A List of Water Contaminants and There Treatment Options for MA or NH
Today, we're all becoming much more health conscious and one of the keys to better health is high-quality, clean drinking water. Here in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, thanks to our geology, we're blessed with very high-quality water. If your home receives your water from a private well, you need to maintain the quality of your supply. The EPA recommends testing annually for a range of possible contaminants like bacteria, nitrites, and hard water. Here in New England, we have several naturally occurring contaminants like radon and arsenic that should be included in testing.
Various man-made and natural contaminants can end up in drinking water for any number of reasons. Thankfully, water treatment systems are available that can remove them from your home's water. Testing is the first step to choosing the perfect system to meet your specific needs. The EPA primary and secondary treatment levels are national guidelines that can help your well water professional determine the right water treatment system for your specific situation. Other factors they will take other factors into consideration as well like, the type of contamination, type of well pump, age of the well, static water level and more, when determining water well treatment options.
Water Contaminants and their Treatments*
The following guidelines can help you to understand the range of potential contaminants, and your water treatment options.
|Contaminant||Point-of-Entry Device Water Treatment||Point-of-Use Water Treatment|
|Arsenic||Activated Alumina, Anion Exchange, Distillation, Oxidation/Filtration||Reverse Osmosis|
|Bacteria||Disinfection to the entire well system is recommended prior to installing a treatment device. See WSC's information sheet, “Disinfecting Your Well,” at www.watersystemscouncil.org for this method and other treatment options.|
|Copper||Activated Alumina, Activated Carbon, Ion Exchange Resins For information on corrosion control, see WSC's information sheet on Copper at www.watersystemscouncil.org.||Reverse Osmosis|
|Emerging Contaminants||Granular Activated Carbon||Reverse Osmosis|
|Fluoride||0Activated Alumina, Distillation, Electrodialysis||Reverse Osmosis|
|Hardness||Ion-Exchange (water softener)|
|Iron||Shock Chlorination to the entire well system. If problem returns levels of 3.0 mg/L or less an Ion- Exchange system can be used. Levels above 3.0 mg/L consider using Activated Carbon Filtration or Oxidation/Filtration. Shock chlorination is not advised without first having an accurate water test done to determine the type and concentration of each contaminant.|
|Lead||Activated Alumina, Activated Carbon, Ion-exchange Resins See WSC's information sheet on Lead at www.watersystemscouncil.org for information on corrosion control.||Reverse Osmosis|
|Manganese||Shock Chlorination to the entire well system. If problem returns levels of 3.0 mg/L or less an Ion- Exchange system can be used. Levels above 3.0 mg/L consider using Activated Carbon Filtration or Oxidation/Filtration. Shock chlorination is not advised without first having an accurate water test done to determine the type and concentration of each contaminant.|
|Mercury||Inorganic mercury - recommended treatment includes distillation. Organic mercury - recommended treatment includes Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) system.||For inorganic mercury, you can also use Reverse Osmosis.|
|MTBE||Air stripping in packed tower aerators and Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filters||Air stripping in packed tower aerators and Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filters|
|Nitrate and Nitrite||Ion-Exchange, Electrodialysis, Distillation can be used for smaller quantities||Reverse Osmosis|
|Pesticides||Generally, Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filters (but may depend on individual pesticide(s) present)||Reverse Osmosis (but may depend on individual pesticide(s) present)|
|Radium||Cation Exchange, Distillation, Electrodialysis||Reverse Osmosis|
|Radon||Levels below 10,000 pCi/L - Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) or Aeration systems. Levels above 10,000 pCi/L - Aeration only|
|Sulfur||Small quantities of sulfates can be removed using distillation; large quantities of sulfates may be removed using Ion Exchange. Hydrogen Sulfide can be reduced or removed by shock chlorination, water heater modification, activated carbon filtration, or oxidation/filtration.||Small quantities of sulfates can also be removed using Reverse Osmosis.|
|Tannins||Harmless organics, creates yellow cast to water and yellow staining throughout home||Shock chlorination to entire well system; low levels of tannins can be removed using Anion Exchange resins. 5 Shock chlorination is not advised without first having an accurate water test done to determine the type and concentration of each contaminant.|
|Uranium||Coagulation/Filtration, Submicron Filtration, Anion Exchange, Activated Alumina, Distillation, Electrodialysis||Reverse Osmosis|
Conduct a Water Test Before Starting Water Treatment:
Understanding treatment for various contaminants, as well as point-of entry and point of use water treatment along with well treatment options is an important part of maintaining your homes water supply. At Skillings & Sons we work closely with our Massachusetts and New Hampshire customers throughout the entire process, from testing and analyzing your well water to designing and installing the perfect water treatment system. Your family's health and well being relies on clean pure drinking water. Let us help you with all of your water well and water treatment needs.
*This information within the chart was developed by the Water Systems Council in part under an Assistance Agreement awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Click here to download the full document in .PDF format.