Aqueous Vets recognised for its installation of largest PFAS treatment facility in the US

The US solutions provider of water and wastewater treatment, Aqueous Vets (AV) has been recognised by the American Society of Civil Engineers Los Angeles (ASCE LA) for its role in the country’s largest single-site ion exchange (IX) per- and poly-fluoroalkyl (PFAS) treatment facility on 11 Jan 2023.  

In partnership with engineering groups, AV worked with Orange County Water District (OCWD) and Yorba Linda Water District (YLWD) to install 11 pairs of PF12-520 lowpro IX resin systems. These systems brought all nine of the site’s impacted wells back into service, increasing YLWD’s groundwater usage. The plant treats up to 25 million gallons of water per day, operating since December 2021.

From left: Kirk Harns, Pac Hydro; Mark Troy, OCWD; Danielle Logsdon, YLWD; Rosanne Weston, YLWD; Jeff Braun, ASCE LA section president; Steve Tedesco, Tetra Tech; Andy Sterling, AV  

“PFAS concerns are mounting with a growing body of evidence on the dangers of PFAS exposure,” said Rob Craw, AV president and CEO. “Luckily, a growing number of utilities like YLWD and OCWD are responding proactively to safeguard water quality for their communities. This project exemplifies what we can accomplish through a robust service partnership from concept through commission.”

PFAS, a group of man-made compounds for removal from water supplies, was under scrutiny for its adverse effects on human health. While thousands of PFAS compounds, both short- and long-chain, are examined for future potential regulation, two PFAS substances have already been identified: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).

While PFOA and PFOS are no longer produced in the US, these ‘forever chemicals’ are still detected in water supplies throughout the country, including the OCWD’s groundwater basin. In 2020, when OCWD carried out state-ordered testing and detected PFOA and PFOS at amounts exceeding advisory levels in the basin, it moved swiftly to protect its residents.

Prior to the ASCE LA recognition, OCWD, YLWD, AV and project partners were also awarded the ‘Outstanding Water Project’ and ‘Project of the Year’ by ASCE Orange County.