Aqueous Vets® (AV), the leading solutions provider for PFAS treatment in the western United States, was recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers Los Angeles (ASCE LA) for its collaboration with Orange County Water District (OCWD) and Yorba Linda Water District (YLWD) to design, manufacture, and install the largest single-site ion exchange (IX) per- and poly-fluoroalkyl (PFAS) treatment facility in the country. The YLWD PFAS treatment facility was awarded the Water Treatment Project of the Year by ASCE LA.
In partnership with Tetra Tech and Pacific Hydrotech Corporation, AV worked with OCWD and YLWD to install 11 pairs of PF12-520 LowPro® IX resin systems. These systems were instrumental in bringing all nine of the site’s impacted wells back into service, enabling YLWD to increase its groundwater usage. The plant became operational in December 2021 and can treat up to 25 million gallons of water per day.
“PFAS concerns are mounting in concert with a growing body of evidence shedding light 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 innovative design, effective technologies, and a robust service partnership from concept through commission.”
In recent decades, a group of man-made compounds known as PFAS have come under scrutiny for removal from water supplies due to their adverse effects on human health. While thousands of PFAS compounds, both short- and long-chain, are under examination 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 United States, these “forever chemicals” are still detected in water supplies throughout the country, including the Orange County 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.
AV, the two water districts, and other project partners were recognized in an award ceremony on Oct. 1, 2022. Prior to the ASCE LA recognition, OCWD, YLWD, AV and project partners were also awarded Outstanding Water Project and Project of the Year by ASCE Orange County.