Theia launches its first full scale & pilot  PFOS/PFAS/PFOA Treatment system.

Theia Water offers a number of treatment options for addressing these Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances that are quickly becoming the new scourge in the environmental world. We are proud channel partners with CETCO and offer their Fluorosorb media as one of our primary water and soil treatment technologies.  

Challenge: a large environmental engineering company contacted Theia Water about PFOS issues in stormwater at one of its client sites in the mid-west.  The client, a military base, was seeing exceedances in PFOS levels in the water emanating from its stormwater collection system.  Both the engineer and the client wished to  act quickly to get treatment on site while they more fully delineated the scope of the issue and evaluated the most effective and efficient paths to remediating the issues.  

Because of the complexity and size of the stormwater collection system, the exact water characteristics including flow and contaminant concentrations are not, as yet, fully known. Additionally, the discharge criteria is still being debated at the federal and state levels for this relatively uncharted contaminant. However, the biggest challenge came from a lack of information on the water quality itself. That is, as we always counsel our customers, it is not only what is in the water that needs to be removed but also WHAT ELSE is in the water that may wreak havoc on the treatment technology.  

The engineer worked aggressively to determine a course of action but even with these efforts, they were only able to give the Theia team 3-4 weeks to construct a 100 gpm treatment system. The Theia Team took on the challenge and was able to deliver the system within the required timeframe. The system is tasked with both treating and removing a significant portion of the PFAS contaminants in the groundwater while also allowing  the engineer and customer to test three(3) different treatment medias.  

The project required Theia to also design and participate in the installation process. These challenges, which had to be completed within the same tight timeframe included:

  • Partially obstructing the water flow in the existing stormwater collection piping to create a recovery flow.  
  • Extracting the contaminated water from this new sump and transmitting the water to the treatment container. 
  • Transmitting the treated water back to the stormwater conveyance system in a heated and protected structure.  
  • Designing and constructing a temporary roadway to allow the treatment container to be placed close to where the new sump would  be.  
  • Placement of the container
  • Bringing power to the container 

Theia’s team worked seamlessly with the engineering customer, a few selected subcontractors and the end customer to put all these items into place. We could not have accomplished the installation and interconnection without help from the highly skilled base personnel and field personnel from our engineering customer. 

The system itself includes a set of three(3) high capacity cartridge filters followed by  three(3) parallel sets of two(2) Carbon Treatment adsorbers in series.  Each set of vessels contains a different treatment media.   Though  the system is designed to continuously treat 100 gpm in the field over an extended period of time, the engineer and customer are also using this project to better evaluate the overall project scope as well as an opportunity to  compare the media that is present the industry standard up against two(2) newer technologies being offered by Theia Water.  

The three(3) treatment trains consist of two(2) 2000 pound (68 cubic feet) treatment adsorbers in series containing: 

  • Calgon F400 – a proven treatment solution for PFOS compounds 
  • CETCO Fluorosorb a media that has proven to be the best available treatment technology for PFOS but had yet to be employed in the field for a full scale system 
  • AC-PF a unique activated carbon product derived from various substrates to produce a pore structure that has outperformed coal based media. 

The system includes: 

  • Prefiltration – a triplex arrangement of high capacity cartridge filters with: 
    • Isolation and bypass valves to allow filters to stay in operation during replacement of cartridges 
    • Pressure gauges and sampling ports before and after the filters 
    • Differential Pressure transducer to monitor the solids build up on the filter and alert the operator when it is time to replace the cartridge 
  • Three(3) independent sets of two(2) treatment adsorbers in series each with: 
    • Lead/lag/backwash and isolation manifold 
    • Sample ports
    • Pressure gauges 
    • Flowmeter
  • Duplex pressurization pumps to push water from the sump including controls and lead/lag alternation
  • Controls 
    • Totalizing and instantaneous flowmeter 
    • Remote telemetry
    • Automatic drain system for loss of temperature in the container 
  • The system is contained in a 40 foot high cube container with:
    • Heat insulation
    • Overhead LED lighting 
    • Interior is built out with long life waterproof siding on walls
    • Easy to clean waterproof flooring with safety grips to prevent slipping.  
As of this writing, the F400 media and AC-PF media are both getting close to break through on the primary vessels with less than 20 ppt coming out of the effluent or secondary vessels. The Fluorosorb has shown no deterioration in performance with the lead vessel still removing essentially 100% of the incoming PFOS compounds.