Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020NV011B

Occurrence and Mass Balance of PFAS during Wastewater Treatment

Institute: Nevada
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-03-01 End Date: 2021-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $41,236 Total Non-Federal Funds: $82,348

Principal Investigators: Xuelian Bai

Abstract: The objective of this study is to determine the occurrence and mass balance of long-chain and short-chain per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and PFAS precursors during municipal wastewater treatment. This study will assess factors that affect the fate of PFAS, including treatment process, precursors, and season. Wastewater influent and effluent, sludge, and air samples will be collected bimonthly throughout one year from the participating wastewater treatment facility located in Las Vegas, Nevada to determine the concentration, distribution, mass flow, and seasonality of PFAS. The mass balance and removal efficiency of PFAS will be calculated at each treatment stage. This research is significant and novel because it measures a broad spectrum of PFAS compounds, including long-chain PFAS, short-chain PFAS, alternatives, and precursors using robust analytical methods. The proposed study provides a comprehensive understanding of the fate, occurrence, and transformation of PFAS during wastewater treatment. This information is critical and beneficial to the regional and global water community given the known adverse health effects of PFAS on humans. Furthermore, this research will benefit water utilities by improving the quality of treated wastewater for water reuse purposes.