Portsmouth and the U.S. Air Force move forward with next phase of upgrading Pease Tradeport water treatment

September 14, 2018

The City of Portsmouth and the United States Air Force have recently signed their latest agreement to treat perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) from water supplied by the Smith, Harrison and Haven Wells serving the Pease Tradeport drinking water system. The agreement will provide the City with up to $14.3 million to reimburse the cost of construction of the final treatment system for all three wells, which will include a dual filtration system consisting of resin and granular activated carbon filters. 

This agreement follows extensive research, pilot testing and design of a system to treat the PFOS/PFOA contamination. Previous agreements with the Air Force have included the funding of a demonstration project for activated carbon filters for the Harrison and Smith Wells, filters that have been in service for these two wells since September 2016.

Dr. Steve TerMaath, Chief, of the Air Force’s BRAC Program Management Division, stated: “Working directly with the City, the Pease Development Authority and State and federal regulators to address PFOS/PFOA has been a top priority at Pease since the discovery of these emerging contaminants in 2014. The leadership provided by the City and active communication and collaboration among the parties have been instrumental to the success of this initiative.”

Brian Goetz, Deputy Director of Public Works, added that “we are pleased that the Air Force has been a partner in addressing this complicated issue involving a contaminant that little was known about in 2014. With this agreement in place we anticipate bidding the project this fall with an early 2019 start date for construction.” Goetz and his staff will be presenting more details about the project at the October 1, 2018 City Council meeting.

Photo: Rendering of Grafton Road Water Treatment Facility provided by Weston & Sampson

Water Treatment Facility Rendering