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Maine water district takes steps to tackle PFAS-contaminated wastewater biosolids

May 17, 2023

The Portland Water District (PWD) says it is taking proactive steps to tackle PFAS-contaminated wastewater biosolids with the construction of a regional treatment facility under consideration. Solutions being explored include advanced thermal destruction technologies, such as pyrolysis and gasification, to safely and economically reduce or eliminate PFAS from biosolids.

At its four wastewater treatment facilities (WWTFs), PWD treats wastewater to produce clean water and biosolids. The clean water is released into receiving waters, and the biosolids are treated, then transported to landfills.

In the past, biosolids were used as a fertilizer and soil amendment; however, under Maine law L.D. 1911, the state banned the spread of biosolids due to the presence of PFAS. Banning biosolids from being used as a fertilizer created a disposal challenge, making landfills the primary disposal option.

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