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A Clean Approach to Foam-Water System Testing

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

NFPA 11, 16, 25 and other standards require regular testing of fixed foam-water systems. The process of testing these systems most often requires flowing AFFF foam-water solution to test the performance of the systems' components in compliance with the codes. 

Recent awareness of the potential environmental effect of certain chemicals contained in the new C6 AFFF fire-fighting foam concentrates is requiring new behaviors within the industry. Environmental concerns are focused on the fluorine surfactants contained within the current C6 generation of foam concentrates. The primary concerns are toxicity, biodegradability, mobility, and persistence within the environment. All of these are important concerns when fluorine surfactants reach water supplies.

Given these concerns that have arisen, capture and disposal of the foam water solution is a responsible means of dealing with the solutions generated during testing of these systems. The disposal methods are also changing for waste containing fluorine surfactant chemicals. Thermal incineration is now the only available permanent means of disposal to address the evolving concerns of the release of C6 AFFF fire-fighting foam concentrates. The cost to dispose of waste in this manner is greater than the methods that have been previously available.

Ahern is taking the initiative to provide an environmentally responsible testing option which allows building owners to remain compliant with NFPA standards without having the risks and disposal costs associated with the discharge of the AFFF foam-water. The alternative method includes the use of a surrogate tank which holds a non-foaming environmentally safe liquid bypassing the need to use the foam concentrate stored in the system.

Ahern is a select company in the Midwest that self-performs the surrogate liquid testing method.

To learn more about this alternative method, contact Ahern today.

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