Many people are at least somewhat familiar with arsenic, the naturally occurring element known for its toxicity. But few would expect to find it in the tap water coming out of their home faucets.

Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment and can be released into the water supply through natural activities or from agricultural and industrial practices.

Completely odorless and tasteless, a certain amount of arsenic in drinking water is considered acceptable and most people would never be the wiser. However, higher levels can have serious health consequences. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Non-cancer effects can include thickening and discoloration of the skin, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting; diarrhea; numbness in hands and feet; partial paralysis; and blindness. Arsenic has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver, and prostate.”


EPA guidelines protect public health

In January 2006, new EPA guidelines went into effect, reducing the maximum acceptable arsenic contaminant level in drinking water from 50 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion. This action reflected the agency’s commitment to protect the public from the dangerous impacts of arsenic. However, in order to comply with the updated standards, municipalities had to consider new treatment processes for removing the toxic element.

Siemens’ treatment process leaves few—if any—traces of arsenic

Siemens Water Technologies developed a solution that utilizes Granular Ferric Hydroxide (GFH) to remove arsenic in the water. Instead of acting as a screen to filter out floating particles, this process uses a chemical reaction. The GFH actually attracts and absorbs arsenic and other heavy metals, leaving the water cleaner and safer. In fact, this process yields water with few—if any—detectible traces of arsenic.

Siemens Water Technologies recognizes the importance of arsenic removal and the GFH® system has made compliance with strict EPA standards possible for communities around the globe.

Related Resources:

GFH Media Removes Arsenic in Arizona Water Supply

Siemens’ treatment process makes water safer
When the EPA announced a reduction in the acceptable levels of arsenic in drinking water, Siemens’ GFH® media-based system made compliance achievable.