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Tampa is bringing a new water filtration system to the U.S. that will help remove forever chemicals

Once completed, the Suspended Ion Exchange plant in Tampa is expected to be the first in the U.S. and largest in the world.

Tampa officials are bringing a new technology to the U.S. that removes organic matter from drinking water, and it's supposed to make it easier to filter out forever chemicals, known as PFAS.

The city gets its water from the Hillsborough River and is hoping to remove things like decaying vegetation through a Dutch technology called Suspended Ion Exchange, or SIX.

The initial installation at the David L. Tippin Water Treatment Facility will cost $200 million and should be done by 2032. Once completed, it’s expected to be the first in the U.S. and largest in the world.

There’s only a couple other SIX plants in existence: one in North Holland that filters 32 million gallons of drinking water per day, and another in the United Kingdom that supplies 24 million gallons per day.

The planned design for Tampa is for 140 million gallons a day.

Tampa officials said in a press release that this infrastructure will reduce the amount of chemicals needed to treat drinking water, and that it will save the department approximately $1.4 million each year.

Sarah Burns, with the city's water department, said this advancement means Tampa is getting ahead of the federal government's expected limits on PFAS in drinking water.

"You might not even be able to get to the PFAS at all if you didn't remove the organics first," she said.

PFAS are man-made chemicals that break down slowly over time and have been linked to negative health effects in humans. Burns said they are “everywhere” ... in cosmetics, clothing, even paper straws. And they end up in the water supply.