When pipes made of lead that allow water to reach our homes, schools, and other institutions start to erode, it mixes with the water.
It is common knowledge that the consumption of lead is life-threatening.
Therefore, it is essential to ensure that what you eat and drink is lead-free and safe for your health and well-being.
While some homes and buildings have installed copper pipes, not everyone has access to them. Lead pipes are still a popular choice to carry water inside infrastructures.
You will learn how lead can be removed from the water in this article.
Ways To Remove Lead From Your Water Supply
Let us look at various methods and techniques that help eliminate lead from your water supply
1. Reverse Osmosis
Popularly known as RO, Reverse Osmosis is one of the most affordable and safest options to allow safe drinking water in your homes and offices.
You may recall the process of osmosis taught in school. Osmosis occurs when water passes through a membrane from a less concentrated space to a more concentrated space.
In other words, clean water merges with contaminated water.
Therefore, as the name suggests, reverse osmosis does precisely the opposite. The osmotic pressure forces contaminated water to pass through a lining and convert into clean water.
RO systems use a semi-permeable membrane (lining) separating water from ions, harmful chemicals, microorganisms, and unwanted substances.
This separation takes place with the help of a strain or size exclusion with 0.01mm sized pores.
Therefore, through reverse osmosis, more harmful chemicals can be removed than other water purification processes.
Moreover, reverse osmosis can remove upto 99.9% of contaminants from the primary source of water supply.
Some of the reasons why people prefer installing an RO system are as follows –
- Some RO systems function without electricity.
- The filtration process is entirely automated.
- It is a cost-efficient water treatment option.
- The installation process is relatively simple.
With such an easy and hassle-free functionality, along with being a cost-effective option, reverse osmosis is truly the popular choice amongst every household.
2. Distillation Using A Water Distiller
Distillation provides the closest final form of clean drinking water.
The water distiller follows nature’s way of purifying water – through evaporation and condensation.
Contaminated water converts to steam. However, what does not end up evaporating are the contaminating agents. The steam eventually condenses and converts into clean, drinking water.
These water treatment devices are available in various models, such as manual, partially automated, and fully automated.
Water distillers are placed at the kitchen faucet, or any other point of use area, ensuring a direct and uninterrupted water supply to function correctly.
This implies that water distillers require heavy electricity to provide clean and safe drinking water for you.
This process is costlier and more time-consuming compared to reverse osmosis. Unlike RO systems, water distillers require high maintenance, ensuring greater longevity in turn.
However, some distillers also tend to remove some oxygen components, which is why many people have complained of the water tasting flat.
Another drawback of water distillers is that some harmful chemicals with a lower boiling point than water might also vaporize with the steam.
But that is not always the case so, you can stay relieved if the quality of the water supply is above average. And lead will definitely not end up in filtered water.
Warning: It is also not a typical water treatment option. Still, it is definitely more effective in removing harmful chemicals like lead, nitrate, etc.
3. Activated Carbon Filters
Carbon-based filters are designed to remove harmful chemicals and eliminate chlorine from reacting with water.
They can quickly absorb organic contaminating components like lead, magnesium, etc. However, like other water treatment devices, these also require timely maintenance.
Activated carbon filters usually get clogged because they absorb chemicals quickly. Hence, you need to constantly keep an eye on the filters. The shelf-life of these carbon filters ranges from two to six months.
Like most water treatment devices, activated carbon filters are also incapable of removing each and every harmful compound from the water. Some examples include – sodium, microbes, fluoride, nitrate, etc.
Like water distillers, these filters require a point of use area to eliminate lead components in the water.
However, some carbon filters can also eliminate foul odour and taste, ensuring a safe and healthy water drinking experience for you.
Activated carbon filters also vary in performance depending on the kind of coal being used. Some coals include anthracite coal, bone char, coconut shells, etc.
As the name suggests, the coals have to be activated before use. There are two ways of activation – steam activation and chemical activation.
Steam activation takes place between 800°C and 1000°C. Once the steam reaches the desired temperature, a water-gas combined reaction takes place, gasifying the carbon.
Afterward, the air added to it burns the gasses without burning the coal. As a result, you get a screened and assured type of activated carbon.
In chemical activation, the carbon is dehydrated using a paste-like agent such as phosphoric acid or zinc chloride. This paste is heated between temperatures 500°C and 800°C to activate the carbon.
Once chemically activated, it produces activated carbon which has open pore structures.
Therefore, it is a suitable fit for the absorption of larger molecules. All in all, activated carbon filters are capable to remove lead along with other impurities.
Author’s Note: Despite this method being an ancient form of purifying water, we still see it being used extensively today along with other filtering methods for the best drinking water.
You May Also Like To Read:
Water Filter Vs. Water Purifier: What Is The Difference?
How To Remove Chlorine From Drinking Water?
So here you have it – three different ways of removing lead from your drinking water.
Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. While all of them remove lead and other harmful chemicals to a great extent, some devices are costlier than others.
However, this article simply works as a guide for you to make an informed decision that is suitable for your needs.
Have you tried any of these water treatment techniques for clean and safe drinking water? If yes, then please feel free to share your experiences with our readers in the comment section below.
As always, we shall continue to update our page and post more informative and helpful articles. So make sure you stay connected with us and come back for more!