the ability of the new GAC treatment system to treat these compounds and provide recommendations on the long-term operations and maintenance for the system;
- Provide recommendations for additional design and implementation of interim remedial solutions for source area(s);
- Investigate potential PFOS/PFOA sources;
- Evaluate extended lists of PFAS and precursors and the effects that environmental conditions may have on these compounds;
- Evaluate impact to soil and sediment on groundwater and surface water; and
- Assist with watershed evaluations and source water infrastructure modifications.
Advanced GeoServices designed and permitted a granular activated carbon (GAC) system to address detected PFOA/PFOS for a small potable water supply system serving a rehabilitation facility in central New Jersey, as a short-term solution. The facility is located within a mile of an active military installation. The GAC system consists of two banks with 6-GAC units in each bank. Prior to GAC system installation, the PFOA/PFOS were detected at 88 parts per trillion (ppt). The PFOA/PFOS effluent has been measured as non-detect since system installation. Advanced GeoServices continues to work with this client to evaluate long-term, cost-effective solutions in response to the changing regulatory requirements for addressing PFOA/PFOS.
Advanced GeoServices’ sister company, PARS Environmental, has been contracted to perform an assessment for potential PFAS groundwater contamination at an airport in New Jersey. The investigation will include testing existing monitoring wells and direct-push sampling. A detailed Sampling Plan has been developed to achieve the data quality objectives (DQOs) and minimize the potential for false positives due to cross-contamination.
Advanced GeoServices conducted bench scale testing of alternative treatment methods for a municipal public supply with PFAS-impacted groundwater migrating from a military facility in Pennsylvania. Advanced GeoServices spearheaded this work, assembling a partnership of public and private entities to test a promising technology at a high profile site. Lessons learned from this study have been used to screen treatment options for this site and others.