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Chemicals

itemprop="productID" content="sku:SKU17670">SKU17670

Problem – Chemicals, Toxins, PCB, MTBE, TCE & THM

Symptoms: Unfortunately, these contaminants are very hard to detect and are often unregulated, so symptoms may not be seen for years.

Causes:  Chlorionation disinfection byproducts produce trihalomethanes, which are known carginogens, while other toxins such as pesticides, PCB and TCE and others, are industrial discharges from years ago.  Additionally, prescription medications and hazardous wastes improperly disposed of can be an issue.  We even find out that perchlorate from rocket fuel can contaminate our water.

Health Concerns: Many of these contaminants are known as endocrine disruptors, which can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin.  These disruptions can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects and other developmental disorders.

Action Level: Not always known. 

More Information: There are a plethora of chemical contaminats which can affect a water supply. Included in this category are trihalomethanes (THM), pesticides, industrial solvents, halogenated hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls PCBs, trichloroethylene TCE, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons PAHs. THMs are a byproduct of the chlorination process that most public drinking water systems use for disinfection. Chloroform is the primary THM of concern.

The best technology available for removing them is activated carbon or GAC. For the vast majority of the water contaminants listed by the EPA, filter carbon, often called charcoal, is the preferred treatment.

Because of carbon's effectiveness at chemical removal, most water filtration systems remove chemicals to some degree, since most systems contain some filter carbon. Often the effectiveness of the filtration system has a direct relationship to the amount of carbon and to the way the carbon is pretreated or arranged.

Granular Activated Carbon works by attracting and holding certain chemicals as water passes through it. Because Granular Activated Carbon is a highly porous material, it has an extremely high surface area for contaminant adsorption. The equivalent surface area of 1 pound of AC ranges from 60 to 150 acres.

Granular Activated Carbon is made of tiny clusters of carbon atoms stacked upon one another. The carbon source is a variety of materials, such as peanut shells or coal. The raw carbon source is slowly heated in the absence of air to produce a high carbon material. The carbon is activated by passing oxidizing gases through the material at extremely high temperatures. The activation process produces the pores that result in such high adsorptive properties.

The absorption process depends on the following factors:
1.Physical properties of the Granular Activated Carbon , such as pore size distribution and surface area;
2.The chemical nature of the carbon source, or the amount of oxygen and hydrogen associated with it;
3.Chemical composition and concentration of the contaminant;
4.The temperature and pH of the water; and
5.The flow rate or time exposure of water to Granular Activated Carbon .

Drinking water units, countertop filters, undersink filters, and reverse osmosis units (which normally have at least two high quality carbon filters) for the most part rely upon filter carbon for their effectiveness at chemical removal. For the whole house, cartridge style carbon filters and backwashing carbon filters with granular activated carbon and catalytic carbon are the best choice for the removal of chemicals.

Activated carbon filters used in many water treatment devices can, in themselves, become a source of contamination. Over time, the filter can become saturated with chemical contaminants, resulting in the release of these compounds into the finished water, possibly in even higher concentrations than in the source water. Additionally, build up of organic matter on the filter can lead to bacterial growth over even short periods of time, even overnight. Therefore, it is an excellent idea to use ultraviolet disinfection or UV after any carbon filters installed on well water, unless other disinfection processes such as ozone, hydrogen peroxide or chlorine are utilized.