Nantucket Consultants Recommend Source-Specific PFAS Treatment

Clouds over Nantucket Sound

NANTUCKET – Nantucket Town officials recently received an update on sources of PFAS on the island, including in the community’s wastewater. 

CDM Smith consultants working for the town said that there are many potential sources of the contaminant, but wastewater is a common through-line connecting them and routine testing allows experts to track PFAS to its sources.

“Understanding this cycle and movement is critical to developing a program and a plan moving forward so the town can mitigate against PFAS over time. It will lead to breaking the cycle,” Project Manager Andy Miller told select board members at their July 13 meeting. 

Project Wastewater Engineer Eric Spargimino said that focusing solely on treating PFAS at wastewater treatment centers would be a waste of resources, and precise water sampling would be most effective.

“If we find it at one of the big pump stations, the next step would be to focus upstream of that pump station and figure out how it’s getting there,” said Spargimino.

“Which would be a lot more cost effective than trying to treat 7 million gallons a day at Surfside Wastewater Treatment Facility.”

Part of the research project also includes developing protocols for town staff on how to safely handle PFAS-impacted materials, such as for departments involved with stormwater.

Assistant Town and County Manager Gregg Tivnan said $50 million has been approved by town voters for exploring the impact of PFAS on the island and for other related projects, including this study.

The next steps will be evaluating what specific technology could be implemented to reduce PFAS at the wastewater treatment plants and pump stations, then reviewing what would be most cost effective. 

Work also continues for the water system expansion around the airport, which is expected to execute a construction contract by June, 2023 with up to a 1 year construction duration. 

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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