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EVALUATION OF TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR WELL WATER CONTAMINATED WITH PERFLUORINATED ALKYL SUBSTANCES USING LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT
Emery, I., D. Kempisty, B. Fain, and E. Mbonimpa.
The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment [Published online 13 July 2018 prior to print]

To examine the life-cycle impacts of treating drinking water affected by perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), researchers assembled life-cycle models for groundwater treatment and bottled water delivery to residents of Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, where wells were taken out of service due to concerns related to PFAS contamination. Two treatment methods, granular activated carbon filtration and ion-exchange columns, were modeled under a range of contaminant concentrations covering three orders of magnitude: 0.7, 7.0, and 70 µg/L PFAS. Impacts of bottled water production and supply were assessed using two data sets reflecting a range of production and supply chain assumptions. Results show that for PFAS concentrations <70 µg/L, the dominant contributor to life-cycle impacts is electricity use at the treatment facility. Production, reactivation, and disposal of treatment media become major sources of impact only at very high PFAS concentrations. Though the life-cycle impacts of bottled water are up to three orders of magnitude higher than remediated groundwater on a volumetric basis, supplementing a contaminated water supply with bottled drinking water may result in lower life-cycle human health impacts when only a small proportion of the total population is vulnerable. https://www.afit.edu/BIOS/publications/EmeryEtAl.2018.PDF



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