Nov 22, 2010

WQA Recommends Final Barrier Technology for Houston Residents

Report found that small of amounts of radium and uranium may be present in groundwater

An investigative report that uranium and radium may be present in Houston drinking water provides more reason for residents to consider using final barrier technology in their homes, according to the Water Quality Association (WQA).

According a news report by KHOU, "Small amounts of radioactive elements have contaminated Houston's water supply going back for as many years as the city keeps records on hand, which is presently as far back as 1996. The problem appears to be isolated to the city's groundwater wells, which provide more than 70 million gal a day of drinking water for Houston."

"This report is one more piece of evidence to consumers that in-home technology should be utilized as a final barrier to contamination," said Peter J. Censky, executive director of WQA.

Final barrier technology refers to devices and systems installed at the point of water use.

Radium reduction can be achieved with cation exchange softening, reverse osmosis and distillation. Uranium reduction is achievable through strong base anion exchange, reverse osmosis and distillation.

WQA's Gold Seal product certification offers a scientific method for consumers to ensure the effectiveness of the devices they purchase. The program has certified devices for cation exchange softening and reverse osmosis.

Product testing follows ANS/NFS guidelines. Each technology is tested according to different standards.

"Final barrier technology provides an effective and cost-efficient way to treat water," Censky said. He noted that only about 1% of centrally treated water is consumed by people; to treat the other 99% to final barrier standards is expensive.

At the same time science and technology are constantly discovering more potential contaminants in water supplies, such as pharmaceuticals and endocrine disrupters, including some that have been centrally treated. Final barrier treatment can stop many elements that come into the home, even after water has been centrally treated.