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Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Polyfluoroalkyl Substance (PFAS) Sampling and Mitigation

BERS provided a time-sensitive response action to develop and implement mitigation measures for the treatment of three potable water supply wells contaminated with polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) at concentrations exceeding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Lifetime Health Advisory (LHA) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA. Services required initial site reconnaissance and sampling at identified well system sites; development and installation of treatment systems, housing, and facilities; development and implementation of ancillary infrastructure required for connection to the existing water treatment and distribution systems; performance of all startup requirements and training; and prove-out / shakedown of the approved mitigation measures including all associated sampling activities. Mitigation measures resulted in final potable water supplied to the population below the LHA for PFAS and PFOA. Final potable water met local and state standards and is in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act and the conditions set forth in existing operating permits.

BERS worked to execute this project in coordination with a joint-venture partner and began by organizing planning sessions with multiple stakeholders including the project delivery team, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) Omaha and Seattle Districts, WA Department of Health, and the Joint Base’s Directorate of Public Works. The planning sessions were used to present and discuss alternative treatment options including associated pros and cons like initial capital and long-term operations and maintenance (O&M) costs, O&M requirements, treatment effectiveness, etc.

Investigation and field studies included the collection of water samples from each well system and submittal to an ELAP-approved laboratory for analysis to confirm the presence of PFAS and PFOA at concentrations exceeding EPA LHA. BERS conducted multiple investigations at each well site and records reviews to obtain information regarding each well system and to ensure the new and existing system would be compatible. Then the BERS team performed transportation and disposal of all spent treatment system media in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations for the handling of PFAS contaminated media. BERS analyzed water samples for PFAS compounds using EPA Method 537.1 Modified by an ELAP-approved laboratory certified to use EPA Method 537.1 for PFAS analysis. Data validation was conducted by a BERS chemist for all analytical results reported by the laboratory.

2017 – 2021

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 


U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

Environmental Remediation

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