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Methods of Treatment for Water Contaminants


Source of VOCs

VOCs (Volatile Organic Chemicals) pose a possible health risk because many of them are known carcinogens. Volatile organic chemicals are man-made, therefore the detection of any of them indicates that there has been a chemical spill or other incident. Volatile organic chemicals regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1986 are listed below.

Volatile Organic Chemicals (US EPA MCL-mg/l)

Trichloroethylene (0.005)
Tetrachloroethylene (0.005)
Carbon tetrachloride (0.005)
Trichloroethane (0.2)
Dichloroethane (ethylene dichloride) (0.005)
Vinyl chloride (0.002)
Methylene chloride (dichloromethane) (0.005)
Benzene (0.005)
Chlorobenzene (0.1)
Dichlorobenzene (0.6)
Trichlorobenzene (0.07)
Dichloroethylene (0.007)
Dichloroethylene (0.1)
Dichloroethylene (0.07)

Treatment of VOCs

The best choice for removal of Volatile organic chemicals is activated carbon filtration. The adsorption capacity of the carbon will vary with each type of VOC. The carbon manufacturers can run computer projections on many of these chemicals and give an estimate as to the amount of VOC that can be removed before the carbon will need replacement. Aeration may also be used alone or in conjunction with the activated carbon. Reverse osmosis will remove 70 to 80% of the VOCs in the water. Electro dialysis and ultrafiltration are also capable of reducing volatile organic chemicals.

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