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News / Health / Clark County Health

Vancouver works to remove forever chemicals from water supply

City council approves contract for preliminary design of treatment system for Water Station 4

By Shari Phiel, Columbian staff writer
Published: March 27, 2024, 6:08am

The city of Vancouver this week took a step toward removing forever chemicals from the municipal water supply.

The Vancouver City Council on Monday unanimously approved a professional services agreement with Portland-based engineering consultants Stantec for preliminary design of a water treatment system for the city’s Water Station 4 at Blandford Drive and East Fifth Street.

According to a staff report, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances have been found in Water Station 4 groundwater wells “above EPA’s 2023 proposed maximum contaminant level for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid and perfluorooctanoic acid.”

The city has applied for and expects to receive up to $12 million in loan funding from the state’s drinking water revolving fund, with 100 percent of the loan potentially forgivable, according to the report.

“The major design element for the Water Station 4 project is the installation of the new PFAS treatment units. Much of the associated design work with the new treatment system is dependent on the selection of the PFAS treatment technology, which will be either ion exchange or granular activated carbon filters,” the report states.

The total amount of the professional services agreement with Stantec is $615,741.12. The contract will be in effect from April 1 through Dec. 31, 2026.

The work at Water Station 4 is part of the city’s wider PFAS management plan, which was finalized in January.

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.