|PALM DESERT, Calif. (BUSINESS WIRE) - The new arsenic standard
announced October 31 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has
communities and consumers alike turning to water treatment experts for guidance and
The new standard, which the EPA estimates will cost local
communities $200 million annually, will reduce the maximum amount of arsenic allowed in
drinking water from 50 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion by 2006.
Water quality associations, government agencies, and water companies have been working
to educate communities about proven and cost-effective arsenic removal methods.
"Already stressed community drinking water systems and budgets will be impacted
over the next several years. So, it is even more critical to provide the affected
communities with a variety of technologies and services--from wellhead arsenic removal
systems to microfiltration or reverse osmosis to point-of-use or point-of-entry systems
for household and commercial use," said Andrew Seidel, president and CEO of USFilter.
Responding to requests from municipalities and consumers, USFilter and Culligan have
entered into an exclusive marketing agreement with GEH Wasserchemie GmbH of Germany to
market Granular Ferric Hydroxide (GFH(TM)) media. The GFH(TM) media removes arsenic (III),
arsenic (V), chromium, lead and uranium. The GFH media has been used in Europe for many
years to help municipalities meet the World Health Organization standard of 10 micrograms
The media will be used in community water treatment plants, point-of-use and
point-of-entry systems. Through point-of-use systems (under-the-sink) use membrane
technology to reduce arsenic levels, plus other contaminants such as nitrate/nitrite, lead
and Cryptosporidium and Giardia cysts.
USFilter will also provide wellhead arsenic removal systems by installing the GFH media
in pressure vessels. To ensure system integrity, USFilter will use its nationwide service
network to provide cost-effective maintenance contracts that include water analysis, media
removal, disposal and replacement.
Technologists from USFilter's North American Technology Center are collaborating on
various arsenic research projects sponsored by the American Water Works Association, the
EPA and the Association of California Water Agencies.
Dr. Paul Gallagher, director of process development at USFilter, explains, "The
selection of technology to apply is influenced by many factors including the nature of the
arsenic species, arsenic concentration, presence and concentration of additional
contaminants, site flow rate and water source."
USFilter offers many other technologies and process routes to help municipalities
reduce arsenic levels in their drinking water supplies. Some of these technologies include
Memcor(R) coagulation-assisted Microfiltration using and Microfloc(R) pre-engineered
adsorption clarifiers, along with reverse osmosis, ion exchange and lime softening.
Arsenic is a naturally occurring element that enters water supplies through either
natural deposition or agriculture and industrial pollution. According to the EPA, health
effects related to arsenic include cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and increased risk
of various cancers.
The new standard is estimated by the EPA to impact one in 20 or about 4,000 community
water systems nationwide. Nearly 97 percent of those are small systems serving communities
of fewer than 10,000 people.