PFAS Technology Study Promises to Benefit Water Utilities at Military Base and Beyond

As PFAS becomes a growing concern, Freese and Nichols is working with Columbus Water Works (CWW) on a multi-phase approach to treat PFAS in the drinking water at Fort Moore, Georgia. CWW provides water and wastewater operations to the nearby Fort Moore (formerly Fort Benning), a major training facility for the U.S. Army that supports over 70,000 active military and civilians.

Currently in the project’s first phase, Freese and Nichols is reviewing available PFAS treatment technologies used in drinking water systems and developing a strategy for implementing a treatment pilot study. We will compile the findings from the review into a technical report, and recommend suitable technologies for a full-scale study to take place at the Fort Moore water treatment plant.

Beyond improving the drinking water at Fort Moore, this project also presents a promising opportunity to conduct large-scale research on emerging technologies. The study is evaluating six technology types, nine process streams, and samples from 18 different sampling locations. Once we have a full technical report of the pilot’s results, we will be able to guide more water utilities with detailed data to address their unique situations.

Currently under evaluation for the pilot study are three proven technologies:

  • Granular Activated Carbon
  • Ion Exchange
  • Reverse Osmosis

In addition, our team is evaluating emerging technologies, such as Ceramic Flat Sheet Membrane technology with Powder Activated Carbon as an Active Cake Layer, and novel media in lieu of standard media adsorbents, as well as combinations of proven technologies in different sequences.

What is PFAS?

PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are chemicals used in the production of a wide range of everyday products but are now being identified as environmental contaminants in soil, groundwater, surface water and drinking water. Health concerns are being raised as there is likelihood of bioaccumulation upon exposure, and PFAS have been shown to have potential negative health effects.

Our team’s expertise in environmental science and water treatment can assist clients with PFAS regulatory compliance, testing, remediation, planning/funding and program management. If you have a client who would like to learn more, contact David Jackson or Viraj deSilva.