Last week, OCWD and CDM Smith hosted the “Breaking Down PFAS Workshop” featuring speakers from the State Water Resources Control Board, Intertox, OCWD, and CDM Smith. The event brought together water agencies from throughout the region to hear the latest on PFAS. The speakers gave their insights into the latest regulatory issues, the science behind PFAS, exposure impacts, emerging treatment technologies, and communications strategies and challenges. OCWD also shared updates on the District’s new PFAS Pilot Program and planning study.
The list of presenters is below and the presentations are available
- California PFAS Regulatory Update: Sean McCarthy, South Coast Section Chief, State Water Resources Control Board
- PFAS Exposure Impacts: Dr. Lisa Corey, Senior Toxicologist, Intertox, Inc.
- PFAS Risk Communication & Engagement: Dr. Melissa Harclerode, Technical Specialist, CDM Smith
- PFAS Litigation: Richard Head, SL Environmental
- OCWD PFAS Pilot Study: Dr. Megan Plumlee, Director of Research, OCWD
- OCWD PFAS Planning Study: Chris Olsen, Director of Engineering, OCWD
- PFAS Treatment: Alan LeBlanc, Senior Project Manager, CDM Smith
- PFAS State of Research and Emerging Technologies: Jennifer Hooper, Senior Research Engineer, CDM Smith
At its most recent Board of Directors meeting, OCWD took two actions related to PFAS. The board adopted a revised PFAS Treatment Policy. The policy outlines key principles for addressing PFAS, including how the District will support retailers in paying for capital and operation and maintenance costs to treat for PFAS, and policies related to cost recovery efforts. It’s currently estimated that capital expenditures, operations and maintenance of treatment facilities and the cost of imported water to replace water that exceeds PFAS Response Levels will be nearly $840 million dollars for OCWD and its retail agencies.
The board also approved an action to pre-purchase 150 treatment vessels, in an effort to save considerable time and cost while design work is underway for new treatment facilities. In addition, the Board authorized staff to issue a Request for Proposals for on-call consultants to prepare treatment system designs and enter into professional services agreements, establishing a project design budget of $10 million.
Fourth quarter Groundwater Producer monitoring order testing for PFAS is also nearing completion – all samples have been collected and reporting is likely to be complete by the end of February.
OCWD’s PFAS Planning Study is well underway and slated to conclude in May. District staff and Carollo Engineers met with each of the 10 impacted water agencies and presented a project update this week to OCWD and its member agencies, providing an overview of the various alternatives and analysis of options for getting wells back online, including relying on imported water to blend, blending with groundwater and engineered treatment. In the coming weeks, Carollo will meet again with individual agencies to determine the best alternatives for their unique circumstances.