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Arsenic 101: Basic Facts About The Metal In Your Water


Arsenic is a chemical element found in many minerals and mixed in with metals as a strengthening agent. The chemical is notoriously poisonous to multi-cellular life, and arsenic contamination of ground water is a problem that affects millions of people around the world. Kevin Westerling of Water.com answered 5 primary questions that arise from it:

  • What are the health effects of arsenic exposure?

      • Arsenic is known to contribute to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, pancreatic cancer, and cancers of the liver, skin, lungs, and bladder. Arsenic also creates a condition called arseniasis [chronic arsenic poisoning], which results in skin lesions similar to blisters.  The effects of arsenic on children are more acute in their formative years, and ultimately lead to the health problems detailed above.
  • How do most municipalities plagued with high arsenic levels deal with the 10-ppb mandate?

    • Strategies for utilities typically include blending, acquiring new or less/uncontaminated sources, and treatment.  Smaller water supply systems often have a hard time controlling arsenic levels due to lack of funds and other resources, so they look to the non treatment options.
  • Do you consider 10 ppb to be a safe level, and do you anticipate the maximum contaminant level (MCL) to drop in the future?

    • The U.S. EPA and the World Health Organization have arrived at 10 ppb based on science provided to them by organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, but, in my opinion, the level should be set at less than 5 ppb.  The MCL is often a compromise between science and the cost/benefit associated with the implementation of the standard. We are now more than nine years into the domestic implementation of the 10-ppb standard, and while there are still many communities struggling with the current law, there is evolving science that suggests the standard should be reconsidered. However, I don’t see any real momentum for lowering the level, either by the EPA or the individual states, any time soon. A major contributing factor to implementation and compliance of the arsenic rule is, again, the lack of funds. In other words, it’s pretty much an unfunded mandate. Implementing a lower treatment objective, without adequate funding, would further exacerbate compliance.
  • Are there important distinctions to be made between organic and inorganic arsenic?

    • Yes.  Atoms of arsenic bond with other elements to form molecules. If carbon is one of these elements, then the arsenic compound is an organic compound.  Organic arsenic is rarely found in natural groundwater. It’s the inorganic arsenic that is typically found in groundwater and is the more toxic form linked to detrimental health effects.  If there is no carbon present, then the arsenic compound is inorganic.
  • What technologies do utilities use to effectively combat arsenic, and how do they differ?

    • The most common technologies used for arsenic removal are adsorption and coagulation filtration.  Adsorption is a more passive process, but can have higher operating costs for challenging waters when compared to coagulation filtration.  The latter entails more operator interface and routine sludge handling.  Ion exchange is sometimes used, but requires regeneration and produces a hazardous liquid waste.

For more information about how to remove arsenic from your drinking water, call us today at 619-356-3766 to find out how our EVO Filtration System can remove this deadly contaminant and countless others that are lurking in your family’s drinking water. The system not only removes the contaminants from your water, but remineralizes it for you, producing the healthiest water for you and your family.

How To Encourage Your Children To Drink Water


In today’s age, sugary and sweet drinks are ubiquitous, especially in advertising on children’s shows. Sugary drinks have been tied to health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and attention disorders. While it’s not deemed as “cool” as some of its sugary drink counterparts, water keeps your body hydrated without the negative side effects.

Check Out These Five Benefits of Drinking Water

The  British Government’s Chief Obesity Advisor, Professor Susan Jebb, issued guidance saying that parents should introduce strict rules about sugary drinks – limiting juice to one small glass a day with breakfast, and making water the mainstay.

So how can you persuade your children to kick the sugar habit? Here are 8 tips from The Telegraph

Make it fun

Put water in an attractive cup (children love having cups with brightly colored animal pictures or favorite TV characters on), add a novelty straw, use amusingly-shaped ice cubes, or add pretty pieces of fruit like strawberries. This might not persuade cynical adults to up their H20 intake, but is an easy to way to make water appeal to younger children.

Limit their options

Don’t stock your fridge with with fizzy sodas and colorful fruit juices – if you want them, but don’t want your kids to drink them, put the bottles somewhere they can’t see them. But it’s probably best to clear the offending items from the house altogether: children are rather good at tracking down hidden treats, and it’s best to be a be a role model. If they see you drinking water, they’re more likely to follow.

Water first, treats after

If you do want to let your children have fizzy drinks on occasion, encourage them to drink a big glass of water beforehand – once they’ve quenched their thirst, they are much less likely to binge on the sugary stuff.

Explain the benefits

Preaching the virtues of water might sound like a sure way to put your children off it forever, but kids are often genuinely interested in the human body. Take them to the library and get some books on how the body works and nutrition. Teach them how important it is to stay hydrated – even a grumpy teenager might decide to dump the cola if they realize it’s giving them acne.

Take small steps to improve the taste

Depending on where you live, water straight from the tap can be an unappealing prospect. Cold drinks are often more attractive to kids, especially in summer, so freeze your children’s water bottles before school (they’ll have defrosted by lunch) and stick a jug in the fridge that they can access. Filtered water might also taste a little better, while adding lemon and lime slices can add a fruity flavor with far less sugar than squash or juice.

Make it available

The best thing you to can do to encourage your children to drink water is to make it accessible. If they’re playing outside, give them bottles; at dinnertime, put a big jug on the table. If everyone in the family is drinking water constantly, they’ll get used to topping their water levels up.

Keep it positive

Resist the temptation to nag, or to focus on the fact that you want the kids to have water instead of sugary drinks. Encourage them to think about the health benefits, and treat drinking water as a normal part of the day, rather than as a chore.

Make changes gradual

It’s probably a bad idea to throw all the sugary drinks into the trash overnight and announce the next day it’s a water-only house. Start by making sugary drinks an occasional or weekend treat, rather than an everyday habit, serve them in slightly smaller glasses and offer your children the less-bad options, like weak squash instead of fizzy drinks. At the same time, introduce jugs of water to the house. If your child is really fussy, start watering down their juice or squash a little more every day, until eventually they are drinking straight water.