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Energy & Environment

Wausau seeks to bring in more expertise in fighting PFAs contamination

PFAS

The Wausau Water Works Commission is looking to hire an additional consulting firm with experience handling PFAS contamination.

The firm would assist Donohue & Associates as they search for a solution to the PFAS contamination in Wausau's drinking water.

“As we move through both the pilot study, and possibly any other investigative type studies that may come up or may be beneficial for the city of Wausau” said Wausau Public Works Director Eric Lindman.

Lindman says the extra set of eyes of an additional consulting firm will be beneficial as the utility looks for a solution to what is still a unique, emerging problem.

“We’re not going to be the only community dealing with this. There will be several throughout the state and I’m sure more as more people start testing. So is there anything we can do being at the forefront of this and being the first to help out every municipality that runs into this situation”

Lindman says the utility is taking John Wooden's "Be quick, but don't hurry" approach to finding a long-term solution.

“I realize that it will never be quick enough, but we are doing our due diligence…. and the solutions that we come up will be long term solutions, and they will benefit everyone in the city”

Lindman says the plan is to hear from six different firms with experience handling PFAS at their next meeting on April 6th at City Hall.

The pilot study to determine the best solution for removing the forever chemicals is already underway.

Lindman says he expects updates in May and June regarding the results of that study.

Lindman says for the time being residents should remember that the city's water is currently safe to drink and use, but they are making options available for those concerned about the long-term health issues the chemicals can cause.

“The city is handing out bottled water currently as we can get it in, and also these pitchers as well. I also want people to understand the water is safe to drink and use. We do also understand that there’s concerns out there and we’re trying to blend and match those.”

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