Portland Water District Maintenance Operator Jeremiah Steward (left) and Director of Wastewater Services Scott Firmin take scientific readings at the treatment plant on the East End on Friday, June 10, 2022. The facility is hoping to implement a PFAS filtration system for the wastewater within the next decade. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

PORTLAND, Maine –- The Portland Water District is looking to create a facility to treat PFAS contamination.

Last year, Maine passed a bill banning the spread of forever chemicals on clean soils in Maine.

The Portland Water District is looking to build a facility that would use various technologies to essentially destroy any PFAS before it gets back out into the environment, but that treatment facility is years down the road.

“Three to five years would be aggressive, and some of these technologies that eliminate PFAS, they’re still at not quite a pilot scale, but not ready for primetime either,” Portland Water District Wastewater Services Director Scott Firmin said.

The Portland Water District says it sends out about three tractor trailer truck loads a day of biosolids, most of which are now going to Canada, and that method of disposal is not sustainable.

A number of schools in Maine have installed filters that remove the chemicals from the drinking water, but there is no large-scale PFAS treatment facility for wastewater in Maine at this time.

The Bangor wastewater treatment plant is in the process of securing a first-of-its-kind PFAS filtration system, but needs to secure nearly $60 million to implement the system. Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies, a Portland-based company, is leading the research and development of the filtration system.

BDN writer Leela Stockley contributed to this report.