PFAS from industrial companies has been leaching into the groundwater in communities across the nation for decades. Plainfield Township’s Water Treatment Plant (WTP) draws water from sixteen wells in three wellfields, and homes on the municipal water system were getting low levels of PFAS in their drinking water. While Plainfield’s WTP output was well below the EPA advisory level after shutting down one wellfield, the Township wanted PFAS levels as low as possible.
Prein&Newhof helped the Township perform a pilot study to determine if modifying existing rapid sand filter beds in the water treatment plant with GAC would reduce the amount of PFAS in the water supply. The grant covered the cost for modifying five existing filters and for extensive testing of raw and treated water for PFAS and other contaminants. The pilot program and construction, unique in that it was being done on a fully operational water system, included three phases to test different configurations to find the optimal design for removing PFAS. The first year of testing demonstrated that the modified filters successfully met all current water treatment requirements while also removing PFAS.
This pilot study is foundational for future municipal treatment of compounds like PFAS, which will continue to be at the forefront of public awareness, and has already been beneficial to other municipalities facing similar drinking water challenges.