Working with best industry practice partners, Austrans offers a range of PFAS treatment methods to suit any kind of application
The environmental industry has been working steadily on developing viable PFAS remediation solutions. Many of these solutions are designed to separate PFAS from an existing medium and concentrate it in another form.
Once concentrated options are limited, the PFAS concentrate generally needs to be removed offsite for destruction at thermal treatment facilities, which is expensive and requires high energy requirements.
Alternatively, if not taken offsite for destruction, this PFAS concentrate continues to accumulate onsite until a cost-effective destruction solution is identified, increasing liability and management requirements
With proven and effective ability in remediating hundreds of sites across Australia Austrans, whilst working with its treatment partners can accommodate any kind of waste scenario.
What is PFAS?
The chemicals within the PFAS compound require decontamination and treatment before they are disposed of. When used in firefighting, AFFFTM must be collected and treated as soon as safely possible, as it may otherwise seep into the surrounding ground or water.
Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, are a group of man-made chemicals that are resistant to heat, water, and oil and historically used within AFFF. Although manufacturers have since phased out the use of PFAS in many consumer products, they are still used in some industrial and speciality applications including:
This environmental benefit can be especially significant in remote locations and areas where the supply of potable water is limited. Powerful Cleaning of Large Diameter Pipes Austrans Units are fitted with high-performance pumps which can produce jetting pressures of up to 4000psi and a flow rate of over 800 litres per minute.
The historic use of PFAS-containing AFFF has resulted in areas within Defence bases and Airports around Australia becoming contaminated with PFOS and PFOA. Over the past five decades, these chemicals have worked their way through the soil to contaminate surface and ground water, and have migrated into adjoining land areas.
Concerns About PFAS?
Australia’s Department of Health considers the release of PFAS into the environment as an emerging concern because PFAS:
The biggest environmental concern about PFAS chains is that they do not breakdown in the environment and can travel long distances in water and air currents. They have been shown to be widespread global contaminants and many countries are now monitoring and restricting their use.
PFAS has been reported to be toxic to some animals, and because they do not breakdown they can bioaccumulate and biomagnify in some wildlife, including fish. This means that fish and animals higher in the food chain may accumulate high concentrations of PFAS in their bodies. This also extends to humans
More recently, PFAS compounds have been found in sites where fire-fighting foams have been used. These chemicals have since contaminated the soil, surface and ground water, and moved into adjoining land areas. To assist organisations and companies cleaning up and handling PFAS, the heads of all state and territory Environment Protection Authorities (EPA), alongside the Federal Government, released a National Environment Management Plan (NEMP).
The plan provides guidance on methods for safely destroying and handling PFAS and contaminated sites. It also has guidelines for what levels indicate the need for action, provides information on what action should occur, techniques for sampling and measuring PFAS concentrations, how to transport and handle the waste and future research to support the plan and any revisions.
PFAS Treatment Methods
Working with best industry practice partners, Austrans offers a range of PFAS treatment methods for decontaminating and destroying PFAS in water, soil, and foam including.
Austrans has the capability and know how to provide assistance with:
PFAS contaminated soils/solids may be excavated and disposed of in landfill, however if in liquid form (eg slurry) waste is required to be treated and stabilized before disposal. For PFAS impacted Slurry the following process will apply.
How can Austrans Help Your Business?
Historically the Defence force had conducted fire safety drills on various bases using PFAS impacted AFFFTM. The chemicals had slowly worked their way through the soil to the groundwater underneath the site. Surface water samples taken from nearby waterways were found to contain high levels of PFAS used in firefighting foams.
Where there were small scale and emergency works required, whereby waste would need to be removed from site, normal protocol would be long delays associated with sampling and testing of materials. Austrans however provided a detailed management plan to not only ensure waste was transported and treated in accordance with the most up to date legislation, but ensured that there were no disruptions and work could commence without impediment.
Our Brisbane team stepped in to facilitate the rapid containment, transport and treatment of the PFAS-impacted liquid waste through filtration and chemical fixation in accordance with Queensland’s regulations.
With proven and effective ability in remediating hundreds of sites on the east coast of Australia Austrans, whilst working with its treatment partners can accommodate any scenario born form the unintended release of PFAS chemicals in the environment and provide the following:
Austrans are committed to significantly reduce potential impacts on communities and limit land managers’ PFAS related environmental liability. If you would like to understand more in relation to any PFAS impending project, or would like to consider remediation options, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.
Lets Work Together
For more information or queries about any of our services please contact us. With offices throughout Australia, one of our expert team will get in touch with you shortly.