Wausau Water Works Commission approves funding for PFAS pilot study

The Wausau Water Works Commission met Tuesday night to discuss the city’s current PFAS situation.
Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 10:33 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The Wausau Water Works Commission met Tuesday night to discuss the city’s current PFAS situation. They’re deciding on long and short-term solutions to removing PFAS from drinking water. Tuesday, they decided to approve funding for a pilot study and services for removing PFAS at the new future water treatment facility.

Their biggest concern is getting people safe drinking water. The committee heard a presentation from a firm for a pilot study. Donohue & Associates and Becher Hoppe will do the study. The pilot study allows them to analyze the situation and figure out how to reduce PFAS.

“It’s allowing us to collect information about specifically the resin that we’re using for organics removal at the new plant first and foremost, but just as importantly, it’s allowing us to collect information about the performance of GAC and ion exchange,” one of Donohue’s drinking water engineers said.

There were some differing opinions on the study. Water commission member John Robinson is concerned the firm doesn’t have enough experience with PFAS. He thinks other firms should work with them. In the end, the committee voted to direct staff to prepare a quote for consulting other services to help get the situation under control.

“Now’s not a time to have ego, if there’s somebody out there that you think that you want their input or you want us to find somebody to provide supplemental input, we’re all about it, our objective is to deliver a successful project,” Senior Vice President of Donohue Mike Gerbitz said.

The Village of Kronenwetter Utility Committee also held a meeting Tuesday night to discuss PFAS. One thing they talked about is the timeline the public service commission has for beginning construction of a meter and connection between Rothschild and Kronenwetter.

In the meantime, for short term solutions in Wausau, the Neighbors’ Place will continue to hand out bottled water to people who use their services.

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