Water Filtration Education

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In addition to being better than bottled water, water filtration systems can assist with arsenic removal from New England waters.

In New England, many of us get our water from a bedrock well for home water use. Wells that have been drilled in bedrock have the potential to contain the element arsenic. Because it is odorless and tasteless, the only way to know the amount of arsenic in your water supply is to have water testing services performed.

There is field testing equipment that exists but using a certified lab such as Granite State Analytical will produce the best results. Arsenic that gets into your home water supply usually exists in two forms, arsenite and arsenate. 

Arsenite is Arsenic III (As III) and arsenate is Arsenic V (As V).

Reducing As III is harder than reducing As V. Numerous studies have shown the ratio of arsenic species can fluctuate due to varying ground water recharge. Other fluctuation contributors include pH and bore hole contact time, and fluctuations of As III and As V happen very consistently. Testing for As III and As V independently is not required. Always install an oxidizing filter to see if As V is present. This approach ensures As III does not impact the longevity of the adsorption medias.

Incorporate an oxidizer that converts As III to As V for better removal and consistency. Testing for each is pointless if the treatment system contains an oxidizer. Many times, an oxidizer can serve multiple purposes, such as odor removal and iron reduction.

Just Because You Know What State Your Arsenic is In Today,
Doesn’t Mean You’ll Know What State It’s In Tomorrow

As stated above, arsenic comes in two different forms, arsenite (AsIII) and arsenate (AsV). It is significantly easier to treat water that is in the form of arsenate than it is to treat in the form of arsenite. A common mistake we see here at LaChance is that a speciation test will be performed to determine exactly how much arsenite and arsenate is present and then a system will be quoted based on the results. However, we do not recommend this because your water has no guarantee whatsoever to remain in the state that test was taken in.

The samples below (click to enlarge) show two tests taken at different dates from the same water source. One test shows that in late December the water had more arsenate(V) than arsenite(III). Another test was taken three months later and the numbers reversed!

If the water was treated under the assumption there would have been plenty of arsenate(V) present, then just a few months later the system would hardly even be able to treat arsenic at all!

A water test is a snapshot in time, and what may have worked that day may not work the next, especially in the case of such a transformative element like arsenic. We suggest treating the incoming arsenic with an oxidizing system that allows any potential incoming arsenite(III) to be converted into arsenate(V) no matter how much or how little that may be. This way you have all your bases covered and you know you can rely on your water treatment system.

Don’t let this happen to you!

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At LaChance Water Filtration, we are happy to provide our clients with information about water testing programs, water wells, testing regulations, and guidelines from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the National Ground Water Association.

Located in Tilton, NH, our company is proud to provide testing services for residents from across the state of New Hampshire, including Laconia, Wolfeboro, Bow, Sunapee, Ossipee, Meredith, NH, and the surrounding areas. If you have questions or would like more information on our water testing or water filtration system installation services, contact us today.

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