In 2017, when the Eastern Municipal Water District’s (EMWD) Well 59 Wellhead Treatment Facilities were found to have exceeded the health advisory level for PFAS, they were taken out of service. This was only three years ago, but it might as well have been a lifetime by PFAS standards. It was one of the first instances in the state of California, and very little was known about treatment options and efficacy at the time.
Thus, when Kennedy Jenks was asked to perform a pilot study, it also became one of the first permitted system efforts in the region for drinking water. Carefully charting that course required working in close coordination and communicating clearly with regulators, EMWD and stakeholders.
Kennedy Jenks served as a critical resource, educating the client and regulators on the issues and potential technologies and working with them to ensure confidence in the design and permitting process. The team launched a pilot study at a time when the industry was trying to figure out how to navigate this uncharted territory, and they rose to the occasion. While there were studies being performed on the university level, Kennedy Jenks participated in one of the fist pilot systems for full-scale drinking operations on the West Coast.
The firms took a collaborative approach to performing that test, identifying the right solution to bring Well 59 back in service. They helped overcome regulatory issues by having discussions with regulatory staff, fostered dialogue with EMWD and held weekly planning meetings with stakeholders to find the restore well production and deliver the project on time and on budget.