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Becca Vermace
Becca Vermace

Environmental Engineer
Barr Engineering

Becca Vermace is an Environmental Engineer in Barr’s Water and Wastewater Engineering Group. Since joining Barr in 2018, Becca has worked for industrial and municipal clients on feasibility studies, system design, and system retrofits to help them comply with their permit limits and achieve water quality goals. Many of her projects have been for clients trying to remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from drinking water, wastewater, or stormwater. Becca has a B.S. in Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering from the University of Minnesota and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Iowa.


PFAS Water Treatment: A Perspective on Pretreatment

GAC adsorption and anion exchange (AIX) have been widely applied for PFAS removal. Both of these treatment processes are subject to media fouling, so water treatment applications for PFAS removal nearly always require pretreatment. Adequate pretreatment reduces operation and maintenance associated with PFAS adsorption media replacement, and can involve more processes and equipment than PFAS removal processes. Parameters that often require removal before GAC or AIX treatment for PFAS removal include total organic carbon, total suspended solids, iron, manganese, and competing anions (for AIX only). In this study, we synthesize lessons and perspectives learned from designing and implementing pretreatment for PFAS removal from three different water sources:

1.Process wastewater from a manufacturing process using PFAS (full-scale treatment system installed in 2019).
2.Groundwater drinking water source impacted by aqueous film forming foam (full-scale treatment system installed in 2020).
3.Landfill leachate-influenced groundwater (full-scale treatment system installed in 2020).

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