Haloacetic Acids In Your Drinking Water
Dealing with Haloacetic Acids in Drinking Water?
The vast majority of drinking water or tap water in the US and the UK are laden with a little-known compound called ‘Haloacetic acids’ or HAA5. Haloacetic acids, combined with other harmful contaminants, make tap water unsafe to consume. Long term exposure to the compound is shown to have adverse health effects including birth defects, skin irritation and cancer.
Haloacetic acids are a byproduct of water treatment mainly by using chlorine. The acid is a compound of chlorine and bromine formed when chlorine is added to drinking water, which then reacts with the naturally occurring organic matter in water.
So, the question is: how do you as a homeowner, dad, or mom minimize the effects of HAA5?
Do Water Filters Remove Haloacetic Acids?
One of the first questions people have is if installing a filter will remove Haloacetic acids from their drinking water. The short answer to this is, yes, filters do an amazing job of removing haloacetic acids from the water. However, it depends on the filtration system. Some filtration systems are better than others at removing this compound from the water.
Filtration systems that remove haloacetic acids include but might not be limited to the following:
- Activated Carbon Filters – Generally speaking, activated carbon filters have been shown to reduce HAA5 levels in drinking water. In other words, it does an amazing job of removing haloacetic acids.
- Filter Pitchers – They work but dependent on the technology of the pitcher used. Ones with point-of-use filters that have activated carbon do a decent job of reducing HAA5 levels.
- UV filters – Many people assume that UV filters work because they remove most bacteria and other harmful substances from drinking water. However, UV isn’t effective against chemicals like HAA5. That said, UV filtration can be used as an alternative to chlorine treatment. But will not work if chlorine is already in the water.
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Haloacetic Acids?
Reverse Osmosis or RO as it is called is highly effective at removing contaminants like fluoride, lead, bacteria, arsenic, and even HAA5. It is one of the most popular water treatments around. However, unlike water filtration systems, RO plants are expensive. The ‘plants’ as they are called range in sizes from ones under the sink to the point of entry installations that can treat an entire home’s water supply. Irrespective of the system you use, RO is effective at removing haloacetic acids.
The levels of HAA5 or Haloaectic acid in your drinking water is highly dependent on where it is sourced from by the water company. If the supply is from a river or reservoirs, then there is a chance that it has HAA5. On the other hand, if the water comes from the ground aka groundwater, the chances of it having HAA5 is very low because it isn’t treated to remove organic matter. So, before you choose a filtration system or decide to get a reverse osmosis plant installed, make sure you know where the water comes from and the existing levels of Haloaetic acid in it.
Tags: HAA5, Haloacetic Acids, Haloacetic Acids in Drinking Water
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