The St. Gobain company is an international corporation with plants located worldwide, including an operational location in Hoosick Falls, NY and CHEMFAB Industries in North Bennington, VT which shuttered its doors in the early ots after decades of operation. PFOA is a chemical by-product resulting from the manufacturing of materials such as Teflon during the 20th century in plants such as these. The municipal water supply in Hoosick Falls had long tested positive for PFOA contamination, but until citizens raised health concerns in 2016, the contamination had been ignored although PFOA is a known carcinogen. Conversely, the Town of Bennington’s municipal supply, which is drawn from two surface water sources, had never noted contamination, but after the Hoosick Falls crisis, individuals who were on private wells began asking the State of Vermont to test their groundwater sources as well. In short order, over 400 contaminated wells were discovered on the west end of the Town of Bennington. The State presented the Town with a map, and the Town in turn moved preemptively to offer a solution to its affected residents.
MSK Engineering provided a basic model that would enable anyone with a contaminated well to tie into the clean municipal water supply. After the preliminary engineering report and cost projections, the State of Vermont requested additional work to determine if the current water supply level would be sufficient and if the water quality would still be adequate even on an extended line to low usage areas which require an additional amount of disinfection by-products to be added to the lines. MSK addressed these concerns through the development of an extended period simulation model that calculated water aging as well as source influence. MSK presented the State with a preliminary design, and the State approved the plan to connect the entire rural western sector of town with approximately ten additional miles of waterline, funded by St. Gobain to the tune of about 12 million dollars. In addition to the design, MSK was responsible for obtaining easements from land-owners and all right-of-way surveying, as well as construction oversight and administration. Currently, this phase of the project is nearing completion, and a second phase extension is currently being designed.