Our greensand water treatment facility went online in March 2019. Unfortunately, it is not equipped to remove PFAS and the oxidants (sodium hypochlorite & potassium permangante) used to remove manganese from our source water are not compatible with PFAS removal systems. So, where does that leave us?

The good news is manganese needs to be removed from the water before removing PFAS so our treatment plant would need to be modified not replaced. If PFAS treatment is needed, these will likely be the steps:


  1. Raw water is pumped to the treatment plant where the pH is adjusted and chlorine is added prior to greensand filtration.
  2. The water passes through the existing greensand filters to remove iron and manganese
  3. The water exits the existing treatment path and is dechlorinated
  4. It passes through granular activated carbon and/or ion exchange filters for PFAS removal
  5. The water is re-chlorinated
  6. It rejoins the existing treatment path, passing through the aerator for final pH adjustment and dissolved inorganic carbon removal
  7. The water passes through a bi-chamber baffled clearwell before being pumped into the distribution system.

The Town applied for a MassDEP PFAS grant requesting up to $200,000 for pilot testing PFAS removal technologies in order gain a better understanding of the processes and costs involved.  We should know if the grant was awarded in February.

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Water Department

279 Boston Street

Topsfield, MA 01983


911 -  After Hours Emergency

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 7 AM to 2:00 PM

Highway Department

279 Boston Street

Topsfield, MA 01983


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