The water treatment system was fabricated inside a 40-foot international shipping container at ECT2’s facilities in Maine, USA. Installing the treatment system inside the shipping container allowed for easier transportation to Australia and also ensured quality and efﬁcient construction; facilitated operational debugging by specialists prior to transportation; allowed rapid, “plug and play” onsite readiness; minimised system footprint; and accommodated the potential for future expansion.
Defence prioritised the delivery of the water treatment system, and in May 2017 an Australian Airforce C-17 cargo plane was used to fly the treatment system from Maine to Williamtown for installation. ECT2 engineers worked closely with Defence and US military staff to ensure the loading, transportation and delivery of the water treatment system occurred seamlessly.
The water treatment process includes pre-treatment to remove solids, such as small leaf matter and other organics, total organic carbon, and iron, all of which are often found in surface water. Following pre-treatment, vessels containing ECT2’s proprietary SORBIXTM RePURE regenerable ion exchange resin were incorporated to remove PFOS, PFHxS and PFOA as well as other similar PFAS compounds. The final component of the treatment conﬁguration added in a specialty SORBIX resin to remove shorter-chain PFAS, resulting in a robust and world leading PFAS water treatment solution. Commissioned in June 2017, the water treatment system readily achieved the reduction of PFAS concentrations to levels below the HBGVs.
Due to the effectiveness of the system, Defence requested that it be upgraded to manage flow rates of up to 8L/sec to allow more of the water flowing through the drain to be treated before flowing offsite. ECT2 worked closely with Defence to design and install the higher-capacity treatment system, reducing costs and minimising downtime by capitalising on the adaptive design features of the original system. The upgraded treatment system commenced operation in April 2019, and by early February 2021, over 427 million litres of surface water had been treated with no exceedances of the treated water criteria. The effectiveness of the treatment process has been consistently demonstrated, including through ultratrace laboratory analysis, showing the concentrations of all monitored PFAS compounds in the treated water to be below the limit of reporting.