Drinking water pollution comes from many sources. Surface water can become contaminated with agricultural runoff, community landfills, and hazardous waste from manufacturing byproducts. Groundwater can become contaminated from gasoline and MTBE leaks from underground storage tanks, or from the injection of hazardous waste into deep wells. Significant growth of the drinking water treatment industry can be attributed to the consumer demand for products that can 1) protect them from potentially harmful contaminants in their drinking water, and 2) improve the aesthetics of their drinking water.
The effectiveness of any drinking water treatment device is measured by the performance of its filter. A close review of drinking water treatment unit certifications shows that Solid Carbon Block filters are the most effective for reducing a wide range of contaminants, including those that may be found in groundwater. Certain drinking water treatment units utilizing Solid Carbon Block filters have been tested and certified to reduce upwards of 65 contaminants.
Solid carbon block filter technology was developed by Multipure in the early 1970s for the purpose of treating water contaminants for health and aesthetic reasons. This technology combines mechanical filtration, chemical reaction, and physical adsorption into a single device to reduce a broad spectrum of harmful contaminants.
Activated carbon is the primary raw material used in Solid Carbon Block filters. These activated carbons are effective in reducing disinfection by-products (DBPs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), PCBs, MTBE, and other contaminants. Carbons are selected with high activity. Years of research, development, and manufacturing experience have helped Multipure develop specifications for carbon and other media that give its Solid Carbon Block filters distinct performance advantages over alternative treatments. Quality assurance procedures are carefully developed and maintained to assure that raw materials meet Multipure’s high standards.
Technological Advantages. As evidenced by independent laboratory testing and the certification of Solid Carbon Block filters, Multipure has been successful in developing the technology to produce filters that provide greater chemical adsorption and mechanical filtration. Materials are formed into a densely compacted Solid Carbon Block; compression enhances the kinetics of the filter and provides performance that cannot be achieved with granular activated carbon (GAC) filters. Compacted Solid Carbon Block filters have a large surface area to better facilitate adsorption. With a Solid Carbon Block, the water contact time is longer and provides for greater adsorption of many different chemicals, including pesticides, herbicides, and certain heavy metals. A close review of product listings confirms that Multipure’s Drinking Water Systems are among the few that have been certified to reduce PCBs – a particularly difficult contaminant to reduce.
In addition, the densely compacted carbon block mechanically filters particles down to 0.5 microns, including Giardia and Cryptosporidium, asbestos, turbidity, and particulates. Multipure’s filter design also incorporates a pre-filter to remove large particles and prevent premature clogging. Because Multipure’s Solid Carbon Block filters are exceptionally uniform, they don’t allow channeling or bypass – drawbacks inherent to GAC filters.
Filter capacity varies depending on the density and size of the filter. The activated carbons and their amount used by Multipure determines the capacity of the water filters. Capacity ratings apply to the chemical adsorption capabilities of the carbon and specialized filter media – carbon with a high surface area allows for longer life and higher adsorption capacity. Capacity ratings for Multipure Drinking Water Systems range from 600 gallons to 1200 gallons, depending on the model.
Capacity claims are not applicable to contaminants reduced by mechanical filtration, because of the broad variations in the physical matter potentially present in the drinking water. Multipure’s Solid Carbon Block filter is engineered so that contaminants removed by mechanical filtration cause the flow rate to decrease and the filters to narrow, thus offering protection to the consumer from Giardia, Cryptosporidium and other contaminants with a specific physical size.
Summary. Solid carbon block filters effectively treat contaminants such as lead, chlorine, benzene, MTBE, chloramines, and PCBs. Solid carbon block filters will likely prove capable of significantly reducing contaminants that may be found in drinking water supplies in the future, such as antibiotics, drugs, and other personal care products. The effectiveness of Solid Carbon Block filters in treating a broad spectrum of contaminants of aesthetic as well as health concern makes it the bona fide technology of choice for consumers throughout the country.