Are there any concerns about these chemicals in wastewater?
We do share the community’s concern over PFAS chemicals and that is why we are testing for them in the drinking water and our wastewater’s biosolids. Much of the recent attention has focused on the land application of biosolids. Unlike drinking water, there is no EPA approved method to reliably test biosolids and no federal limits for these compounds have been established. Portland Water District has land-applied biosolids in the past; however, since 2001, biosolids have been exclusively composted, digested, or landfilled. Currently, all of the Portland Water District’s biosolids are being landfilled so while the current State direction, focused on land application, does not change our disposal methods, we are concerned about landfill capacities and the financial implications to our industry without proper state and federal funding.
Unfortunately conventional treatment of wastewater does not remove PFAS chemicals. The only way to remove them from wastewater and biosolids is to remove them from products and waste entering the sewer system.