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La Crosse sewer water to be used in PFAS experiments

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The threat of PFAS pollution in ground water has spread throughout French Island, and the only real remedy has been to supply affected families with bottled water. 

But a local research company is trying a method of recycling water tainted with the chemicals traced to firefighting foam. 

La Crosse city utility manager Bernie Lenz says the sewer treatment plant will send waste water to the CompRex company on Kane Street for testing.    

The head of CompRex, Dr. Zhijun Jia, tells city officials that certain chemical treatment of water containing PFAS appears to break down the pollutant into other substances.    

Lenz thinks the research is promising. “If this works, it could be used across the nation,” he says. “They’re still at the research phase.”   

The company says filters and traps have not helped to eliminate the chemicals often used in firefighting foam, along with many household products.      

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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