Evaluated effects of water quality and microbial growth on contaminant removal
Reverse osmosis membranes and activated carbon filters demonstrated average PFAS removal efficiencies greater than 90 percent in a research study funded by the Water Quality Research Foundation. A full report on the research conducted by Dr. Zhi ‘George’ Zhou at Purdue University on the removal efficiencies of three PFAS chemicals with different carbon chain lengths by the POU technologies has been released. “Dr. Zhou’s research will help guide the water quality industry in developing cost-effective treatment devices and new ways of mitigating risks of emerging contaminants in drinking water,” said Rebecca Tallon of A.O. Smith, WQRF Research Task Force Chair.
POU systems, which treat drinking water closest to the point of consumption, provide many benefits to remove trace-level contaminants remaining in treated water. Although PFAS, manganese and Legionella pneumophila frequently occur in drinking water, limited studies have been done to evaluate removal of these emerging contaminants by POU technologies. To address the knowledge gap, Zhou investigated the removal efficiencies of three PFAS chemicals with different carbon chain lengths (PFOS, PFBS, and PFHxS), manganese, uranium and L. pneumophila by RO membranes and AC filters. Zhou also studied the effects of water quality and microbial growth on removal of these emerging contaminants.
Average PFAS removal efficiencies of greater than 90 percent were demonstrated for all POU devices tested. Among the three evaluated PFAS, higher removal efficiencies were observed in long-chain PFAS (carbon chain-length ≥ 6), while relatively low removal efficiencies were observed for short-chain PFBS. For removal efficiencies of the other emerging contaminants, visit the full report at WQRF.org/completed-studies.
WQA warns of door-to-door water testing scams: Tests for water hardness do not reveal pollution or contamination
The Water Quality Association says homeowners should be aware of possible scams involving door-to-door salespersons who offer free water tests and then claim the water hardness tests instead show the water is unsafe to drink. A recent incident involves a homeowner in Titusville, FL, who said she was persuaded to buy an expensive water filtration system after such a test was conducted in her home.
“This test, which is called a precipitation test, measures the level of hardness in the drinking water and is very effective when used for that purpose. But it does not show pollution or indicate a health concern,” said WQA Technical Affairs Director Eric Yeggy. This test uses chemicals or electricity to cause the hardness minerals in the water to turn color, generally a very dark brown or blackish color, Yeggy explained. “If someone tries to convince you that [the dark color of the water] is a sign of pollution or dangerous chemicals in your water, then you’re dealing with someone who’s either unethical or does not know what they’re talking about,” said Yeggy. “This test is a very simple and reliable way to determine the level of hardness of your water.”
WQA recommends homeowners have their water tested by a water treatment professional or a certified lab. WQA members in your area who have agreed to abide by a strict Code of Ethics which forbids the use of unethical and misleading sales tactics can be found using WQA’s Find Water Treatment Providers tool. The Association offers other suggestions for finding reputable water treatment professionals on its website.
In addition, WQA recommends treatment products that have been tested and certified to industry standards. Consumers can visit WQA’s product certification listings to search WQA’s database of certified products.