Contamination of Public Wells by Perfluorochemicals: How Three New Hampshire Utilities Approached the Problem.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017: 2:00 p.m.
Jeffrey Marts, PG , Emery & Garrett Groundwater Investigations, LLC, Meredith, NH
James Emery, Professional Geologist , Emery & Garrett Groundwater Investigations, LLC, Meredith, NH

Perfluorochemicals (PFC’s) are emerging contaminants of concern that have adversely impacted hundreds of residential wells and numerous municipalities in New Hampshire who rely on groundwater resources. The varying release mechanisms of PFC’s (e.g. air emissions versus liquid spills) has had a major influence on the nature and extent of groundwater contamination requiring different approaches of mitigation/remediation to ensure the continuity of public water supply delivery.

Emery & Garrett Groundwater Investigations has been engaged in providing professional consulting services to three different municipalities in NH whose public groundwater sources have been adversely impaired by PFC contamination. Different release mechanisms of PFC’s and the associated response to protect public health were highly varied and unique for these three communities. One community’s groundwater sources were adversely impacted as a result of an air release from a local manufacturing facility. This led to the shutdown of two production wells capable of producing more than 1,000,000 gallons per day. Another NH community lost groundwater production wells as a result of PFC’s that leached into the local groundwater system from a release of firefighting foam. Lastly, a third community has had a well shut down as a result of an alleged release of PFC’s from a landfill at a metals recycling facility, though the source investigation is still ongoing.

These PFC impacts have substantially impaired the water supply available to these communities who only three years ago had never heard of, or been concerned about, these compounds. This paper will address how each of these communities has approached the problem and how they are attempting to mitigate/remediate the situation. The PFC contamination crisis has brought to light how important it is for communities to develop excess capacity in case of an emergency and develop groundwater monitoring programs to assess new contaminant threats associated with PFC’s.

Jeffrey Marts, PG, Emery & Garrett Groundwater Investigations, LLC, Meredith, NH
Jeffrey Marts graduated from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH with a degree in Geology. He has been a member of the Emery & Garrett Groundwater Investigations, LLC (EGGI) groundwater exploration and development team since 1996. His entire professional career has focused on the assessment and protection of aquifers along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. Recently, Mr. Marts has been working with several water utilities in New Hampshire to mitigate the impacts of Perfluorochemicals on groundwater supplies.

James Emery, Professional Geologist, Emery & Garrett Groundwater Investigations, LLC, Meredith, NH
James Emery is an exploration hydrogeologist, groundwater development, and well field design specialist. He has participated in or supervised over 1,600 groundwater development and protection programs for major municipal and private water development projects throughout the eastern United States. In addition, he has been involved in several international projects including water supply development programs in the countries of Somalia, the Dominican Republic, and South Africa. Emery & Garrett Groundwater Investigations, LLC (EGGI), for which he founded in 1989, has become well known for their expertise in groundwater exploration, development, monitoring, management, permitting, and protection.