The synthetic PFAS chemicals, PFOA and PFOS, pose a significant threat to drinking water supplies in the U.S. Their characteristics make them resistant to natural breakdown over time. Moreover, their high-water solubility contributes to significant mobility in soil and an affinity for leaching into groundwater. Therefore, these chemicals pose a heightened threat to municipalities drawing water from aquifers beneath current or former military bases or airports.

Tank or reservoir for biological purification and cleaning of dirty sewage water by active sludge. Modern technologies in wastewater treatment plant, toned

The Forever Chemicals

When PFOS and PFOA, known as “forever chemicals,” contaminate a groundwater source, water treatment becomes the primary method to address potential public health threats. Unfortunately, these contaminants resist most conventional chemical and microbial treatment technologies. Demonstrated effective technologies include granular activated carbon sorption and ion exchange resins. Without filtration, these chemicals remain in the environment and continue to contaminate drinking water.

Primary PFAS Treatment Methods

The EPA provides guidance concerning the removal of PFAS from public drinking water. The primary treatment method for groundwater contaminated with PFOA and PFOS involves extraction and filtration through granular activated carbon. However, due to the moderate absorbability of PFOA and PFOS, the design specifics become crucial for achieving acceptable treatment. Other potential adsorbents include:

Evaluation of these sorbents should consider regeneration, as the associated cost and effort may be substantial. Ex situ treatments, such as nanofiltration and reverse osmosis units, have demonstrated effectiveness in removing PFASs from water. Moreover, public water service providers must destroy PFAS through incineration of the concentrated waste to avoid further contamination of groundwater.

Costs of PFAS Water Treatment

The costs resulting from decades of negligent PFAS chemical use are enormous, impacting public health, the environment, and state and federal finances. Federal, state, and local governments have only recently begun identifying the scope and severity of PFOA/PFOS contamination. These governmental entities must allocate budgets for environmental investigations, assessments, inspections, monitoring, cleanup, remediation, waste disposal, water filtration, alternative drinking water supplies, health monitoring, biomonitoring, fish sampling, and wastewater and landfill leachate treatment. Public water service providers can expect to pay tens of millions of dollars to construct and maintain water filtration in response to PFAS contamination. In response to the changing regulatory requirements and the substantial costs posed by treatment of PFAS contaminated water, public water providers have filed lawsuits against 3M and Dupont resulting in settlements totaling more than $12.5 billion.

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After reviewing your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages, we can help you understand what your case is worth and plan a road map going forward.
After reviewing your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages, we can help you understand what your case is worth and plan a road map going forward.

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