In 2019, an industrial client received a notice from the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) indicating that its wastewater discharge could be a major contributor to the mass loading of per- and polyflouroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the local wastewater treatment plant. GWLA informed the client that it needed to take on a PFAS reduction strategy, so the client turned to Barr to help identify and reduce the PFAS content found in its process.
Barr worked with the client to address the loading by identifying the potential sources through mass balance sampling. This included evaluating the facility process and previous sampling conducted by GLWA. Due to the varied inputs in the process, we determined that the samples collect by GLWA were not adequately characterizing the PFAS content of the discharge, and we worked with the facility to implement a more representative collection technique. The results demonstrated that the PFAS data presented by GLWA were not representative of the facility’s actual discharge. The segmented mass balance sampling also showed where the intermittent PFAS detections were occurring in the process, so we recommended changes, such as more frequent clean outs and servicing to the client’s internal processes, that could address the issue for the long term.
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