Nov 29, 2006

Removing Contaminants from Water in the Home

My husband was in a business that deals with groundwater management, and it was interesting to hear from him the kinds of things that we take for granted that can...when added up, contaminate our lakes, rivers, and streams. Until he had this job, I thought nothing of throwing an apple core into the road, after all it is biodegradable, like leaves or anything else growing along the road, but since I threw it there, it's a source of pollution. I guess this could get controversial, we have become quite regulated as far as what is, and what it not considered pollution, but some things are worth taking the time to consider.

Here are some common sources of pollution that need a solution:

Lead ~ This problem is found in homes that have corroded pipes, from the solder used in plumbing, or from brass lead-containing faucets. This is much more of a concern in old homes that are 30-40+ years old and have never had their plumbing updated. Testing for lead is easy, and Reverse Osmosis water purification removes lead. Carbon filters may remove some, but not all.

Radon ~ This is a radioactive gas which is a by-product of uranium and found in the crust of the earth. Certain parts of the country have higher levels of this gas than others, I live in an area that can has high concentrations in the Northeast United States. North Carolina and Arizona also seem to have higher concentrations than other parts of the country. Waters that come from lakes, rivers, and streams do not contain as much as water from wells because the gas is released into the air when it comes in contact with the air. Carbon filtration can help, but should be part of the entire water system of the home so that the gas, coming in contact with the air in the home, is not being released into the air.

Nitrates ~ These are higher in waters in agricultural areas due to pesticides and plant feeding. The nitrates convert to nitrites in the body, and alter the hemoglobin molecules so they change in form to "methemoglobin" (that's a mouthful!)...this cannot carry oxygen throughout the body through the bloodstream like hemoglobin can. Reverse osmosis is effective in removing this form or contamination.

Updated 2/5/16

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