Sunday, 2 October 2011

Arsenic in Well Water - Halifax, Dartmouth - HRM Nova Scotia

Arsenic is found throughout Nova Scotia.  Contact us at Evolution Water 902-252-3363.  Arsenic & RO Reverse Osmosis Systems are available to eliminate Arsenic in well water. Visit us and Like us on Facebook for information on water woes, water solutions and water system specials -  Please visit our website -                               
Arsenic - Arsenic is a natural element widely found in soil, bedrock and water. Pure arsenic is a silver-gray or white brittle metal, has no odour and is almost tasteless. Arsenicals are used commercially and industrially – e.g. as alloying agents, in processing of glass and pigment, in pesticides and in wood preservatives
How does arsenic get into water?  Arsenic may enter water supplies through discharge of industrial wastewater and agricultural pollution, or the dissolution of natural arsenic particles in rain, snow or groundwater. Arsenic is also released into the environment through the manufacturing of pesticides and the burning of fossil fuels. It is also a by-product of copper smelting, mining and coal burning. Rocks and soil release arsenic into the ground water which can be drawn into water wells.  Sometimes natural erosion can also introduce large quantities of arsenic into a local water source.
Health Risks -  Arsenic has been recognized as a poison since ancient times. A long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic in drinking water causes bladder, lung, skin, kidney and liver cancer. It can also harm the central and peripheral nervous systems, affect heart functions, damage bloods vessels, and can cause tremors, headaches, numbness and serious skin problems. It can also cause birth defects and reproductive problems. Some symptoms linked to long-term
exposure to high levels of arsenic in drinking water include thickening and discoloration of the skin, nausea and diarrhea, decreased production of blood cells, keratosis and peripheral vascular diseases. Acute arsenic poisoning associated with ingestion of water with high levels of arsenic includes abdominal pain, vomiting, and pain to the extremities and muscles.
Other considerations - Arsenic poisoning in drinking water is a global problem. As research continues to find more advanced and practical techniques of detecting
contaminated water sources and remediating them, we must seek to implement updated analytical methods to avoid the hazardous consequences of arsenic poisoning.

Anion Exchange to Remove Arsenic/Uranium from Drinking Waterwebassets/arsenictitle.jpg

webassets/autotrol255740.jpgWhat is anion exchange?

With anion exchange, water passes through a resin bed which removes arsenic by exchanging it for a non-toxic substance attached to the bed. Once the space on the resin bed is full, the system backwashes with brine to regenerate the bed.

Where should the anion exchange unit be installed?

Anion exchange units are generally installed at the point-of-entry - where the water enters the home or building.

Is the anion exchange unit affected by raw water quality?

Anion exchange units do not specifically target arsenic/uranium. Other substances in the water can compete with arsenic/uranium for a spot on the resin bed, reducing the effectiveness of the unit. Therefore it is important that the source water be analyzed for other substances that may compete with arsenic/uranium. You should consult a water treatment specialist to determine if additional treatment will be required.

How effective is the anion exchange unit in removing arsenic/uranium?

Anion exchange units are capable of removing arsenic/uranium. However, pre-treatment may also be required depending on raw water quality characteristics.

How practical or difficult is the anion exchange unit to operate and maintain?

The anion exchange unit is simple to operate and fairly inexpensive to maintain. The resin bed requires cleaning at a frequency that depends on the manufacturer. The resin will require replacement at a frequency dependant on the manufacturer, the quality of the resin, and the quality of the source water. The salt used to make the brine which regenerates the resin bed must be routinely restocked.
If the anion exchange is not properly maintained, the arsenic/uranium contained on the resin bed may rapidly detach, leading to higher levels of arsenic/uranium in the treated water than the raw water. Therefore, it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for maintenance.

How much does an anion exchange unit cost?

A unit large enough to treat drinking water for a household costs in the area of $1800 to $3,000 (2005).

How much does it cost to operate and maintain an anion exchange unit?

The cost to replace the salt and electricity are the routine operating costs. There will be the cost to replace the resin bed on a less frequent basis. The costs associated with this will be dependent on the unit's manufacturer.

What happens to the substances that are taken from the water?

Arsenic and other substances removed from the water remain on the resin bed until it is backwashed. At that time they are flushed to a drainage system.
Does the anion exchange unit remove other contaminants from water supplies?
The anion exchange unit will remove other substances such as nitrate and sulphate from your drinking water.

Does anion exchange have any side effects or drawbacks?

Water treated by the unit may be corrosive because of the low pH and high chloride concentration.

webassets/watercollage400.jpgwebassets/watercollage400.jpgMaximum Acceptable Concentration for Drinking Water = 0.01 mg/L or 10 ug/L. In water, arsenic has no taste, smell, or colour. It can only be detected
through a chemical test. The Canadian drinking water quality guideline for arsenic is 0.01 milligrams per litre (mg/L).  The guideline limit for arsenic is
based on the level that can be achieved by certified treatment units. Make every effort to keep arsenic levels as low as possible in drinking water.