Scaling UP! H2O

338 The PFAS Playbook: Essential Knowledge for Water Professionals

Welcome to ‘The PFAS Playbook: Essential Knowledge for Water Pros,’ where we embark on an illuminating journey into the world of PFAS with our knowledgeable guest, Tonya Chandler, who serves as the Director of Commercialization, Strategic Marketing, and Business Development at BioLargo, Inc. Tonya’s passion for PFAS has fueled her career, and she’s here to share her expertise with water professionals looking to scale up their PFAS knowledge, know what regulations to be aware of, and debunk common PFAS myths.

In this episode, Tonya takes us through the multifaceted landscape of PFAS, from its definition and historical presence to its growing importance in water and wastewater treatment. We’ll discuss concerns related to PFAS exposure, including regulatory limits and practical suggestions for minimizing risks. Get ready to explore PFAS in drinking water and strategies for what to do when the water you are treating tests positive for PFAS.

For those involved in industrial wastewater treatment, Tonya offers valuable insights into effective strategies and the importance of understanding the treatment process. We’ll also dive into the world of point-of-use filters, considering the effectiveness of carbon filters and ion exchange systems, and the limitations of NSF’s filter rating 53. 

Join us for a closer look at upcoming regulatory changes, including CERCLA and RCRA updates, and their potential impact on municipalities and businesses. Uncover the significance of certification and product labeling, as well as ongoing PFAS-related lawsuits and their implications for the industry. 

Learn about the importance of knowing your products and processes, including labeling for manufacturers ‘free of intentionally added PFAS.’ We’ll share valuable resources, from books to documentaries and websites, to further your PFAS knowledge.

And that’s not all! Dive into the latest PFAS treatment technologies, including the groundbreaking aqueous electrostatic concentrators developed by Tonya herself, along with supercritical water oxidation and bioremediation.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting your career in the water industry, this episode is your ultimate guide to mastering PFAS challenges and safeguarding our most precious resource—water. Tune in now and scale up your PFAS knowledge so you can communicate with your customers and teams with confidence!



1:00 – Trace Blackmore reminds you to connect with others because our entire industry benefits when we learn from each other

6:25 –  Upcoming Events for Water Treatment Professionals 

9:15 – What water professionals need to know about PFAS with Tonya Chandler

40:05 – Periodic Water Table With James McDonald 



PFAS is per- or polylorinated Alkaline substances which sounds like a lot of big words, but it really boils down to the compounds that make plastic moldable or bendable. They are what makes components or what makes products grease-proof, what makes them waterproof. They are what help us in the manufacturing process to help things slide evenly through manufacturing or not clog. They’re emulsifiers. They’re surfactants so they’re in a lot of our cleaners. They’re in products you may not even know they’re in but the reality is they’re everywhere.” – Tonya Chandler

“Municipally, we’re going to have to treat the drinking water (for PFAS). It’s coming. We all know this.” – Tonya Chandler

“It’s in the rainwater. It’s in the grass. It’s in the food we eat. It’s in the air we breathe, so you can minimize your exposure but you’re not going to eliminate it. They’ve found PFAS  three feet deep in the Arctic. They found it on the top of Mount Everest, and they found it in the rainforest. It follows the water cycle and it travels. You’re not going to escape it completely.” – Tonya Chandler

“A misconception is that we can solve all our problems with GAC and ionic exchange. There isn’t enough granulated carbon in the world to remove all the PFAS.” – Tonya Chandler

“Ask for an ingredients list. Ask the manufacturers of the chemicals you use in the manufacturing process: “Do you have PFAS compounds in your products?”.  Arm yourself. Do your testing. Be proactive and work with the municipality to get it (PFAS) out rather than point a finger.” – Tonya Chandler


Connect with Tonya Chandler 




LinkedIn: in/tonya-chandler-a4b20ba

Read or Download Tonya Chandler’s Press Release HERE


Links Mentioned

BioLargo PFAS Brochures and Studies  

AWWA website

PFAS and Water Contamination

Lawsuit Multidistrict litigation lawsuit for AFFF Foam, firefighters

World Health Organization 100 parts per trillion PFAS levels


EPA Resources 

Action To Address PFAS

Drinking Water Requirements for States and Public Water Systems

PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Proposal Hazard Index

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

Plan 15 ( landfill side POTW systems/municipal systems)

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Federal Facilities

PFAS Strategic Roadmap


Books Mentioned

Plastic: An Autobiography by Allison Cobb

Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer’s Twenty-Year Battle Against DuPont

The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes 


Films Mentioned

Oppenheimer – docu-drama about the man who developed the atomic bomb

Dark Waters –  docu-drama about Robert Bilott’s case against DuPont

The Devil We Know –  about the Parkersburg, West Virginia lawsuit documentary 


Periodic Water Table With James McDonald

Its molecular formula is C6H15NO.  What is DEAE used for in water treatment? What is its neutralizing capacity? What is a “distribution ratio” and what is DEAE’s distribution ratio? How does this compare to morpholine and cyclohexylamine? What does distance from the feedpoint have to do with selecting DEAE as a best fit? Are feed limitations placed upon DEAE when used in food production and humidification? If so, what are they? Is DEAE blended with anything else? Why?   


2023 Events for Water Professionals

Check out our Scaling UP! H2O Events Calendar where we’ve listed every event Water Treaters should be aware of by clicking HERE or using the dropdown menu.

Water Treatment education

2 Replies to “338 The PFAS Playbook: Essential Knowledge for Water Professionals”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.