PFAS Free Wells
EN Rx INSIGHT AND CAPABILITIES IN MANAGING PFAS CONTAMINATED SITES
PFAS is an acronym for a very large group of compounds called Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and it is an acronym that is becoming more familiar every day as it appears in the press with increasing frequency. It is just a taste of what is on the horizon. Simply put, it is disturbing that many environmental professionals, who are dealing with the environmental impacts of PFAS, call it the most serious and wide-spread impact and challenge they have seen in their careers. Why is this the case?
In very basic terms, PFAS compounds are fluorocarbon derivatives, meaning they are chains of carbon molecules (alkanes or alkyl substances) that are bonded to the element fluorine and variations thereof. While there is a lot to say about these synthetically produced materials, what is important to highlight is that they are relatively inert hence their industrial value in many areas. Non-stick food packaging, and fire retardant/stain resistant fabrics represent but two of many major widespread applications of PFAS – materials that end up in landfills and leach to groundwater, but a third major use is of particular importance – firefighting foams. In essence, the properties of certain long-chain PFAS compounds, we refer to as AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foams), have the ability to coat surfaces thus blocking contact with oxygen to control combustion. AFFF was used quite ubiquitously in fire management training and was pervasive in military and industrial settings; we are now seeing the consequences of that.
To make matters worse, PFAS contamination It is a very complex problem and here is why. PFAS is not easy to remediate by any means – biological or chemical, again because of its inert nature and heroic measures such as thermal destruction are very expensive and rely on producing the impacted soils and water above ground. Worse than that, the toxicology is such that exposure levels, while being actively debated, are at present so low they strain the abilities for analytical labs to find them. The bottom line is that we are talking about low parts per trillion (ppt); as little as 70 ppt and even much lower in some States. This is an insidious situation at best and, if it was even possible to make this problem worse you can. There are literally several thousand PFAS compounds related largely to derivatives in the synthesis process. To compound the challenge, PFAS does not readily stick to surfaces in the environment and it is free to spread readily. Then, back to the treatment issue, addressing this problem in place (in-situ) with these low targets is in effect a non-starter, because in-situ treatment is a “contact sport”. This means that with these requirements it is a daunting task to get treatment molecules, that may work, to go all the places they have to be to effective.
To then refer back to the toxicology, this compounds the problem dramatically. PFAS can accumulate and stay in the body indefinitely leading to a variety of adverse health outcomes in humans. PFAS can cause reproductive and developmental problems, have liver and kidney effects, impact the immune system and as you would expect is considered a carcinogen in animals. In people, consistent findings are that cholesterol and thyroid hormones are impacted in addition to said immunological and oncological concerns.
At this point, clearly you should be concerned as PFAS is literally everywhere. That said, what can you do about it as an environmental professional
The first line of defense if to have the facts. This is not a trivial process and requires a specialized understanding of proper sampling procedures. Hard to believe, but you might have surmised that what you wear and what personal care products you may have used are things that have to be managed. Then there are issues with markers, waterproof field notebooks and even Post-It-Notes to mention but a few examples. The net-net is that for proper sampling and assessment, you must have proper protocols and that is where EN Rx comes in.
The Vertebrae Well Systems are now PFAS-Free. Upon request we can prepare your order so that it meets the rigorous EPA standards. We work in conjunction with one of the thought leaders in the commercial analytical field, Test America/Eurofins, and provide their analysis to verify our well systems are PFAS-Free.
If you are interested in discussing our capabilities in providing PFAS-Free Vertebrae Well Systems, please contact our Service Department at
ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATION LIKE NO OTHER
Our expertise is in filling data gaps and delivering treatment reagents with segmented well systems. We take assessment and treatment to a new level, transforming Site Conceptual Models and paths to closure.
EN Rx SUPPORT PLATFORM (SP)™
Used with Vertebrae or other subsurface infrastructure. SP is a self-contained, solar-powered, remotely operating and communications-ready device for site assessment and remediation. It is programmable for pulling gas/water samples for analysis or actual treatment and in reverse can inject reagents.