How To Remove Arsenic From Water At Home
Arsenic is one of the byproducts of mining, coal burning, and smelting. It occurs naturally in soil and rocks. Arsenic can enter water supply in a community through natural deposits in the earth. When the ground level drops drastically, arsenic can find it's way into water by dissolving from rocks.
Too much exposure to water to arsenic can cause skin, bladder, kidney, and cancer. It can also cause pigmentation in the skin. In areas where drinking water is highly exposed, it can be contaminated with arsenic, and the effects is seen in a lot of individuals in the community.
There is an increase in the cases of lung and bladder cancer caused by arsenic in drinking water. It is therefore fitting that you know how to remove arsenic from water at home.
Where and How Does Arsenic Get Into Drinking Water?
Arsenic is a metal-like substance that is found in small amounts in the environment. It occurs in groundwater as a natural element. Arsenic in groundwater is as a result of contamination that is caused by the release of hazardous wastes from industries that use arsenic in their production.
Arsenic can get into drinking water in two major ways. One is through mineral deposits. These mineral deposits contain a high level of arsenic, and groundwater flowing through these minerals can dissolve the arsenic. When the groundwater dissolves the mineral deposits, arsenic finds its way into the well, thereby entering into your drinking water.
The other way arsenic can get into your drinking water is y having contact with hazardous wastes. Some industries use arsenic in their production, and the waste materials from these industries can get into the water, transmitting arsenic into the water. Arsenic is used in wood preservatives, in pesticides, and glass, improper disposal of this waste can contaminate groundwater with arsenic.
Arsenic generally has no smell, color, or taste. This makes it challenging to know if your water contains arsenic. The only way to tell if your water has arsenic is to test the water.
How to Remove Arsenic From Water at Home
Once you suspect that you have a risk of arsenic poisoning, you need to have the water tested to be sure. If your water comes from a private well or groundwater, you should have it tested for arsenic. After testing and confirmed that arsenic is present, there are several methods to remove arsenic from water at home.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
Reverse Osmosis water filtration is a method used to filter out arsenic from water. It helps to reduce arsenic concentrations in well water. RO doesn't always reduce arsenic concentrations to the barest minimum level, but a safe point for drinking.
Reverse Osmosis is a process that allows water to pass through a semi-permeable membrane under pressure but leaves contaminants behind. This provides the home with clean and healthy drinking water. RO process can get rid of arsenic, alongside other pollutants like lead, cysts, in water.
However, proper maintenance of the RO system is to take place regularly to ensure arsenic filtration works appropriately.
Anionic Exchange Systems
Anionic exchange system operates by allowing water to pass through a resin bed, which removes arsenic and exchanges it with a non-toxic substance in water. The anionic exchange unit is installed at the point of entry of water into the home. The process is more of like an exchange program. The arsenic exchanges it's spot on the resin bed with a less toxic and harmful substance.
This process effectively removes arsenic in the water, but a pre-treatment can be needed sometimes. The anionic exchange system is easy to operate and inexpensive to maintain. The resin bed needs to be cleaned frequently, depending on the quality of the resin and the water. If the system is not adequately maintained, the arsenic may detach from the resin bed and find it's way back to the water at a higher level.
When the anionic exchange removes arsenic and other contaminants from water, they remain on the resin bed until lt is backwashed and flushed to a drainage system. The water treated by this system may be corrosive because of the presence of high chloride concentration and low pH levels.
Iron Oxide Filter Systems
Oxidation is a precipitative process that removed naturally occurring iron and contaminants from water. This process involves the oxidation of the soluble forms of the pollutants to their insoluble forms and then remove them by filtration. Arsenic and iron occur in their reduced form in groundwater. And for proper removal of the arsenic, both the iron and the arsenic has to be oxidized simultaneously.
There are two primary means to remove arsenic from water. These are adsorption and coprecipitation. After oxidizing the iron and arsenic, the arsenic adsorbs into the iron hydroxide precipitate and filter out of the water. The removal of arsenic by this method increases the pH level in the water. Iron removal plants are also an effective means of removing arsenic from water.
Coagulation, Precipitation, and Filtration
Coagulation and filtration are the most highly documented method of arsenic removal from water. Coagulation uses three mechanisms to remove arsenic from water. These methods are precipitation, co-precipitation, and adsorption.
Precipitation is the formation of insoluble compounds in water; co-precipitation is the incorporation of a soluble arsenic sample into a growing metal hydroxide phase. Adsorption is the binding of soluble arsenic to external surfaces of insoluble metal hydroxide. Coagulation has been used over a long period to remove arsenic from water. It is an effective method.
Coagulation is one of the most well-known methods in removing arsenic from water. PH controls the removal of arsenic in water by coagulation and works best at low pH.
How to Test Arsenic in Water at Home
Testing for arsenic in water wells has always been difficult since it has no odor or taste. Estimating arsenic concentrations in water accurately is left to be carried out in the laboratory with advanced equipment. This laboratory process takes time, and it is expensive. Several test kits have to be in place to get this test done.
The test kit has a plastic bottle, and that is what you use for the process. The arsenic sample and all other reagents combine in the reaction vessel, and you use a test strip to measure the arsenic concentration in the water sample. The test strip is placed over the sample, and as the arsenic converts to arsine gas, the indicator on the test strip changes from white to yellow and brown.
After the test, the test strip is matched to a color comparator chart and the measure of arsenic taken. Arsenic test kits are expensive but are accurate in testing for arsenic in water.
Does Boiling Water Get Rid of Arsenic?
While boiling, evaporation occurs, and the arsenic concentrations increase as the water boil. Most people think since boiling water can get rid of other contaminants like bacteria, then it should get rid of arsenic. But nothing can be farther from the truth. Boiling water doesn't get rid of arsenic in water wells.
Arsenic removal from water at your home
How To Remove Arsenic From Water At Home FAQs
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Arsenic?
Reverse Osmosis removes most of the chemical contaminants in water, including arsenic. The process makes water healthy and safe for drinking.
How Does Arsenic Kill?
Arsenic can be deadly to humans. It disrupts the cellular process and the molecule that transports energy in the body. This stops your body cells from performing the operations that keep you alive.
Do Brita Water Filters Get Rid of Arsenic?
Water filters only focus on chlorine and other chemical impurities. They do not get rid of arsenic.
What Happens if You Drink Water With Arsenic?
Too much exposure to arsenic in the water can cause skin lesions and cancer. It also causes diabetes. It can as well lead to deaths in young children.
Can Arsenic Kill You Instantly?
If a person consumes arsenic in large quantities, it can cause instant death. If taken in a smaller amount over a long time, it causes sickness and death in the long run.
Having access to clean water is essential to human health. The source of water most people have has a risk of being polluted by several pollutants, of which arsenic is one of them. Arsenic is known to be a very harmful chemical that gets in contact with groundwater. It occurs naturally through mineral deposits and finds its way to pollute water.
If you do not remove arsenic from water, it can cause cancer, skin infections, and death. A lot of processes have been put in place to get arsenic out of the water, but it takes chemical processes to get it out effectively. Many people do not know how to remove arsenic from water at home, and it can become dangerous to the body.