Heavy Metal in the water treatment refers to heavy, dense, metallic elements that occur only at trace levels in water, but they are very toxic and tend to accumulate. Most heavy metals are too rarely found in water but some have been given Maximum Contaminant Limits (MCLs) and this include the following:
Cadmium occurs mostly in association with zinc and gets into water from corrosion of zinc coated ("galvanized") pipes and fittings.
Antimony occurs mostly in association with lead, where it is used as a hardening agent. It gets into water from corrosion of lead pipes and fittings.
Barium is chemically similar to calcium and magnesium and is usually found in conjunction with them. It is not very toxic and is only rarely found at toxic levels. However, it is common at low levels in hard water areas.
Mercury is notorious as an environmental toxin, but it is not a big problem in water supplies. That’s because it is found only at very low levels in water. Certain bacteria are able to transform it into methyl mercury, which is concentrated in the food chain and can cause malformations.
Thallium is as toxic as lead or mercury, but is extremely rare and not often a problem in water.
Lead is the most significant of all the heavy metals because it is both very toxic and very common. It gets into water from corrosion of plumbing materials, where lead has been used freely since Roman times. In addition, lead can be found in the solder used to join copper pipes, and in fittings and faucets made from brass.
Copper and Lead are regulated together because both are commonly used in plumbing materials and because they are corrodible, even though copper is not very toxic. A few tenths of a ppm of copper is common and not a problem, but if as much as 1.3 ppm or 15 ppb lead is detected in tap water, the waterworks is required to modify the water chemistry to make it less corrosive.
Detecting Heavy Metals in Your Water; Heavy metals cannot be detected by sight, smell or taste and should be a water analysis by a chemical laboratory, you will need to send the lab samples of water from the tap. Take the water sample from the tap after an extended period of stagnation, such as overnight. Try to include two samples: one containing the very first water drawn from the tap, and one sample containing water after about 30 seconds of running.
List of contaminants that can often be found in water and its health side effect:
Arsenic: Arsenic causes lung, bladder and skin cancer and may cause liver and kidney cancer. It can also damage your heart, central and peripheral nervous systems, and can instigate reproductive system problems and birth defects. As a result, you should avoid this contaminant at all cost.
Arsenic is a heavy metal that leaches into water from the ground or from industrial waste, the best way to reduce your exposure to arsenic is using a quality water filter with KDF media Activated Alumina that you can monitor and maintain yourself; RO units can also remove all the heavy metals but will remove all the dissolved solids from the water in the same time.
Radioactivity: Radioactive particles can spread easily through underground water systems and thus affects all water ways and ecosystems, Concentrations of uranium above the levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cause kidney damage and increase your risk for certain cancers. Meanwhile, radioactive iodine accumulates in the thyroid and causes thyroid cancer as it decays.
Radioactive pollution is also cumulative, which means it builds up in your body over your lifetime. Unfortunately drinking contaminated water is one of the primary methods we are exposed to radioactivity.
Fluoride: Fluoride is highly toxic and in larger quantities can cause dental fluorosis, poisoning and even death. Fluoride is also a suspected carcinogen so you definitely do not want to drink water that is fluoridated.
The best way to prevent fluorosis is by checking the concentration of fluoride in your drinking water by chemical water analysis.
Flourid can be removed by RO or Activated Alumina Filter
Chromium: Excessive levels of chromium causes a long list of terrible conditions like stomach cancer, kidney failure, renal and liver failure, premature dementia and allergic contact dermatitis.
Chromates are often used to make leather goods, mortar and paints, and they leach from these industrial processes into groundwater and soil, eventually ending up in our water.
The best way to protect yourself is to install an effective water filter with KDF media also RO can remove it.
Lead: By now we all know the consequences of lead poisoning. The heavy metal is toxic to children since it interferes with the development of the nervous system and can cause anemia, seizures and even death.
Lead gets into water via water pipes, and even copper pipes may be soldered with lead. While lead was banned from water pipes, some pipes made today still contain some lead.
Test for lead in your water can be done by chemical water analysis and if exceed than 0.01 mg/L. then a specialty filter with KDF media should be installed, RO also can remove the Lead from the water