Monthly Archives: September 2017
Posted: September 27, 2017
VOCs in Water
Source of VOCs: Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) are found in a wide range of commercial, industrial, and consumer products, including degreasers, solvents, paints, inks and dyes, gasoline, and some pesticides. VOC contamination of ground water often occurs where the chemical has been improperly poured onto the ground, leaking drums, landfills, industrial sites and chemical spills. Water supplies can be contaminated when VOCs leach into groundwater. VOC contamination usually occurs in private wells.
Health Effects of VOCs: Health risks are dependent on a variety of factors including the type of chemical contaminant, the concentration of the chemical in the water, sensitivity of the individual consuming the water and period of exposure (days, months, years) to the contaminated water supply. Many VOCs are suspected carcinogens.
How to Remove VOCs: In most cases a whole-house
Synthetic Organic Chemicals in Water
Source of Organic Chemicals: Organic chemicals contaminants include pesticides and herbicides (synthetic organic chemicals), disinfection by-products (DBPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Water supplies can contain organic pollutants through contamination from farm run-off, landfills, factories, spills and improper disposal.
Health Effects of Organic Chemicals: Health risks are dependent on a variety of factors including the type of chemical contaminant, the concentration of the chemical in the water, sensitivity of the individual consuming the water and period of exposure (days, months, years) to the contaminated water supply. Many organic compounds are suspected carcinogens.
How to Remove Organic Chemicals: In most cases a whole-house activated carbon filter is the best Available Technology (BAT) for
Viruses in Water
Source of Viruses: Viruses are microscopic pathogens. There are over 100 different viruses that can affect human health. Outbreaks occur when water sources are contaminated with human or animal feces. Water run-off from land and faulty septic systems are main routes of contamination of drinking water. Water sources include lakes, streams and wells.
Health Effects of Viruses: Virus-associated health issues include polio, meningitis, gastroenteritis, upper respiratory troubles and hepatitis.
How to Remove Viruses: A Polaris Scientific Ultraviolet Disinfection System is recommended to counteract virus contamination. The Polaris system will kill the organisms as water passes through the UV radiation, rendering the water safe to consume. The Polaris UV system can be used on residential and commercial applications.
Radium (Ra) is a naturally occurring radioactive element that is found in rocks and soil. Small amounts of radium can sometimes be detected in groundwater supplies. If the rock contains high levels of radium, the groundwater will pick up higher amounts of radium. Deep wells used for drinking water sometimes contain levels of Ra-226 and Ra-228 that are considered health hazards. Radium cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled in drinking water.
Health Effects of Radium: A small percentage of ingested radium is absorbed in digestive tract and sent throughout the body. Radium acts like calcium and is deposited in tissues and bone. High doses of radium cause bone cancer. Drinking radium-contaminated water for a lifetime increases the health risks.
Posted: September 27, 2017
PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) are highly toxic synthetic chemicals commonly used to manufacture teflon cookware, carpet, clothing, pizza boxes and airport fire-fighting chemicals. They can enter the water supply from chemical dumping, water run-off, landfills and air fields. Contamination is usually located near a source of the chemicals and can affect private wells and municipal water supplies. The strong Carbon-Fluorine bond in PFAS compounds make them very resistant to microbial degradation. Most of the US population has been exposed to one or more of these chemicals.
Health Effects of PFOA and PFOS: PFOA and PFOS could also be dangerous to pregnant women.
Nitrate in Water
Source of Nitrate: Nitrate (NO3) is naturally occurring in nature and is formed during decomposition of proteins, manure wastes, urine, and from other nitrogen-containing compounds. Nitrate can enter into groundwater from rain and melting snow. In some cases, nitrogen fertilizer can contribute to Nitrate in groundwater. Nitrate can be found in well and municipal water supplies. Shallow or improperly located wells are more susceptible to nitrate problems.
Taste Problems in Water
Source of Taste Problems: Taste problems in drinking water can be caused by a variety of substances. Chlorine and chloramine disinfectants are considered distasteful by most people. The natural mineral make-up of your water source can also make the water taste bitter or even salty. Natural organics from vegetation or algae blooms in a reservoir can seasonally affect the taste of your drinking water.
Health Effects of Taste Problems: Taste problems in drinking water are usually aesthetic and don’t pose a direct health issue. Many people don’t want to drink water with a bad taste. This is especially true when there are children in the home and for coffee shops, hotels and restaurants. High iron can also cause taste issues along with laundry and sink staining.
How to Remove Taste Problems: In most cases a whole-house activated carbon filter is the best Available Technology (BAT)
Tannins in Water
Tannins come from decomposed natural organic material. When water passes through peaty soil and decaying vegetation it picks up natural tannins, also known as fulvic and humic acids. Tannins can cause well water to have a light yellow to tea-like color. Tannins may cause yellow staining in laundry. Tannins can cause a tart aftertaste and earthy odor to water.
Health Effects of Tannins: Tannins are not associated with health risks at the levels found in drinking water. Tannins creates aesthetic problems with taste, odors and in the laundry.
How to Remove Tannins: A WECO Point Of Entry (POE) activated carbon backwashing filter will remove tannins and correct taste and odor problems.
Silica in Water
Silica (Si02) is a naturally occurring compound commonly found in sand and quartz minerals. Silica is used to make glass, fiber optic cables, and concrete. Silica is one of the most common elements and is found in all types of soil. As water moves through soil and rock, silica is carried away by the water and ends up in the water supply.
Health Effects of Silica: Silica is not associated with health risks at the levels found in drinking water. Silica creates a mineral film on glassware, faucets, glass shower doors, and
Mercury in Water
Source of Mercury: Mercury is a naturally occurring element found in trace amounts in the Erath’s crust. Mercury is used in dental preparations, thermometers, fluorescent lamps, and pharmaceuticals. Mercury has also been used as a fungicide and as part of industrial processes. Mercury can leach into water supplies from old dump sites, factories and improper disposal.
Health Effects of Mercury: Exposure to high levels can result in brain damage, kidney failure, and vision.
Pregnant women especially should avoid exposure to mercury. Chronic, low level exposure is still being investigated.
How to Remove Mercury: A WECO reverse osmosis system will remove Mercury and other harmful heavy metals like copper and lead. Reverse osmosis filtration will also remove taste and odor problems, pesticides and organic chemicals like VOCs.