According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), drinking arsenic water can trigger serious conditions such as heart disease, immune disorders and various forms of cancer. To remove arsenic in your drinking water, you will need to install the best arsenic removal system.
First thing first, you’ll need to decide if you want to install a point of use filtration system(POU) or a point of entry filtration system (POE). However, you should bear in mind that arsenic poison is not absorbed through the skin and showering with arsenic water does not pose health risks, so a point of use filtration system for drinking water is sufficient.
If you feel you need a whole house arsenic removal system, I have some top recommendations for you. Without further ado let’s dive right into our recommendations for the best arsenic removal system.
(First, here’s a quick summary of my top pick:-)
- 1 How To Remove Arsenic from Water Through Filtration
- 2 Best Arsenic Whole House Water Filters
- 2.1 Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Undersink RO System
- 2.2 3 Stage 20″ Big Blue Whole House Water Filter
- 2.3 Big Berkey BK4X2 Countertop Water Filter System
- 2.4 Megahome Countertop Water Distiller Stainless
- 2.5 Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher – Fluoride, Lead, Chloramine,
- 3 Freqently Asked Questions about Arsenic Water
How To Remove Arsenic from Water Through Filtration
Just like other contaminants, it’s never possible to remove 100% of a conterminant from water. The goal should be to reduce the arsenic in water to negligible levels.
There are two types of arsenic Arsenic (III) and Arsenic (V). While removing Arsenic (V) is relatively easy, removing arsenic (III) is quite difficult. Most filtration methods are able to remove Arsenic (V).
When it comes to filtering arsenic (III) from water, carbon filters alone won’t do. For carbon filtration to work, you need to apply an additional filtration method. FYI In addition to Arsenic (III) being more stubborn to remove, it’s also more toxic compared to Arsenic (V).
The most effective filtration method for removing arsenic includes the following:
- Reverse osmosis
- Oxidation and Filtration
- Activated alumina
- Ion exchange
Oxidation of water plays a big role in the filtration of arsenic. When the water has a high level of oxidation, it converts arsenic (III) to arsenic (V). Most cities use chlorine to treat water. This helps to oxidize arsenic because chlorine acts as an oxidation agent.
If you are looking for the safest drinking water reverse osmosis the way to go. It’s the most effective method of removing stubborn contaminants such as arsenic and lead.
Most filtration methods are effective at removing some types of contaminants but are not effective in removing others. Reverse osmosis removes virtually all contaminants.
When it comes to arsenic reverse osmosis removes up to 95% of all arsenic in water. A big advantage with RO filters is that you can choose an under-sink filter, Countertop, or whole house filter.
Distillation is another effective method of getting rid of both arsenic (III) and arsenic (V). With distillation, you’ll remove 100% of arsenic dissolved in water. Distillation also provides some of the purest water. Water is first heated to vapor which is collected in another container. Arsenic has a high boiling point, so it’s left behind in the first container. Although distillation is effective at removing contaminants, it has several drawbacks. Distillation is energy-intensive so you’ll pay more in power bills.
This filtration method uses metal oxides that absorb the arsenic in water. Some of the metal oxides that are used include iron oxide and titanium oxide. Water is passed through these oxides which absorb the arsenic from water.
Systems that use ion exchange to remove arsenic from water using the same principles as a water softener. They have resin bed where water passes through arsenic anions are exchanged with chloride anions that are on the resin bed.
Just like a water softener the system needs to regenerate after a period of time. It regenerates by backwashing with a sodium chloride solution. The chloride removes the arsenic anions that are on the resin bed. Although this method of filtering arsenic is simple, it has several disadvantages. It makes water become more acidic because of the increase in chloride levels.
Activated alumina is made from aluminum hydroxide. It has to undergo a chemical reaction which makes it highly porous. It has a big surface area. It’s very effective at filtering the two types of arsenic from water. It’s also able to remove other types of contaminants such as fluoride.
Oxidation is a great filtration method especially when you are using well water that has iron plus arsenic. The process of filtration involves first oxidizing iron to ferric iron which does not dissolve in water. The same way Arsenic (V) is also oxidized to Arsenic (III) which is much easier to filter out. The oxidation is activated by passing water through potassium permanganate. The last steps involve removing insoluble iron and Arsenic (III) by passing through a filtration media such as carbon.
Another effective method of treating water with arsenic is called coagulation filtration. This method involves adding any of the following iron or aluminum salt, ferric sulfate, ferric chloride or polymers to water. Because these chemicals have a positive charge they neutralize the negative charge of dissolved arsenic, iron and manganese. When the positively charged particles combine with negatively charged particles coagulate and form suspensions. The particles settle at the bottom in a process called sedimentation. A sediment water filter can be used to remove the solid particles.
Best Arsenic Whole House Water Filters
The first arsenic filtration system on our list is the Home Master TMAFC-ERP which is an under-sink Reverse Osmosis Water purifier System, and for those who don’t know, the company Home Master is perhaps one of the most popular makers of reverse osmosis filtration system in the world.
this comes highly recommended by pretty much all the water purification experts and has earned itself a good reputation in the water purification industry.
Before we begin checking out just how good the TMAFC-ERP Undersink system is, there are some obvious things you should know about this reverse osmosis system.
The TMAFC-ERP is unique because it carries an innovative full-contact design which overcomes some of the challenges that are associated with traditional reverse osmosis system and it has long-lasting filters which are super easy to install.
Looking at technical details, it has an inbuilt non-electric permeate pump internally installed to reduce water wastage; it uses a seven stage filtration process which removes 99% of all chemical contaminants such as arsenic, chloramine, chlorine, and others.
Its unique full-contact design adds minerals such as calcium and magnesium to improve the water quality and taste.
The inbuilt permeate pump helps to speed up the filtration process and reduce water wastage which is associated with reverse osmosis systems. Most importantly, the TMAFC-ERP has long-lasting easy to replace filters; you can expect each filter to purify up to 2000 gallons of water.
My only issue with the TMAFC-ERP is that if you’re using private well water, you’ll need to install a well water filtration system because under-sink purifiers are not good at handling sediments.
Although you have to pay a couple of hundred to buy this system, it’s an excellent system for removing arsenic from water. With that said, I’m going to list the pros and cons of the Home Master TMAFC-ERP.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that no list of the best arsenic removal systems can be complete without the inclusion of the Big Blue Whole House Activated Alumina Water purifier system. Let’s dive in and check out.
Whether you’re looking at the ability to remove arsenic, sediments or fluoride the Big Blue has to be on the list because the filters are pretty good in removing contaminants from water. With their large filter, it’s gives a great flow rate and does not lose pressure easily.
The systems use a 3 stage filtration process
Stage I- polypropylene sediment system
Stage 2- Activate alumina purifier
Stage 3 Carbon filter
So, what’s good about the Big Blue Whole House Activated Alumina Water Filter? Well, there are a lot of things, for starters, you can get 6-12 months of filtration from a single filter; the purifier is able to remove 98% fluoride, iron and arsenic from water. The installation process is super simple with basic plumbing skills you’ll be able to do it.
If you’re wondering about the downside, there aren’t any deal-breaker here if you are looking for a whole house water purifier. Sure this filtration system carries a relatively hefty price tag, but Big Blue is a very powerful water purifier. So with that out of the way, let’s jump into the pros and cons, shall we?
The next up on our list of arsenic removing systems is the Big Berkey BK4X2 Countertop Water purifier System, and in case you don’t know Berkey is perhaps one of the best-known manufacturers of water purification systems in the market; the quality of their products can go head to head with any company in the world.
The big Berkey brand has stood the test of time; the BK4X2 comes with the big Berkey housing which is made with high-grade stainless steel with a capacity of 2.25 gallons of purified water.
It utilizes two powerful Black Berkey filters; it also includes a fluoride removing element; this purifier has been tested and shown to remove 99% chemical contaminants which include arsenic chemicals, chloramines, chlorine, and fluoride.
The separate fluoride purifier is able to remove 95% of fluoride, the fluoride element is able to purify 1,000 gallons of water. Unlike the Home Master TMAFC-ERP, the Big Berkey BK4X2 can be able to handle raw water directly from a private well.
With that said, a water purifier can’t be perfect, there are some obvious flaws, to start with, the cost of replacing filters is a bit high. Although the filtration speed is high when the filters are new, the speed tends to go down after a couple of weeks. However, don’t let that stop you from buying this filtration system because those weaknesses are not deal-breakers.
So, lets me not waste anymore of your time, let’s dive in and look at the pros and cons.
The next on our list is the Megahome Countertop Water Distiller and before we begin, you should know that distillation gives the cleanest water, and Megahome is perhaps one of the most respected countertop distillers on the market today.
Distillation works by heating water to boiling point; it turns into vapor, and the vapor is collected in another container. Most of the contaminants remain in the fast container.
And because of how effective distillation is at removing almost 100% contaminants, it does offer a great way the purest water within a short time.
The distiller can produce one gallon every 5.5 hours; it made with stainless both in the interior and exterior.
With Megahome Countertop Distiller you get…
- A safe way to distill water at the push of a button
- The cleanest water of most purification
- High-quality Stainless steel construction
- One gallon glass collection bottle.
The first thing that struck me about the Aquagear purifier is how long its filters last. Each filter is able to handle about 150 gallons of water, this, however, depends on the quality of water you’ve in your home.
The Aquagear brands are made in the USA, and they are made using recyclable materials. When it comes to removing arsenic contamination, Aquagear is able to remove the arsenic contamination and produce high-quality water for drinking water.
Unlike most pitchers that remove only chlorine, Aquagear uses a purification process that is able to lots of contaminants in water. In fact, this is one of the two pitchers that consumer Reports recommend for removing lead from water.
The only issue that I found with Aquagear is the slow rate of filtration. You should make sure that there are no bubbles trapped in the filter which tends to make it slow down. With that out of the way let’s look at the pros and cons of Aquagear water filter pitcher.
Freqently Asked Questions about Arsenic Water
Arsenic does not readily enter the body through the skin. Bathing, swimming and showering with water that has levels as large as 500 ppb 0.500 ppm is safe if you avoid swallowing the water. You should ensure that children when they are bathing and brushing teeth to ensure they don’t drink the water.
Warning signs of exposure to high levels of arsenic include stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and impaired nerve function, which may result in pain or numbness and burning in hands and feet. Arsenic can also cause skin darkening and wart growth.
Unfortunately, there is not any way to know the arsenic level in water before a well is drilled. Levels can fluctuate between wells, even when the wells are located in the same area. You see, can’t taste, or smell arsenic in your water.
The symptoms of acute arsenic poisoning include nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Numbness and tingling of the extremities, death and muscle cramping follow these, in extreme cases. It might trigger diseases such as diabetes, cancer, vascular disease, and lung problems.
Seafood: Fish, shrimp, shellfish and other fish may contain significant amounts of organic arsenic, the less toxic form. However, specific types of seaweed and mussels may comprise inorganic arsenic as well 4, 6, 5. Rice and rice-based foods: Rice accumulates arsenic.
There are five methods to remove inorganic contaminants; reverse osmosis, activated alumina, ion exchange, activated carbon, and distillation. Although carbon is the most absorbent material that is known to man, it’s not very effective in removing arsenic. It’s only able to reduce arsenic by 50%. On the other hand, the ion exchanger removes up to 90%. The ion exchange is a method of removing arsenic contamination is used in water softeners.
The FDA standard of quality for arsenic in bottled water is 10 parts per billion ppb, which means FDA reasoned that–based on the best available science–the current limit protects the public health. … Of the 130 bottled water manufacturers tested by Consumer Reports, only two exceeded the FDA standard for arsenic. EPA set an arsenic maximum contaminant level MCL for public water supplies in 0.010 mg L. This is equal to 0.010 parts per million ppm, 10 micrograms liter µg L, or 10 parts per billion ppb.
Arsenic is extremely poisonous to humans; In addition, what makes it so dangerous is that it doesn’t have a taste or odor. This makes hard to detect when you are exposed to it. Some types of arsenic are man-made, but it also exists naturally in the environment.
Brita is able to reduced arsenic by 99%. Having said that, you should know that Brita filters are not certified as arsenic removing filters by the Water Quality Organisation. A great option for removing arsenic is Zero Water pitcher.
These include cardiovascular disease, liver, lung, bladder and skin cancer, diabetes and strokes. Recent studies have suggested that arsenic can be harmful to fetal development and may cause IQ deficits in children. The Food and Drug Administration says that exposure to elevated levels of arsenic is associated with higher rates of skin cancer, bladder cancer, and lung cancer, as well as heart disease.