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Monday, June 28, 2010
One of the main reasons consumers became interested in water filters was due to industrial discharges into waterways several years back. Since that time much has been done to restrict industrial waste from entering public waters. Even so, consumers still need to protect their drinking water and water filters are one way to do that.

There are two ways industrial waste can get into water sources. The first is direct disposal of waste from factory to river or lake. The second way is through seepage into underground aquifers. In both cases, harmful contaminants, such as lead or mercury, can enter the water supply. If these contaminants are not removed from the water they can easily enter your drinking water.

Most industries that discharge waste into waterways are required by law to treat their waste before they flush it into the waterway. While this may remove most of the contaminants, it rarely removes all of them.

These same water sources, rivers and lakes, are often the source of water for public consumption. Water is taken from the source, delivered to a water treatment plant, and then piped to individual homes. The water treatment plant is, basically, your last line of defense unless you have installed in-home water filters.

Individuals who get their drinking water from private wells are at more risk simply because private well water is not required to be monitored or tested for contamination the same way that public water is. Because industrial waste can actually seep down through the soil and enter underground water supplies, those who take their water from wells should be more cautious about what is in their water. This can be especially important if children drink the well water.

Industrial waste that seeps into underground water supplies can be insidious in that you may not know there is a problem until it is too late. In-home water filters can provide an added layer of protection around the clock.

If you live in an area that is heavily industrialized you may want to consider adding water filters to your drinking water supply lines. Water filters come in a variety of models and price points. Those who get their water from private wells may want to look into well water filtering systems, or whole house water filtration systems.

Smaller units can also be used at the tap. These affordable water filters will catch many types of contaminants and are easy to install.

by: Chris Tracey

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Friday, June 25, 2010
Did you know that water filtering devices and water softening devices are not the same? Many people become confused when these topics come up, and this article is designed to help answer any questions you may have about water filters or water softening units.

Water filters are used primarily to remove sediment and other types of contaminants from incoming drinking water. Water filters can also be used to remove organic material from water, some of which can lead to health issues. In a general sense, water filters clean the water, up to a certain point.

Water softener devices, on the other hand, are used to treat what is often called "hard water". Many areas of the country have water sources that are high in mineral content. If these minerals are not removed from the water, they enter the home and cause a variety of problems.

Water filters use different types of filters to remove contaminants from water. The various filters are designed to handle various problems, meaning you find water filters capable of solving most water contaminant problems according to the type of filter that is being used inside the device.

Water softening devices, on the other hand, normally work by replacing hard minerals with salt ions. Other models use non-salt treatments or even magnets to force metallic content out of the water. The result is household water that has less dissolved mineral content in it.

As just mentioned, units that add salt ions to the water will also add sodium and potassium to the water. These units are not for everyone, especially those who are on a salt restricted diet. Also, these units must recharged on a regular basis.

The water softeners that use non-salt treatments are a better option for those on a restricted diet. Like the salt ion units, they have to be maintained on a regular basis.

Magnetic water softeners are the least expensive but they offer only limited functionality as they will only remove the metallic content in the water. Other dissolved minerals will remain in the water.

As you can see, water filters and water softeners do different jobs. The only way to choose which is best for you is to first understand what it is you want done to your water. If you desire cleaner water for consumption, then a water filter is your best option. If your water is hard, has a mineral taste to it, or leaves your hair frizzy after shampooing, you may want to look into a water softening system.

If you are not sure which is best for your individual needs, contact a reputable water filter vendor and discuss your situation. They can help you decide which system is best for your home or office.

by: Chris Tracey

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010
For those who get their drinking water from a private well, installing a well water filter is a good way to protect your family from possible contaminants. These contaminants are often found in groundwater sources. Depending on where you live and the condition of your water, you will have to purchase a whole-house water filtering system that meets your individual needs. Not all filtration systems are the same, so make sure you get the proper one to handle the types of contaminants you have in your water. Once you have your system, installing it is fairly simple.

Here are some tips on how you can install a well water filter.

Note: It is important that you follow the manufacturer's instructions. The following are only general guidelines.

The first step to installing a well water filter is to shut off the water flow to the building where the water filter will be installed. If possible, drain the piping that leads into the home or building as well.

Locating the water filter is important and you must follow the manufacturer's instructions. Some filters rely on gravity more so than others, and placing the filter at the proper height will be important for those types of filters.

If your water filter allows you to place it wherever you like, try to place it in a place that allows easy access as you will have to change out the media from time to time.

In order to connect your water filter, you will have to cut the intake water line. Place a container under the cut location (to catch any water in the pipe) and follow the manufacturer's instructions for cutting the water line. Many filters come with detailed drawings to help you accomplish this task.

Once the line is cut, install both the inlet and outlet valves. This is a simple task these days and is done by inserting the valves into the pipe and using compression fittings, which may or may not be included in your filter package.

At this point you are ready to install the water filter system to the wall. Again, make sure you locate it where you can get to it for maintenance and media replacements.

Double check your work and then turn on the water. Take your time and look for any leaks. Most leaks can be fixed with a slight tightening of the fittings. If you cannot stop a leak, turn off the water to make further adjustments.

If you have any questions about your new whole house water filter, contact the vendor and discuss them. It is important that your system function properly in order to provide the protection you want for your family.

by: Chris Tracey

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Monday, June 21, 2010
In some parts of the country, water purity is an issue. Even though Federal and State water standards require the removal of most contaminants, some contaminants still get through the system. Whole-house water filters can remove many of these potentially hazardous materials and deliver clean, fresh water to your home.

Installing a whole-house water filtration system can be easy or complex, depending on the type of system you are installing. The following is a basic set of instructions for this type of water filter. They are presented here as general guidelines and should not be used in lieu of the manufacturer's instructions.

If you have not yet purchased your whole house water filtering system it is important that you get the model that will serve your needs. Not all systems are the same. If you are unsure of which system is best for your home, contact a reputable water filter vendor and discuss your needs. They can help you get the right system for your home or office.

1. Shut off the water to the building. This is best done at the main meter box.

2. Using the manufacturer's guidelines, find a suitable place for installing the unit. For many homes, this will be in the cellar, close to where the main water line comes into the building.

As you make your location decision, keep in mind that you will need to get to the filtering unit from time to time so make it easy on yourself by installing the water filter unit for easy access.

3. Once you have a suitable location selected, follow the manufacturer's instructions for cutting the water line. Many filters come with templates or other detailed drawings to help you accomplish this task.

4. Install the inlet and outlet valves by inserting the valves into the pipe. Use compression fittings, which may or may not be included in your filter package, to seal the connections.

5. Install the water filter system to the wall. Make sure the water filter is secured firmly, using the brackets or braces normally included with the system.

6. Complete any other work described by the manufacturer, including the insertion of the filter media.

7. When finished, turn on the water and look for any leaks. The use of plumber's tape around joints can help prevent leaks.

8. Once installation is complete, you may need to turn on several taps within the house to flush the system.

In order for your whole house water filter to work properly it is important that you read and understand the instructions contained within the owner's manual.

Basic models of whole house water filters can be installed in two hours or less.

If you have any questions about your new whole house water filter, contact the vendor.

by: Chris Tracey

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Thursday, June 17, 2010
Water safety is important to all of us, and this is especially true for those who get their water from private wells which are unregulated and unmonitored by Federal and State laws. But even those on pubic water systems may want (or need) added protection when it comes to their household water supply. This is where whole-house water filters can play an important and beneficial role.

Two issues should be addressed right now. The first is that whole-house water filtration systems are not for everyone. Those living in apartments or rental homes may not want, or be able, to install these systems. Second, information on whole-house water filters is often sketchy, at best. This article is written to fill in some of informational gaps often found about whole-house water filters.

The first thing you should know about whole-house water filters is that there are different models that do different jobs. In order for you to make an informed decision as to which model is best for your home, you should have your water tested. This will tell you which contaminants you need to remove from your water. Using the test results as a baseline, you can then select the proper filtering system.

As mentioned above, whole-house water filters can perform a variety of tasks, depending on the model you choose. They can remove sediment and minerals from incoming water or they can be used to improve taste and odor problems.

Whole-house water filters work by filtering all of the water that comes into your home. These filters are able to do this because they are installed on the main water supply line. This is one of the main differences between whole-house filters and in-line filters which only filter the cold water coming into a specific faucet.

In-line water filters work fine for many homes, but if you have, for example, staining in your sinks, tubs, and toilets from high levels copper or iron, you need all of your water to be filtered. This is where whole-house filters can be a benefit. Rather than installing many in-line filters, you can simply install one whole house filter.

Depending on the model you choose, you will have to change or clean the filter media from time to time. The type of filter media used will depend on the type of contaminants you are trying to remove. In other words, regardless of the contaminants you are trying to remove, you will, at some point in time, have to change, charge, or clean the filter media. But this is true with other types of point of use water filters as well.

The cost of installing a whole house water filtering system can vary significantly, depending on the model selected. Many basic units can be installed by the homeowner, while other units may require the skills of a professional plumber.

One thing is certain: if you want the best in all-around water safety for your home, the whole house water filter is the way to go.

by: Chris Tracey

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Consumers across the country are becoming more and more aware of potential hazards that may be in their drinking water. While it is true that the United States has some of the safest drinking water on Earth, problems can arise. In truth, there are many situations in which homeowners should test their drinking water just to be safe. Here are some of those conditions.

If you live in a home that may be exposed to lead, you should test your water. This would include homes or structures that have lead pipes, brass fixtures, or plumbing joints that were sealed with lead solder.

Plumbing that contains lead is normally found in older homes and apartments, but can be found in a few newer homes. It is important to understand that in this case the lead in the water is coming from within your home and is not coming from the water that is delivered to your home via the water company.

If your water has an odd or unpleasant odor or taste, you should test it. Clean, fresh water should have no odor to it and should not have any distinctive taste. There are a variety of things that can cause taste and/or odor problems with water and the only way to get to the root cause is through testing.

If you find that your water is staining your sinks, toilets, tubs or staining your clothing when it is laundered, you should test the water. Again, there can be a variety of reasons for this and testing is the only way to find the true cause.

Another reason for testing your tap water occurs when you move into a new home. This can be especially important if your home is on the far end of the distribution line (ie, a long way from the treatment plant). Homes that are on the end of the line, especially in rural areas, may find significant drops in both chlorine levels and pH levels.

If you get your drinking water from a private well you will certainly want to monitor and test your water on a regular basis. Private well water can become contaminated overnight under certain circumstances.

The same is true for homes or farms where the well is located close to the septic tank.

If you have recently installed a new well, it is imperative that the water be tested before you drink it. This is normally a part of the drilling process, but additional testing (up to six months) is also recommended.

Regardless of where the water comes from, if someone in the home is pregnant the water should be tested and monitored periodically.

Water testing can be done with in-home testing kits or through certified labs. The latter is more expensive than the former, but offers more accurate results as well as options for more complicated test sets.

If testing shows you have a problem, your next step should be to look into water filters or water filtration systems. Water filters and water filtration systems can resolve most, if not all, of your water contaminate problems. Water filters are affordable and easy to install, and they provide your family with the protection they need at a fraction of what bottled water would cost.

by: Chris Tracey

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Friday, June 11, 2010
There has been some debate as to whether or not the drinking water on cruise ships is safe and free from contaminants. It is no secret that over the last few years many outbreaks of illnesses have occurred on cruise ships. Some experts, usually those on the payroll of the cruise ship, suggest that these outbreaks are caused by events not associated with the ship's drinking water or food preparation techniques. Other experts disagree.

One of the main culprits when it comes to cruise ship illnesses is the norovirus. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) numerous passengers have been affected by this particular contaminant in either food or drinking water ingested on cruise ships. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this particular type of gastroenteritis is transmitted by the fecal-oral route via contaminated water and foods.

The FDA has said the water contamination is one of the main causes of norovirus and that simply cleaning rooms and bathrooms is not the solution to preventing these outbreaks.

In one report, the CDC said that nearly 600 passengers became ill on two consecutive cruises hosted by the same cruise line. This would suggest the possibility of either water contamination or food contamination or both.

Consumers have a right to be informed when it comes to their health and a good source for additional information can be seen at: http://www.cruisejunkie.com/outbreaks2010.html where you can get a breakdown on how many people (passengers and crew) have fallen ill onboard ships.

So, does this mean you should avoid sailing? Absolutely not! Virtually all lines offer bottled water to their passengers. The price per bottle is often very high, and passengers may want to bring their own with them to avoid this added charge.

Also, passengers can purchase very affordable portable water filtering devices to take with them during their cruise. Some of the most affordable and easy to carry are the pitcher-type filters that passengers can use in their rooms to filter water that comes out of the tap. These pitcher-type water filters come in a variety of styles and price ranges.

Before purchasing any type of water filter to be used on cruise ships, read the product literature to ensure it will remove as many contaminants as possible. Consumers may also wish to call the cruise line to find out where the water storage tanks onboard the ship will be filled. You should not simply assume that water storage tanks are filled in the US. Some may be filled in foreign ports of call where water safety levels are not as stringent as they are in States.

By taking a few simple and affordable precautions before sailing, you can help keep yourself and family happy and fit during your vacation.

by: Chris Tracey

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Thursday, June 10, 2010
Camping is a very popular activity, enjoyed by millions of people the world over. The level of comfort people prefer and experience while camping varies wildly from posh log cabins with satellite television to primitive pup tents set up in the middle of nowhere. Regardless of the setting, one thing is common to all those who camp: they need water.

There are three basic ways to get water when camping. One is through municipal water supplies that come into a camp site. This water is produced by a water treatment plant and delivered via distribution pipes. The second way to get water is from a private well that may be located on or near the campsite. By law, private well water does not have to meet Federal water safety requirements. Most site owners, however, do treat their water to some extent…but this may not be true for all well water. The third source of water for campers comes from natural, untreated sources such as streams, rivers, lakes, etc.

Whether or not you feel you should purify the water you drink and cook with while camping should be a decision based on facts and not on bravado or myth.

Water that comes in from a treatment plant is usually safe to drink for short periods of time. You should, however, always let the tap run for at least one minute in order to clear the lines from any sediment or settled lead that might be in the pipes. A portable water filter pitcher will often suffice for added protection.

Consumption of private well water should be done with caution. If you are camping at a well-established, professionally run campsite, the water is probably safe. You should take a few moments, however, to check with the camp attendant to make sure the water has been treated with at least disinfectant. Again, for added protection, you may want to boil the water first and then filter it through a portable filter.

Those who are out in the wild and only have natural sources of water should NOT drink or cook with the water until it has been disinfected. You simply cannot know what is upstream from your location and what is going on up there. Animal and human waste may be in the water; discharges from industry or run off from landfills may be upstream as well. No matter how clear the water looks, you should never drink natural source water until it has been purified.

In order to purify suspect water from any of the above sources, you can boil the water. This is a very effective way to kill organisms that cause illness. You must let the water boil for at least one full minute.

Another solution is to bring water filter devices with you. In order for a water filter to be effective against micro-organisms it must be rated at NSF Standard 53 or 58 (cyst reduction/removal filter). These filters have media that is "absolute less than or equal to one micron".

You may also want to purchase and use a disinfectant such as chlorine dioxide which is effective in killing most types of harmful organisms. Chlorine and iodine are not as effective as many people think they are and should be avoided.

If you are not sure which water filter will best suit your needs, contact a reliable water filter vendor and ask. They will be happy to assist you.

by: Chris Tracey

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Do you own a recreational vehicle? Do you know if the water you consume or wash with in the vehicle is safe? If not, this article is for you.

Many RV's will come with some type of water filtering system; some will not. If your RV has a filtering system, it is a good idea to read up on the literature that came with the vehicle and water system to make sure you are changing or recharging the filters as required. Water filters are like anything else in life, they need to be maintained periodically in order to perform at their optimum level. This is especially true with water filtration systems that may stand idle for long periods of time.

For those who do not have a water filtering system as an internal component of their vehicle, you have several options. Before you make your decision, however, you should do a little homework. This will help you decide which type of water filter will best suit your needs.

To start, you should estimate how much water you need to filter. If you normally use a lot of water for drinking, cooking, and showering, you will benefit most by getting a water filtering system that can handle that capacity of water and deliver it at a reasonable rate of use.

If you only use a small amount of water for drinking and cooking in your RV, you may want to purchase simple, affordable point-of-use water filters. These filters come in a variety of styles from countertop units to in-line units. POU water filters are fairly easy to install and deliver a very reasonable amount of filtered water in a short amount of time.

If you want to filter all of the water that comes into your vehicle, you will need to find a filter that hooks up to your water intake hose. For this, one of the best options is an in-line filter. These are relatively easy to install and models can be found that will filter not only contaminants but also sediments, which may be common in some RV parks.

As mentioned above, some RV's have water filters already installed. It is very important to remember to change the filters as required by the manufacturer. RV's that stand idle for long periods of time may end up with stagnated water in the lines or with mold and mildew in various parts of the filtering device. Depending on what type of filter media you have, the media itself may become clogged or contaminated if not changed. This can lead to illness and a ruined outing.

by: Chris Tracey

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Friday, June 4, 2010
We do not mean to be alarmists, but by that same token, we believe you have a right to know about possible health hazards, especially if you are pregnant. Numerous studies have been conducted on the purity of tap water and many of these studies have concluded that pregnant women may be at risk because of contaminants often found in public water systems.

Of particular interest to pregnant women are the studies which show that chemical by-products from chlorine may be much higher than what was earlier thought to be present.

A little background—most public water treatment plants use chlorine as a disinfectant for their treated water. The level of chlorine that is injected into the raw water depends on how "dirty" the water is at the time. Dirty, in this case, refers to micro-organisms. As the chlorine kills the organisms, it releases certain by-products into the water. It is these by-products that can cause illnesses, especially in pregnant women.

Some of the reported health problems associated with chlorine by-products include: miscarriage, neural tube defects and reduced fetal growth.

In fairness it should be noted that not every expert agrees with these findings. Some experts believe the findings are more suggestive than they are conclusive.

The good news (if there is good news in all of this) is that these studies have made other agencies take a harder look at how chlorine by-products affect both health persons as well as pregnant women.

In order to avoid possible health problems from these substances, pregnant women should consider adding drinking water filters to their faucets (for their drinking and cooking water) and adding shower filters rated to remove chlorine to their shower heads. It is becoming common knowledge that chlorine by-products enter the body during showers just as they do via drinking, and at about the same levels. Shower filters can remove these contaminants easily and they are very affordable and easy to install.

The health benefits received by removing chlorine by-products will beyond the pregnant woman in the house. Every member of the family will benefit from cleaner, safer water that has been filtered. As a side benefit, water filters will also remove other contaminants while removing the chlorine by-products.

Contaminants such as lead, copper, and arsenic are also present in many water systems, and none of these are beneficial to the human body.

When shopping for a reliable water filter make sure it is rated to remove chlorine by-products. This will be part of the product information.

by: Chris Tracey

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Are you looking for a fluoride filter? There is lots of controversial over adding fluoride to our water supply. Our opinion is that fluoride should not be added to our drinking water after all it says not to swallow your toothpaste due to fluoride in it and if you do to consult a physician or contact a poison center fluoride is also added to some rat poisons. Fluoride is a toxic substance.

When fluoride is added to water there is no way to regulate how much fluoride is being ingested by each person as some people drink more water than others. And you should never mix baby formula with fluoridated water. We feel if you want to use fluoride for your teeth just use toothpaste with fluoride in it. There is no reason to add it to our drinking water and mass medicate every body drinking the water.

Thankfully there is a way to remove about 95% of fluoride from your drinking water with a fluoride filter. Crystal Quest has a fluoride filter that you can purchase that will remove fluoride and a wide range of other contaminants from your drinking water.

Crystal Quest fluoride filters come in a countertop or under sink model. You can also purchase a whole house fluoride filter. If you can’t afford a full size whole house fluoride filter we can have a custom filter cartridge for the compact whole house filters that would be cheaper than the full size whole house fluoride filters.

If you have a refrigerator with water at the door or a ice maker you can also purchase a refrigerator fluoride filter so you will have fluoride free water coming out of your frig. The frig fluoride filters and the single 6 stage fluoride filters will offer fluoride removal for about 1,000 gallons of water. The 7 stage and 8 stage countertop fluoride filters and under sink fluoride filters will filter fluoride for about 1,500 gallons.

Do you have a shower filter to remove fluoride from our shower?

We often get asked this question and no there is not a shower filter on the market that we no of that will remove fluoride from your shower the reason is that fluoride is very hard to remove from water and unlike the countertop, under sink and whole house fluoride filters you can not get enough fluoride removing media in a shower filter to remove fluoride. You would need a whole house fluoride filter to remove it from your shower.

There are companies claiming that they have a shower filter that will remove fluoride from your shower water. You should be Leary about purchasing one of these as there is allot of people trying to scam or lie to you just to make the sale. And they know that people are becoming concerned with fluoride in there water so they may take advantage of that.

Here is a link to the fluoride action network website of 50 reasons to oppose fluoridation.

by: Chris Tracey

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Antimony is a water contaminant that may pose a problem to you if you live in area that is near a landfill or an area near an industry that makes or uses antimony trioxide (a flame retardant). Antimony itself is metal found in certain types of naturally occurring ores.

The reason landfills are listed here is because some of the major sources of antimony in ground water comes from pigments, batteries, glass, and ceramics. The other source is antimony trioxide which is a compound that is widely used as a flame retardant.

In terms of health effects: those people who drink water containing antimony that is higher than the maximum contaminant level (MCL) may, over time, develop health issues such as increased blood cholesterol and decreases in blood sugar.

Because there are health issues associated with antimony, the EPA has established a MCL of 0.006 mg/L or 6 ppb.

If you get your water from a municipal water plant, that plant is required to test for antimony on a routine basis. Should the plant discover a violation, it must report that violation to its customers within 30 days. They must also take immediate action to correct the problem and offer customers alternative drinking water if the violation poses a substantial health risk to the public.

At the plant itself, the main treatment method for removing or lowering antimony in water is through coagulation and filtration. Some plants may use reverse osmosis to remove or lower antimony levels.

The above treatment methods have been shown to be effective in removing or lower antimony in public drinking water. Consumers, however, may wish to add another level of protection to their own drinking water. The good news is this is fairly easy to do and affordable as well.

High-quality water filters can be purchased and installed to help filter out any remaining antimony that may be in your drinking water. These water filters can be either whole house or point of use devices, and many of them are very affordable. Those consumers who live in areas where the possible discharge of antimony may be likely should consider adding water filters to their homes. This is one of the most effective ways to prevent this particular contamination from getting into your family's drinking water.

If you are not sure which type of water filter is best suited for your individual needs, consult with a reliable water filter vendor. These professionals can help you select the best device for your home and budget.

by: Chris Tracey

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Benzene is a word that most of us have heard, but did you know that benzene can get into water sources? Benzene, itself, is a clear, aromatic, volatile organic chemical. It is normally found as a liquid. It is also very flammable. Benzene is formed through natural processes, but is most often formed from industrial processes. Benzene is a natural component of gasoline, crude oil, and tobacco smoke.

The industrial uses for benzene are many and include its use as chemical in the process of making rubber, plastics, synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon. It is also used as a solvent in commercial printing, manufacturing of paints, dry cleaning, and many other processes.

There are possible health effects for those who ingest benzene through their water over a period of time. Some of the adverse effects benzene can pose to those exposed to it include severe anemia, decreased blood platelets, and increased risk of getting cancer.

The EPA has established an enforceable regulation for benzene, called a maximum contaminant level (MCL), at 0.005 mg/L or 5 ppb (parts per billion). Some states have gone further and have set even higher standards for benzene in drinking water.

Leaching from gasoline storage tanks and from landfills is one of the primary ways that benzene gets into drinking water sources. It can also get into water supplies via industrial discharges from factories or smaller companies (commercial printing, dry cleaning, etc).

Consumers who live near possible sources of discharge may wish to be particularly alert to benzene contamination of their drinking water. This can be especially important for those who live near above or below ground gasoline storage tanks. Even smaller storage tanks, such as found in service stations, can pose a risk if they begin to leak or leach into the ground water supply.

If you wish to learn more about your exposure to benzene you can take advantage of the federal law known as the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). This federal law requires facilities in certain industries to report their releases of chemicals. For more information on the uses and releases of chemicals in your state, contact the Community Right-to-Know Hotline: (800) 424-9346.

Water treatment plants can lower or remove benzene from drinking water through proper filtration through granular carbon filters along with aeration of the water.

Homeowners who want to ensure that their drinking water is free of benzene, and other types of contaminants, can install quality water filters in the home. Many types of water filters such as whole house, point of use, and shower head filters, can effectively help to remove any left over benzene before it is ingested.

by: Chris Tracey

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010
High-quality water filters are a great way to remove most water contaminants for most people. But some areas of the country may have special needs due to specific contaminants that may be in the water in those areas. Barium is an example of a contaminant that may be present in some water and not present in other water.

Barium, in simple terms, is a metal that occurs naturally in some areas of the country. It becomes a problem in drinking water in those areas of the country where it is used in the making of electronic parts and components. It is also used in bleaches, metal alloys, fireworks, dyes, glass and ceramics. Barium is especially present in areas where it is injected directly into the ground during well drilling operations. In all of the above cases, barium can and does find its way into both surface water sources and ground water sources.

Because barium can cause health problems for those who ingest it in their drinking water, the EPA has regulated it. Those who drink water containing barium above the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for many years could experience an increase in blood pressure.

The maximum contaminant level for barium is 2 mg/L or 2 ppm. Some states, however, have set more stringent rules for barium, especially those states that may have industries using barium or discharging barium.

So how does barium get into your drinking water? Good question. There are a few ways the metal can get into water. The most common is through discharge of drilling wastes, discharge that comes from metal refineries; and there is also the natural erosion of natural deposits within the Earth.

If you live in an area where you suspect barium is being used and discharged, you have options. A federal law known as the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) mandates that facilities in certain industries, "which manufacture, process, or use significant amounts of toxic chemicals, report annually on their releases of these chemicals". For more information on the uses and releases of chemicals in your state, contact the Community Right-to-Know Hotline: (800) 424-9346.

If you get your water from a water plant, you will be notified if the level of barium exceeds the established limits. In addition, as soon as the excess is noted, your water plant must take steps to lower it immediately. Water suppliers have 30 days to notify their customers that a violation took place.

by: Chris Tracey

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