Although the use of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS)/perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)-based aqueous fire-fighting foams (AFFF) has been banned due to their persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity to biota, PFOS and PFOA are still present at significant levels in the environment due to their past usage. This study investigated the reasons for detection of PFOS and PFOA in an evaporation pond used to collect the wastewater arising from fire-fighting exercises at a military air base despite the replacement of PFOS/PFOA-based foam with no PFOS/PFOA-foam about 6 years ago. Concentrations in the wastewater stored in this pond ranged from 3.6 to 9.7 mg/L for PFOS and between 0.6 and 1.7 mg/L for PFOA. The hypothesis tested in a laboratory study was that PFOS and PFOA have accumulated in the sediments of the pond and can be released into the main body of the water. Concentrations detected in the sediments were 38 and 0.3 mg/g for PFOS and PFOA, respectively. These values exceed the recently reported average global values for sediments (0.2-3.8 ng/g for PFOS and from 0.1 to 0.6 ng/g for PFOA) by a factor of several thousands. PFOS and PFOA distribution coefficients were derived for the organic content of the pond sediment (1.6%). Identification of the source of contamination and knowledge of the partition between soil and aqueous phases are vital first steps in developing a sustainable remediation technology to remove the source from the site. This study clearly suggests that unless the sediment is cleaned of PFOS/PFOA, these chemicals will continue to be detected for a long period in the pond water, with potential adverse impacts on the ecosystem.