From industrial waste to landfill leachate and contaminated soils, PFAS-contaminated waste materials require great care in storage and disposal.
Deep well injection of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contaminated waste—the practice of injecting contaminated wastes into deep underground wells for disposal—provides an effective and practical solution to PFAS disposal. This method of waste disposal has a wide range of use cases in isolating and containing PFAS in geologically stable formations.
Our decades of experience in injection well design, engineering, monitoring, and consulting ensure safe PFAS waste disposal in compliance with EPA regulations and guidance.
How to Dispose of PFAS Waste
The EPA’s Interim Guidance on the Destruction and Disposal of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Materials Containing Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances outlines three effective, commercially available options for PFAS disposal:
Thermal Treatment and Incineration
Waste combustion technologies such as incinerators and kilns can produce high enough temperatures to break down a wide range of PFAS compounds and reduce the volume of PFAS-contaminated waste.
However, the incineration process may form harmful byproducts and emissions and can be costly and energy-intensive.
Specially designed landfills may serve as long-term containment sites for large volumes of PFAS-contaminated waste.
Landfills containing PFAS waste must adhere to rigorous leachate management to prevent PFAS from leaching into the environment and potentially contaminating groundwater sources. Long-term management and maintenance over the long lifetimes of PFAS-contaminated waste is also costly.
Deep Well Injection
PFAS deep well injection securely disposes of contaminated waste in stable geological formations deep underground, sequestering it and preventing it from contaminating surface water and drinking water sources.
PFAS disposal through injection methods requires careful site selection and characterization, as well as ongoing monitoring, to eliminate surface liabilities.
Benefits of PFAS Deep Well Injection
PFAS are notorious for their long-term persistence in the environment and potential health risks, and many traditional waste disposal methods for PFAS compounds face difficulties with the cost and logistics of safe management, storage, transport, and disposal.
Deep well injection of PFAS-contaminated solids, liquids, sludges, and soils provides a permanent, effective solution to storing and disposing of PFAS-contaminated waste.
1. PFAS Containment and Isolation
Deep well injection provides a means to effectively contain and isolate PFAS-contaminated waste from the environment.
By injecting the waste deep underground, it can be stored in stable geological formations, preventing the contamination from spreading to groundwater or surface water sources, preventing surface liabilities, and maintaining environmental and community health in the surrounding area.
2. Permanent PFAS Disposal
Deep well injection offers a long-term solution for the disposal of PFAS-contaminated waste. Once the waste is injected into the well, it is permanently stored and isolated, minimizing the risk of future exposure or release and preventing surface liabilities.
3. Volume Reduction for PFAS Waste
PFAS contamination often occurs in large quantities, making disposal problematic. Deep well injection is an effective method for reducing the volume of PFAS-contaminated waste.
The injection process may involve mixing the waste with compatible fluids or solidifying it to facilitate its injection into the well, depending upon the specific waste composition—often helping to manage or reduce the overall volume of waste.
4. Compliance with EPA PFAS Waste Disposal Regulations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established regulations and guidelines for managing and disposing of PFAS. Deep well injection, conducted per EPA regulations, helps ensure compliance with these standards.
PFAS deep well injection provides a legally accepted disposal option for PFAS-contaminated waste generated by industries or remediation activities.
5. Reduction of Immediate PFAS Risks
Disposing of PFAS-contaminated waste through deep well injection can minimize immediate risks associated with on-site storage or inappropriate disposal methods.
When properly designed, operated, and monitored, injection wells prevent accidental spills or leaks and reduce the potential for immediate exposure or contamination.
Safety Considerations for PFAS Deep Well Injection Projects
It’s important to note that the use of deep well injection for PFAS-contaminated waste disposal is a topic of ongoing debate and scrutiny. The process is often not fully understood by those who criticize it most.
The Advantek® team of engineers use tried and true scientific methods as well as innovations in the industry to ensure the safety and longevity of our deep well injection projects.
Thorough geological studies early on in injection project development ensure that any nearby freshwater aquifers have natural and engineered barriers to prevent contamination. Injection well operations are always conducted under 24/7 monitoring to ensure early risk detection and the quick prevention of any operational concerns. A strict regulatory framework ensures that PFAS deep well injection is performed with the utmost control and safety.
Our injection projects always adhere to the most stringent standards of safety and sustainability to prevent surface liabilities and minimize deep well injection’s environmental footprint.
We carefully consult local and state-level regulations, environmental experts, and the specific federal PFAS disposal guidelines provided by the EPA or relevant authorities to ensure compliance with the latest regulations and best practices for PFAS waste disposal.
The Advantek® PFAS Deep Well Injection Process
Get Started On Your PFAS Disposal Project Today
Developing and executing a PFAS waste disposal solution utilizing deep well injection demands the Deep Expertise™ of injection well pioneers and a firm commitment to excellence, strict adherence to regulations, and incorporation of advanced monitoring technologies.
At Advantek®, we bring decades of experience in waste management to provide consulting and management services and lead the way in permanent waste sequestration. To get started with your injection well project, contact us today.