Tyco to temporarily monitor foam sightings at Ditches B and C

Yesterday, Tyco Fire Products informed the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) that it would take several temporary steps to monitor, collect and remove foam near Ditches B and C, even though the company believes much of the foam has come from natural sources. In an email to the WNDR on April 27, the company said it conducted visual inspections of the ditches last weekend and does not agree with the WDNR that all foam sightings are “suspected PFAS foam events.”

The company noted that the WDNR’s own website states that “the movement of wind and waves on lakes, and turbulence in rivers and streams can naturally create foam that floats on top of the water or accumulates along the shore.” Tyco believes that weather conditions, high water levels and locations of the foam suggest the foam that has been seen recently “is naturally occurring from lake / ditch surface water interaction.”

Despite its reservations, the company informed the WDNR that it would temporarily:

  • Deploy booms on Ditch B & C locations;
  • Conduct daily monitoring inspections at Ditch B & C;
  • Collect and remove significant foam build up from these ditch locations; and
  • Store and test collected foam samples for waste characterization prior to proper disposal

Similar foam sightings occurred last year after an unusually wet winter and spring and the company believes that decreasing water levels in the ditches will result in fewer foaming events, and eventually eliminate the need for daily inspections and use of the surface water booms.