September 23, 2021
The City of Portsmouth’s water system tests for Poly- and Per- Fluoro Alkyl Substances (PFAS) in all of our sources of supply quarterly. Four PFAS chemicals are regulated by the NH Code of Administrative Rules, Chapter Env-Dw 700. These rules establish Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs), and compliance requirements for: PFOA, PFOS, PFHxS and PFNA. Currently all of Portsmouth Water’s sources are in compliance with the New Hampshire MCLs.
Click here to read full report: PORTSMOUTH WATER PFAS UPDATE
Click here to read full report: PEASE WATER PFAS UPDATE
Construction of the Pease Drinking Water Treatment Facility was substantially complete in April 2021. The treatment process at this facility includes both ion-exchange resin and activated carbon filtration systems for the removal of PFAS. Water from the Harrison and Smith wells have been continuously treated through granular activated carbon (GAC) since 2016. The ion-exchange resin filters were added to the treatment system on April 20, 2021, and have since been removing PFAS from the Harrison and Smith well water.
The Haven Well, which has been out of service since the discovery of PFAS contamination in 2014, was reactivated and approved as a source of water for the Pease Water Treatment Facility in July 2021. Prior to this approval, a five-day pumping test was performed to assess the well’s hydraulic characteristics and the well water quality. The City worked with the Air Force to treat the pumping-test water at the Airfield Interim Mitigation System treatment facility. Also prior to reactivating the Haven Well, the Haven Well water was pumped through the new Pease Water Treatment process to test the system hydraulics and ensure anticipated PFAS removal efficiency prior to allowing the treated water from the Haven Well to enter the water distribution system.
Since August 3, 2021, water from Haven Well has been treated along with Smith Well and Harrison Well water through the Pease Water Treatment Facility. Over a four week startup testing period, samples were collected weekly and analyzed for PFAS from each ion-exchange resin filter and from the granular activated carbon filters. Samples are now being collected monthly throughout the treatment process and analyzed for PFAS. Samples are analyzed with EPA Method 533 which provides results for 25 PFAS compounds, of which four are regulated by the NHDES for drinking water. There have been no detections of these compounds in the water entering the distribution system from the treatment plant since it has been in operation.