A photo illustration of water being tested
The city of Madison, Wisconsin has contracted AECOM to design the state's first PFAS treatment facility
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AECOM to design Wisconsin's first municipal PFAS treatment system

One of Madison, Wisconsin's, water wells has been decommissioned since PFAS were discovered in 2017. The city hopes to reopen it after the filtration system is installed.

July 3, 2022

AECOM, an infrastructure consulting firm, has announced it has been awarded a contract by the Water Utility of the city of Madison, Wisconsin, to provide per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) solutions for municipal drinking water treatment facilities.

The project focuses on the city’s Well 15 where PFAS was discovered during voluntary testing in 2017, according to a press release from the city. The well was subsequently shut down.

“Ensuring safe drinking water for all members of our community is one of the city’s most important responsibilities, and we have committed to keeping Well 15 offline until we have a PFAS treatment or filtration system,” Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway says. “The Madison Water Utility remains committed to testing, monitoring and openly communicating throughout this process. I commend federal and state government bodies for recognizing the importance of addressing PFAS pollution. We are prepared to do everything we can to seize this funding opportunity to build Wisconsin’s first municipal PFAS treatment facility.”

According to city of Madison documents, the Water Utility for the City of Madison is authorized to spend up to $375,000 for the engineering portion of the project.

AECOM, Dallas, will deliver engineering design for the installation of PFAS treatment systems and upgrade well equipment and building architecture. The final design will be tailored to meet standards required by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and Wisconsin Safe Drinking Water Loan Program.

“In the last two years, we’ve worked with more than a dozen Wisconsin clients to monitor and treat this ‘forever chemical’ at sites across the state,” says Travis Boone, chief executive of AECOM’s U.S. West region. “As we continue to deliver sustainable legacies in partnership with our clients, we’re proud to apply our regional experience and industry-leading PFAS technical services to support this first-of-its-kind project, one that will help Madison leverage the latest federal and state funds to continue to provide safe, high-quality drinking water to its residents.”

To restore operation of Well 15 and introduce treatment technologies, AECOM says it will use rapid small-scale column testing for PFAS and a redesign to incorporate PFAS treatment, upgrading controls, structural elements, HVAC systems and electrical components.

“PFAS contamination is one of the greatest environmental concerns of our time. As a global leader in PFAS solutions, we’re proud to work with our clients to provide wide-ranging capabilities that help mitigate this prevalent and persistent threat,” says Rosa Gwinn, vice president and global PFAS technical lead with AECOM. “Our close collaboration with the Madison Water Utility and those it serves embodies our commitment to delivering projects that support the health of our communities, leave an enduring social impact, and help deliver a better world.”