Design and Commissioning of Water Treatment Plants for PFAS Contaminated Sites


CWT was engaged to establish design criteria for the removal of Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) across different process units, assess the robustness in design for 7 PFAS water treatment plants and lead the first of 8 process commissioning projects for the operation of a new 60 kL/day PFAS WTP in Victoria.

Services Offered

  • Establishment of Design Criteria
  • Design review
  • Data analysis
  • Development of Commissioning Procedures
  • Onsite Process Commissioning
  • Process Optimisation and Troubleshooting


Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are emerging contaminants with few industry-scale proven technologies and limited performance guarantees for their treatment and removal from water.

Veolia Environmental Services were awarded a design, construction, operation and maintenance contract for 8 containerised water treatment plants for the removal of PFAS from water at known contaminated sites. Seven of the plants were designed with the processes of conventional treatment, GAC filtration, ion-exchange adsorption and chlorine disinfection.

Veolia required CWT to review the robustness of the designs, propose solutions and ultimately lead the process commissioning process for the first plant with an operational capacity of 60 kL/day.


Solutions to this project were delivered in five stages:

  1. Establishment of design criteria for each process unit on the basis of a PFAS literature review and known best-practice operational design criteria
  2. Review of Veolia’s sizing and operational design data against the above criteria
  3. Recommendations for Critical and Operation Control Points (CCPs and OCPs), redundancy and process control
  4. Development of commissioning procedures including inert/wet commissioning, process commissioning and proof of performance testing
  5. Onsite lead and coordination of process commissioning activities including hydraulic testing, media loading and ripening, chemical dosing, instrument verification and process optimisation.


The completion of this project is a major milestone in the actualisation of an industrial-scale WTP in Australia for the targeted removal of PFAS. The project has challenged and continues to challenge lab and pilot-scale research and will significantly contribute to the available knowledge on PFAS removal and its technologies.

This project has provided the tools and foundations for the commissioning, operation and optimisation of other PFAS WTPs to be built by Veolia in the near future.

CWT has been invited to contribute further for these newly constructed plants upon mechanical completion.