Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were detected in White Pond, the backup water supply for the Town of Maynard, Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) subsequently initiated a subsurface investigation to evaluate whether the possible historic use of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (MFA), which is located upgradient of White Pond, had resulted in a release of PFAS to environmental media at the Site. The Site is also in the vicinity of other known PFAS-impacted sites and utilizes a training water reclamation system that may have historically discharged PFAS-impacted water to a nearby wetland. PFAS-impacted sediment and debris collected from the Site’s training water reclamation system was also deposited in the wetland and buffer zone.


After reviewing the use of firefighting foams at the Site and facility operations, GZA developed a site investigation program that included the installation of groundwater monitoring wells; collection of soil, sediment, groundwater, and surface water samples; and collection of water samples from private drinking water wells and of the public water supply. Analytical data was mapped on a GIS-platform to allow for visualization of the distribution and relative contribution of individual PFAS compounds. GZA coordinated with DFS to have the PFAS-impacted sediment and debris excavated and removed from the property. To support this effort, GZA performed a wetland delineation and prepared wetland filings required under the Massachusetts Wetland Protection Act and Town of Stow Wetlands Protection Ordinance. GZA is working with DFS to further investigate their water reclamation system and identify potential improvements to the system. We are also investigating potential future water treatment and/or disposal technologies to use for training water at the Site.


At a complex site with PFAS-related impacts to soil, groundwater, sediment, surface water, and private drinking water wells off-site, GZA is providing comprehensive environmental services, based on extensive experience and knowledge of the evolving science of PFAS and hydrogeology, to delineate and address contamination and to identify potential engineering solutions and remedial alternatives.