• Capabilities: Environmental Solutions, Site Evaluation and Restoration, Water Solutions, Water Supply and Treatment, Industrial Water

Remediation of PFAS-containing extinguisher water at a terminal company

Amsterdam - A terminal company in a western port area of Amsterdam spilled a limited amount of PFAS-containing extinguisher foam. The firm opted for on-site cleaning of the extinguisher water instead of engaging a certified processor to collect it. In the end, the on-site cleaning of the extinguisher water was faster, more sustainable, cheaper and more effective.

400 m3

of contaminated extinguisher water

On-site cleaning faster, more sustainable and cheaper

Due to an incident with a sprinkler system, a limited amount of PFAS-containing fire fighting foam entered a tank pit. The company acted fast, pumping the 400 cubic meters of contaminated extinguisher water into a storage tank and wanted to have this removed by a certified company. However, Rijkswaterstaat preferred an on-site remediation, as this would be more effective and sustainable. Although the processor possesses a permit to process PFAS-containing extinguisher foam, it did not have the best technology available.

Cleaning PFAS with activated carbon

For the tank terminal, Arcadis carried out the preparation and remediation. To obtain a 100 percent remediation of the extinguisher water, it was purified using activated carbon. Based on our own research and experience, the necessary amount of activated carbon was determined to ensure complete remediation of the PFAS. Thanks to this method, the remediation was effective and completed in a short period.


Key aspects of the design and implementation phases were personal safety and the cleaning of the materials and pumps used. PFAS are very toxic and persistent compounds. Our experts drew up specific procedures to prevent contact with the contamination. By using specific materials and an effective cleaning procedure, any recontamination of other locations was prevented.

Activated carbon

For the cleaning process, activated carbon was used from a supplier that processes the product correctly and demonstrably guarantees that.

Better and cheaper processing of an environmentally hazardous substance group (PFAS)
Lower costs compared to regular process
On-site cleaning faster, more sustainable and cheaper


400 m3

of contaminated extinguisher water

Questions about this project

Wim Plaisier

Manager PFAS Solutions Europe +31 (0)6 4664 7255 Ask me a question
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