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Quality Water Filters 4 You Posting Page
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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