Jacobs has been selected by the Orange County Water District (OCWD) to provide treatment testing support services for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a family of oil and water-resistant chemicals found in numerous everyday consumer products and airport firefighting foams that have infiltrated groundwater supplies over several decades.
California has established notification levels for PFOA and PFOS (two of the most common and widely detected PFAS) at 5.1 and 6.5 ng/L (parts per trillion) respectively, which are some of the most stringent values in the country. While the levels of PFAS in Orange County groundwater wells are relatively low, OCWD and its retail water agencies are exploring long-term solutions to ensure that water supplies continue to meet all state and federal water quality standards.
"Jacobs' unique ability to shape the industry for PFAS solutions is drawn from our multidisciplinary capabilities in environmental, water, wastewater, solid waste, aviation and infrastructure," said Jacobs People & Places Solutions Senior Vice President and Global Environmental Market Director Jan Walstrom. "We challenge today and reinvent tomorrow by integrating both proven and leading-edge detection and treatment technologies to address PFAS chemicals transported in drinking water, groundwater, surface water, wastewater, leachate and soil."
The goal of the pilot program is to help retail water agencies in Orange County determine the best available PFAS treatment methods. Jacobs and OCWD will be testing different types of granular activated carbon (GAC) and ion exchange (IX) products, as well as novel adsorbents just emerging in the market, to determine which applications are best suited for Orange County's diverse aquifer water quality and geochemistry.