Industries : Food & Beverage, Industrial
Solutions : Water
Regions : North American

Highland Dairy, established in 1992, is one of several dairies operated by Schaap Dairies. Located in Clovis, New Mexico, Highland Dairy at one-point in time had upwards of 1,800 Holstein cows producing 15,000 gallons of milk daily. For over a year, Highland Dairy has milked their cows daily, and have been forced to dump all of it down the drain daily because of PFAS contamination.

In June 2018, Schaap Dairies learned the groundwater underneath Highland Dairy was contaminated with Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, commonly referred to as PFOS and PFOA compounds, and collectively referred to as PFAS. These compounds, developed and used in numerous products dating back to the 1940’s, were the primary ingredient in Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) through the 1990’s, used in firefighting foam utilized by airports in training exercises to extinguish gasoline, oil, and jet fuel. Cannon Air Force Base, located just 2 miles from Highland Dairy, used these foams for years in emergency response and routine training exercises. The chemicals in the foam eventually migrated into the groundwater, and is now contaminating Highland Dairy’s water wells.

In 2019, RK Water was contracted to design and install a long-term treatment system to remediate PFAS substances contaminating Highland Dairy’s water wells. The treatment system was designed to integrate into Highland Dairy’s existing infrastructure, and reduce PFAS levels to the current EPA-established Lifetime Health Advisory level of 70 parts per trillion (ng/L). RK Water installed and commissioned the treatment system in February of 2020, and currently operates the PFAS Remediation Treatment System for Highland Dairy.

The RK Water designed PFAS Remediation Treatment System has produced exceptional results to date. Shortly after commissioning and start-up of the treatment system, samples were taken of pre- and post-treatment groundwater for analysis to evaluate the treatment system’s performance. Sampling results, summarized below, highlighted over 4,000 parts per trillion PFAS compounds in the groundwater immediately before treatment. Not only did the treatment system reduce PFAS compounds, but the complete elimination of all PFAS compounds was observed. RK Water not only met, but exceeded, the U.S. EPA’s Lifetime Health Advisory (LHA) threshold of 70 parts per trillion.