Fast-Tracked Design-Build of a GAC Treatment System for Removal of PFOA from a Municipal Drinking Water Supply

Wednesday, August 9, 2017: 10:40 a.m.
Bjorn Cuento , AECOM, Newark, DE
Joe McCarthy , AECOM, Newark, DE

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was detected in public drinking water above the USEPA drinking water Health Advisory at a high profile project site requiring a comprehensive strategy to restore community drinking water. In response, one 900 gpm and a second 700 gpm GAC treatment system were constructed within an accelerated timeframe for a community that was under a “do not drink “ ban on the local groundwater-sourced potable water supply.

The project involved well water evaluation, verification of water distribution model, treatment process design, permitting, construction, start-up, and operation and maintenance of the GAC systems, with the permitting, construction and start-up phases completed within a six-week project timeframe.

The project was completed in two parallel phases. In the first, regulatory approval was being sought for the interim design package focusing on the GAC treatment process and major mechanical components, while the final design package was being jointly completed in the parallel second phase. Successful execution required close coordination with the local mayor and public works department, multiple state and federal regulatory agencies, utility companies, contractors, and our private-industry client.

The project was completed two days ahead of the scheduled deadline was a finalist for the Delaware Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Grand Conceptor Award. All stakeholders and the community continue to be satisfied with ongoing system operation and maintenance, and the supply of potable water.

Bjorn Cuento, AECOM, Newark, DE
Mr. Cuento earned his BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of the Philippines in 2001, and is a project manager, project engineer, project estimator, health and safety officer, and quality control inspector for diversified environmental engineering and construction work. He has worked as an engineering professional for environmental consulting and remedial construction projects, and is experienced in site characterization; conceptual site modeling; remedial design; remedial action; water, soil, and air media monitoring; and facility operations and maintenance.

Joe McCarthy, AECOM, Newark, DE
Joe is a registered PE in NJ and PA, and received his BS in Chemical Engineering from Rutgers in 1982 and his MS in Environmental Engineering from U of Delaware in 1998. He has been with AECOM and predecessor companies for over 24 years.