Arsenic is a semi-metallic element that can be found all around us every day. It’s distributed via land, air, and water, throughout our environment. We find inorganic arsenic as a naturally occurring element in groundwater in many countries, including the United States of America. Some states have a higher level of arsenic than others because of deep bedrock formations. Drinking water can be contaminated through contact with soil and rock, but contamination from arsenic contained in agricultural and industrial pollution is far more likely. Let’s take a closer look at arsenic in more detail.
The Scale of the Problem:
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that some industries operating in the United States have been shown to release thousands of pounds of arsenic into the air each year. The arsenic stays in the environment for a long time, but it’s removed from the air by snow, rain, and settling. Once the arsenic hits the ground, it begins to seep into the soil and eventually it enters the groundwater. From there, it’s only a matter of time before it ends up in our water wells and potable drinking water supply.
Drinking Water Containing Arsenic:
Unfortunately, arsenic is tasteless and odorless, making it hard to detect. It can affect the body with a variety of symptoms, including nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, partial paralysis, diarrhea, numb hands and feet and even blindness. Ingesting water laced with arsenic over longer periods can have an even more chronic health effects, including skin lesions and a higher risk of developing skin cancer. The EPA has been working hard to remove arsenic from our potable water supply, by raising the standards that were established in the 1960s originally.
Removing Arsenic from Our Water:
Many people, given the health consequences, decide to take matters into their own hands and ensure that their water is free from arsenic contamination. The standard filtration methods, such as a carbon filtration system are simply not effective at removing arsenic. The only effective way to guarantee the removal of arsenic is to use a Reverse Osmosis (RO) system. This could be a point of use dispenser for drinking water or a whole house system for other water related activities. The RO system forces the water through a membrane under pressure and leaves all the contaminants behind, such as pesticides, lead, cysts, asbestos, chloramines, and arsenic. This method requires that regular maintenance is carried out, pressured water being forced against the membrane, will cause it to grow over time and eventually it will become less effective.
If you would like to know more about Reverse Osmosis filtration systems, get in touch with your local water treatment professional. The marketplace has an array of modern filtration systems that can deal with a wide variety of water quality issues. Just make sure that your chosen professional is fully WQA certified and has relevant experience in your local area. Then they can help you to improve your water quality to meet and even exceed water industry standards.
With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative. Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state.