Volatile Organic Compounds

Also known as VOCs is practically everywhere. But what is it? These are carbon-based chemicals that evaporate at room temperature. It’s in, nail polish remover, the paint used in your home, the cement on your driveway, and yes, in your water. The EPA stated that levels of VOCs are 2-5 times higher inside homes than outside

VOCs end up in our drinking water supply through human activity by improper disposal of chemicals. These chemicals seep into the ground and eventually reaching the groundwater supply. Unfortunately, VOCs do not have a taste, smell, or color, so detecting them on your own will not be possible. Sending water samples to a certified lab would be the best method to determine which VOCs are lurking in your water. 

There are 3 main VOCs that is found in drinking water, the first one is Trihalomethane and it’s the most common VOC because it is a by-product of water disinfection practices. If a municipality sources water that has an abundant organic content such as a lake or an active reservoir, then the organic content will be high due to the aquatic life such as fish, plants, birds amphibians. That water will then go through a disinfection process that involves chlorination. However, when the chlorine and organic matter in the water are combined, it produces Trihalomethane as a by-product. 

Perchloroethylene (PCE)  is not only tough to pronounce, but it’s another VOC that is commonly found in water. This VOC is a by-product of solvents and is regularly used by dry cleaners, and as a commercial-grade degreaser for cleaning metals. 

The third VOC is called Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE). This has been used as an additive in gasoline to help raise octane levels. MTBE seeps into groundwater through leaking underground storage tanks. In 1998 the Environmental Protection Agency issued regulations that required underground storage tanks installed before January 1, 1984, to be replaced or upgraded to meet the EPA’s new standards. This was to help lessen gasoline and MTBE contamination in groundwater

What can be done about VOCs in your water?

The best way to effectively protect you and your family from VOCs, and other contaminants found in your water, is to get a water filter that will prevent it from entering your home. The Aquasure AS-FP1000 Fortitude Pro Series Whole House Water Filter System can be installed in a home. This multi-stage water filtration system has a 30 micron reusable, washable pleated sediment filter to help reduce sand, dirt, dust, sediment, silt, scale, and other rust particles. 

fortitude aquasure

A Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) and a Kinetic Degradation Fluxion (KDF) Mix Media are used in the second stage help to remove an array of very harmful chemicals such as chloramine, chlorine, herbicides, pesticides, taste, odor, and VOC's. It also inhibits scale, bacteria growth, and prevents media from fouling. This system is best used for homes that source water from a private well.

In addition to the whole house water filter system mentioned above, one should also consider adding a reverse osmosis system such as the Premier Advanced Series of Reverse Osmosis drinking water system. This RO system operates in 4 stages and in the second stage is a carbon block filter, which is designed to address taste, odor, and VOCs in the water. 

By utilizing the combination of the whole house water filtration and the under sink reverse osmosis system, you’re lowering the chances of your family from coming into contact with VOCs through the water. Furthermore, not only will your family have access to clean water that could be used for drinking, but filtered water will now flow through the home making bathing, cooking, and laundry safe for the entire family.

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