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Monthly Archives: September 2017

  1. VOCs in Water

    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 activated carbon filter is the best Available Technology (BAT) for removal of VOCs. Another option is a WECO reverse osmosis filtration system. This complete 5-stage water purification system removes tastes and odors along with suspended particles like sand and grit, chlorine, chloramine, carcinogenic chemicals, pesticides, solvents, and heavy metals like lead, cadmium, copper and arsenic. WECO whole-house and commercial filtration systems are also available.

     

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  2. Synthetic Organic Chemicals in Water

    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 removal of organic chemicals. Another option is a WECO reverse osmosis filtration system. This complete 5-stage water purification system removes tastes and odors along with suspended particles like sand and grit, chlorine, chloramine, carcinogenic chemicals, pesticides, solvents, and heavy metals like lead, cadmium, copper and arsenic. WECO whole-house and commercial filtration systems are also available.

     

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  3. Radium in Water

    Radium in Water

    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.

     

    How to Remove Radium:  Ion-exchange can often remove 90 percent of radium present along with water hardness. Another option is a WECO reverse osmosis filtration system. This complete 5-stage water purification system removes tastes and odors along with suspended particles like sand and grit, chlorine, chloramine, carcinogenic chemicals, pesticides, solvents, and heavy metals like lead, cadmium, copper and arsenic. WECO whole-house and commercial filtration systems are also available.

     

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  4. PFOA and PFOS in Water

    PFOA and PFOS in Water

    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.

     

    Health Effects of PFOA and PFOS: PFOA and PFOS could also be dangerous to pregnant women. Some studies indicate development problems and low birth weight. Other health issues include high cholesterol, thyroid cancer, testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis and kidney cancer.

     

    How to Remove PFOA and PFOS:  In most cases a whole-house activated carbon filter is the best Available Technology (BAT) for removal of these chemicals. Another option is a WECO reverse osmosis filtration system. This complete 5-stage water purification system removes tastes and odors along with suspended particles like sand and grit, chlorine, chloramine, carcinogenic chemicals, pesticides, solvents, and heavy metals like lead, cadmium, copper and arsenic. WECO whole-house and commercial filtration systems are also available.

     

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  5. Nitrate in Water

    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.

    Health Effects of Nitrate: Nitrate in drinking water poses a special risk to infants under six months of age. When infants are given formula made with water high in nitrate, a condition called "blue baby syndrome" (methemoglobinemia) can occur. The syndrome prevents the infant's blood from carrying oxygen. The baby's skin turns a bluish color. Death can result if not treated promptly. For many adults, limiting nitrate intake is an important health goal.


    How to Remove Nitrate:  A reverse osmosis filtration system will reduce nitrate in drinking water by more than 98%. It is the ideal filter system for under counter installations in the home or office. A WECO nitrate-removing Point Of Entry (POE) ion-exchange filtration system is an option for whole house and commercial applications.  Contact us and we will help you choose the right WECO system for your application.

     

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  6. Tannins in Water

    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.

     

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  7. Viruses in Water

    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.

     

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  8. Silica in Water

    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 sinks. Silica also causes scale build-up in boilers and water heaters. Concentrations above 10 mg/L of silica tend to be problematic.

     

    How to Remove Silica:  Water softening followed by a reverse osmosis filtration system is one of the best filtration methods for silica removal. This combination of ion-exchange and RO filtration removes water hardness, silica, tastes and odors along with suspended particles like sand and grit, chlorine, chloramine, carcinogenic chemicals, pesticides, solvents, and heavy metals like lead, cadmium, copper and arsenic. A WECO Point Of Entry (POE) anion-exchange backwashing filter is another option for silica removal.

     

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  9. Taste Problems in Water

    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) for removal of taste-causing substances. A specialty WECO backwashing filter may be needed, depending on the cause of the taste issue. Another option is a WECO reverse osmosis filtration system. This complete 5-stage water purification system removes tastes and odors along with suspended particles like sand and grit, chlorine, chloramine, carcinogenic chemicals, pesticides, solvents, and heavy metals like lead, cadmium, copper and arsenic. WECO whole-house and commercial filtration systems are also available.

     

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  10. Mercury in Water

    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.

     

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  11. Giardia in Water

    Giardia in Water

    Source of Giardia: Giardia are microscopic parasites. Outbreaks occur when water sources are contaminated with human or animal feces. Consuming water or using ice made from water contaminated with Giardia are the main route of infestation.  Improperly treated water from wells, lakes or streams are the primary source of this disease.

     

    Health Effects of Giardia: Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and bloating are the most common symptoms and usually appear within 10 days of ingestion. This can result in severe dehydration, especially for the elderly, young children and pregnant women.


    How to Remove Giardia:  A Polaris Scientific Ultraviolet Disinfection System combined with a reverse osmosis filter is recommended to counteract Giardia contamination. The Polaris system will kill the parasites as water passes through the UV radiation. The WECO reverse osmosis system will remove the dead parasites along with heavy metals, pesticides and taste and odor-causing compounds. WECO can design a point of entry filtration system for commercial applications. Please contact WECO technical support for more information.

     

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  12. Chromium in Water

    Chromium in Water

    Source of Chromium: Chromium naturally occurs in rocks, soil, and in volcanic dust. It comes in several different forms, including trivalent chromium and hexavalent chromium. Hexavalent chromium, called Chromium (VI), is used in industrial processes, and has been shown to be a human carcinogen. Water supplies can contain chromium IV naturally or through contamination from landfills, factories, spills and improper disposal.

     

    Health Effects of Chromium: Investigation into health effects of drinking chromium-contaminated water is on-going. It is believed to be carcinogenic.


    How to Remove Chromium:  A WECO reverse osmosis system will remove chromium and other harmful heavy metals like lead and arsenic. Reverse osmosis also removed taste and odor problems, pesticides and organic chemicals like VOCs.

     

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  13. Carbon Tetrachloride in Water

    Carbon Tetrachloride in Water

    Source of Carbon Tetrachloride: Carbon tetrachloride is a man-made chemical and doesn’t occur naturally in the environment. In the past, it has been used in refrigeration fluid and propellants for aerosol cans. Carbon tetrachloride was also used as a cleaning fluid, degreaser, and as a spot remover for clothing and carpets. It enters the water supply through illegal dumping and leaching from contaminated sites.

     

    Health Effects of Carbon Tetrachloride: Carbon tetrachloride enters the body through the lungs, and stomach and intestines if you ingest water containing the chemical. Carbon tetrachloride is adsorbed through the skin. Drinking water contaminated with carbon tetrachloride leads to chemical storage in vital organs. Long-term effects are still being studied but is believed carbon tetrachloride harms kidneys, the liver and central nervous system.


    How to Remove Carbon Tetrachloride:  A WECO whole-house activated carbon filter will remove carbon tetrachloride from every sink and shower in the home or business.

     

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  14. Ammonia in Water

    Ammonia in Water

    Source of Ammonia: Ammonia (and ammonium), are naturally occurring in nature and are formed during decomposition of proteins, manure wastes, urine, and from other nitrogen-containing compounds. Ammonia can penetrate into groundwater from rain and melting snow. In some cases, nitrogen fertilizer can contribute to ammonia in groundwater. Ammonia can also result from the use of chloramine disinfectants.

    Health Effects of Ammonia: Ammonia is toxic to fish and aquatic wildlife. The ammonia levels found in drinking water are not known to cause health issues in humans. For many people, no amount of ammonia is acceptable in their drinking water. Water contaminated with ammonia can cause problems with hydroponics, aquaculture and manufacturing processes.


    How to Remove Ammonia:  The Best Available Technology (BAT) for removal of ammonia in water is reverse osmosis. A reverse osmosis filtration system will reduce ammonia in drinking water by more than 98%. Industrial filtration systems are custom-designed by WECO engineers to provide the best filtration options.  Contact us and we will help you choose the right WECO system for your application.

     

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  15. Sulfate in Water

    Sulfate

     

    Source of Sulfate: Sulfate (SO4) occurs naturally in most groundwater sources. As water moves through soil and rock formations that contain sulfate minerals, some of the sulfate dissolves into the groundwater. Minerals that contain sulfate include magnesium sulfate, sodium sulfate, and calcium sulfate.

     

    Health Effects of Sulfate: Sulfate can give water a bitter or astringent taste and can have laxative effects. People unaccustomed to drinking water with elevated levels of sulfate can experience diarrhea and dehydration. Infants are often more sensitive to sulfate than adults. High-sulfate water should not be used to prepare infant formula. Animals are also sensitive to high levels of sulfate. In young animals, high levels may be associated with severe, chronic diarrhea, and in rare instances, death. High sulfate levels may also corrode plumbing, particularly copper piping.

     

    How to Remove Sulfate: A WECO reverse osmosis filtration system will remove sulfate along with taste and odor-causing chemicals like chlorine and hydrogen sulfide and heavy metals including lead and arsenic. For whole house and commercial (Point Of Entry) applications a WECO backwashing filter with anion resins is recommended.

     

     

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  16. Selenium in Water

    Selenium

     

    Source of Selenium: Selenium is a natural mineral found in the earth’s crust. Selenium also comes from natural run-off, industrial wastewater from copper and lead refineries, municipal wastewater and leaching from hazardous waste disposal sites. Mining operations can contaminate surface and groundwater with selenium.

     

     

    Health Effects of Selenium: Being exposed to high levels of selenium for a long time (in drinking water) can cause hair loss, brittle nails, and neurological problems.

     

    How to Remove Selenium: A WECO activated alumina backwashing filter will remove selenium from all the water entering the home or commercial facility.  WECO also offers a point of entry (POE) filter using anion-exchange resin in the chloride for. The system is regenerated using sodium or potassium chloride.  For residential drinking water purification, a WECO reverse osmosis system is recommended. We recommend consulting with a WECO technical support specialist to determine which filtration system is right for your application.

     

     

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  17. Water Hardness

    Water Hardness

     

    Source of Water Hardness: The definition of water hardness is the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water is high in dissolved minerals, both calcium and/or magnesium. As water moves through soil and rock it dissolves naturally-occurring water hardness minerals and carries them into the groundwater supply. Well and municipal water supplies can have hard water.

     

    Health Effects of Water Hardness: Hard water is not associated with health concerns. However, hard water requires more soap and synthetic detergents for home laundry and washing, and contributes to scaling in boilers and industrial equipment. When hard water is heated, it produces the mineral deposits on glasses and dishes. Industrial-sized water boilers and home water heaters become coated with mineral scale, reducing efficiency and causing leaks. Hard water scale can accumulate on the inside of appliances, such as dishwashers, and pipes. As scale builds up, water flow is impeded, and causing appliance parts and pipes to be replaced more often.

     

    How to Remove Water Hardness: A WECO water softener will remove calcium and magnesium from all of the water entering the home or business. A WECO reverse osmosis filtration system installed after a water softener will remove all types of contamination that cause taste and odor problems (chlorine and hydrogen sulfide), heavy metal, pesticides and solvents.

     

     

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  18. Uranium in Water

    Uranium

     

    Source of Uranium: Uranium (U) is a naturally occurring radioactive metallic element. Small amounts of uranium are present in certain types of soils and rocks, especially granite. Uranium breaks down very slowly into other elements including radium and radon gas. Naturally occurring uranium in groundwater results from the dissolution of uranium-bearing minerals. The concentration of uranium will vary depending on the geological environment and contact with groundwater. Uranium can be found in well and municipal water supplies.

     

    Health Effects of Uranium: The chemical properties of uranium in drinking water are of greater health concern than its radioactivity. Most ingested uranium is from food intake and is rapidly eliminated from the body. However, a small amount is absorbed and carried through the bloodstream. Long term consumption of elevated uranium in drinking water can increase a person’s risk of kidney damage and cancer. Uranium has demonstrated toxic effects on human kidneys leading to kidney inflammation and changes in urine composition. Uranium can decay into other radioactive substances, such as radium, which can cause cancer with chronic exposures over a long period of time.

     

    How to Remove Uranium: For whole house and commercial (Point Of Entry) applications a WECO backwashing filter with uranium-removing anion resins is recommended. A WECO reverse osmosis filtration system will remove uranium along with taste and odor-causing chemicals like chlorine and hydrogen sulfide, radon and heavy metals including copper and arsenic.

     

     

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  19. Prescription Drugs in Water

    Prescription Drugs

     

    Source of Prescription Drugs: A vast array of pharmaceuticals including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones have been found in the drinking water supplies. Over the counter medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen have also been detected in the water supply. These drugs are found in well and municipally-treated water sources. Even bottled water (made from tap water) can contains pharmaceuticals. The medicines get into the drinking water supply when unneeded medications are flushed down toilets. Failed septic systems allow drugs to enter the water supply.  Some pharmaceuticals remain even after filtering at water treatment plants.

     

     

    Health Effects of Prescription drugs: It is unknown what the long-term effects will be from consuming water containing hormones, anti-depressants, anti-biotics and fertility drugs. For many people, no amount of prescription drugs are acceptable in their drinking water.

     

    How to Remove Prescription Drugs: A WECO reverse osmosis filtration system will remove all types of prescription drugs along with taste and odor-causing chemicals like chlorine and hydrogen sulfide and heavy metals including lead and arsenic.

     

     

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  20. Pesticides in Water

    Source of Pesticides: The term "pesticide" includes all chemicals that are used to kill or control pests. This includes herbicides (weeds), insecticides (insects), fungicides (fungi), nematicides (nematodes), and rodenticides (rat poisons). Groundwater supplying wells may contain pesticides that have been leached from the fields by rain, melted snow, and irrigation water. Normal surface water runoff can allow pesticides to make their way into lakes and reservoirs, as many pesticides are used for surface treatment on farms, nurseries and golf courses. Excessive or improper application of pesticides can impact the drinking water. Improperly dumping of these chemicals and accidental spills can result in water contamination also. Water penetration into the ground from rain and snow melts can carry the pesticides deeper into the soil and into underground water supplies. Cleanup of groundwater contaminated by pesticides often is impossible, and the contamination may last for many years.

     

    Health Effects of Pesticides: When pesticides are found in water supplies, they normally are not present in high enough concentrations to cause acute health effects such as chemical burns, nausea, or convulsions. Normally the concern is primarily for their potential for causing chronic health problems. These include cancer, birth defects, genetic mutations, or other problems such as damage to the liver or central nervous system. There are many hundreds of pesticide compounds, and extensive tests and studies of their effect on humans have not been completed.

     

    How to Remove Pesticides: A WECO activated carbon backwashing filter is one of the most effective ways of removing organic pesticides from contaminated water supplies. Activated carbon adsorbs the pesticides from the water as it passes through the filter. A whole-house filter is recommended so every faucet, sink and shower will have purified water. A WECO reverse osmosis filtration system will remove all types of pesticides including metal-based pesticides like copper sulfate and arsenic.

     

     

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  21. Copper in Water

    Copper in Water

    Source of Copper: Copper is a metal that occurs naturally in rock formations and soil.  It is used to make electrical wiring, pipes and many other common products. The primary route of water contamination is leaching from copper pipes in the homes, institutions and commercial operations.

     

    Health Effects of Copper: High ingestion of copper can cause adverse health effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. It has also been linked to liver damage and kidney disease. Young children are especially susceptible to copper poisoning. US EPA national primary drinking water regulations set a legally enforceable maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 1.3 mg/L concentration of copper in public water systems.


    How to Remove Copper:  A WECO reverse osmosis system will remove copper and other harmful heavy metals like lead and arsenic. Reverse osmosis also removed taste and odor problems, pesticides and organic chemicals like VOCs. A WECO whole house filter system with Katalox Light filter media may also be used to control copper problems that are due to the source water. Contact WECO technical support for help selecting the right filtration system for your application.

     

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