Arsenic is amongst the most commonly found water contaminants in the world, finding its path into drinking water supplies through natural or man-made sources and affecting a great many people all around the world. It has been proven to cause cancer. It is one of the few reasons why we need effective and efficient methods of arsenic from drinking water.
In the following article, we will be discussing the foolproof ways by which you can remove arsenic from drinking water and ensure safety and security for you and your family.
What is Arsenic?
Arsenic is a substance that occurs naturally and is a part of Earth’s crust. Tiniest amount of arsenic can be present in all stones, air, water, and soil.
A metalloid is a substance that is not a metal yet shares numerous characteristics with metal and arsenic is a part of the metalloid family.
The concentration of arsenic might vary from one location to another depending on the geographical circumstances. It could be a potential cause of human action, like metal mining or the use of pesticides. Environmental conditions can also prompt a higher arsenic concentration.
Arsenic can be found combined with different chemical compounds. Natural arsenic contains carbon, however, inorganic ones do not.
Inorganic arsenic compounds are more unsafe than natural ones. They are bound to react with the cells in the body, displace specific components from the cell, and change the cell’s function.
The way cells use phosphate for generation of energy and flagging, the same way one type of arsenic, known as arsenate, can impersonate and replace the phosphate in the cell. It disables the functioning of the cell to create energy and react with different cells.
This cell-modifying function might be useful in treating cancer, as certain studies have shown it can spread the cancer into abatement and also help with thinning the blood. Arsenic-based chemotherapy drugs, like arsenic trioxide, are now being used for certain diseases.
That being said, here are a couple of ways by which you can remove arsenic from drinking water.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
The most savvy way for removing arsenic from water supply seems to be the one and only, reverse osmosis, ordinarily called RO.
RO can be considered as filtration at a molecular level. It works by forcing water through a special, particular membrane. The membrane has tiny pores that are particularly sized to permit water particles to go through, while catching bigger inorganic atoms like lead, iron, chromium and arsenic.
Most Reverse Osmosis systems that are installed in the homes are called Point-of-Use (POU) systems. Commonly, they are intended to deliver a modest quantity of water everyday, 2 to 3 gallons each days, and are generally situated close to the kitchen sink.
The system comprises a pre-filter that eliminates sand and grit, the membrane where RO really occurs, and an activated carbon cleaning filter to support taste and odour control.
Treated water is put away in a little tank and is gotten to through a faucet situated close to the basic kitchen fixture.
Pros of Reverse Osmosis
- Reverse Osmosis is extremely powerful at removing chemicals like arsenic, iron, lead, chromium and manganese.
- RO requires next to no maintenance and no additives.
Cons of the Reverse Osmosis:
- More smaller RO point-of-use systems produce a couple of gallons of treated water each day. The amount of drinkable water is rather restricted and regularly available just in the kitchen area.
- RO-treated water might taste a bit weird because the I chemical compounds removed in the treatment also affect the taste of the drinking water.
- If you have huge measures of iron or manganese in your water, you might presumably require extra pretreatment equipment to those before the RO treatment.
- The bigger Reverse Osmosis systems called point-of-entry systems can treat water for the whole house. Nonetheless, these are considerably more costly.
Anionic Exchange Systems
Anionic exchange systems use a physical or a chemical process to exchange particles between a resin bed and water that passes through. These systems soften water, removes iron and manganese, and lower nitrate and arsenic levels. Certain unwanted substances evacuation is dictated by the composition of the resin bed used.
Anionic exchange systems are often the reason behind point of entry systems implying that they treat all water coming into the home.
These systems work by passing water through the resin bed, which is charged with chloride particles from dissolved salts.
Arsenic particles in the water end up replacing these chloride particles by thumping them off and taking their spot. This process keeps repeating until each of the spots on the resin are full. The resin is then discharged with water that is super-soaked with disintegrated salt.
The chlorine particles in this dissolved water strip the inserted arsenic molecules out of the resin and into the discharged wastewater. New chlorine particles replace the arsenic atoms, completely re-energizing the resin bed so the process can be performed once more.
Pros of Anionic Exchange System:
- Anionic exchange requires little upkeep; extra salt is added to the system every now and then.
- Systems are normally installed to treat the whole place’s water supply.
Cons of Anionic Exchange System:
- Many components in water can contend with arsenic for the resin sites and reduce the systems adequacy.
- Treated water can have an extremely low (acidic) pH and high degrees of chloride which can cause erosion control issues and significant degrees of lead and copper in the treated water.
- Assuming the system comes up short, all of the arsenic can get caught on the resin around and large amounts of arsenic can be found in the drinking water.
Iron Oxide Filter Systems
Iron oxide filters are a pretty new and promising technique for bringing down arsenic levels in drinking water systems. Like activated carbon, these granular filters have a lot of surface area and a partiality for arsenic to adhere to its surface.
Although these filters are genuinely new to the home treatment industry, the geniuses behind them have been used by public water suppliers for a long time now.
Iron oxide media can be housed in little inline filter cartridges or in bigger tanks like the ones used for ion exchange systems (point-of-entry).
Pros of Iron Oxide Filter Systems:
- They can be used as point-of-entry or point-of-use filtration systems.
- They help in removing other inorganic components from the water.
- Iron Oxide Filters are easy to use and install.
Cons of Iron Oxide Filter Systems:
- The media needs to be replaced on a regular basis.
- The presence of iron, manganese, sulphate, silica or organic carbon can decrease efficiency of the system.