New EPA standard for arsenic levels to challenge nation's municipal water systems

On Jan. 23, the EPA's new drinking water standard that's five times more stringent than the current regulation took effect. According to the new rule, allowable levels of arsenic in drinking water will be significantly reduced, from 50 to 10 ppb. Chosen more times than any other company by the EPA for its National Arsenic Treatment Demonstration Program, Kinetico's municipal drinking water technology is being used in 17 full-scale demonstration sites around the country...

NEWBURY, OH, Jan. 30, 2006 -- On Jan. 23, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new drinking water standard that's five times more stringent than the current regulation took effect. According to the new rule, allowable levels of arsenic in drinking water will be significantly reduced, from 50 parts per billion (ppb) to 10 ppb.

Although arsenic occurs naturally in rocks, soil, water, air and plants, the EPA is setting the new standard to protect consumers against the effects of long-term, chronic exposure to arsenic in drinking water. Studies have linked arsenic in drinking water to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, liver and prostrate. The EPA concluded that 10 ppb would maximize a reduction in health risk while maintaining a justified cost for implementation.

Subject to the new standard are all 54,000 community water systems nationwide serving 254 million people. A community water system is defined as serving 15 locations or 25 residents year-round. This includes most cities and towns, apartments and mobile-home parks with their water supplies. The EPA estimates that roughly five%, or 3,000, of community
water systems serving 11 million people will have to take action to lower the current arsenic levels in their drinking water to 10 ppb.

Additionally, the new 10 ppb standard will also apply to 20,000 water systems that serve at least 25 people for more than six months per year. Systems used in locations such as schools, churches, nursing homes and factories fall into this category. An estimated five%, or 1,100 of these water systems serving two million people will need to take some action to comply with the new 10 ppb standard.

Collectively, taking into account both year round community water systems and systems that serve at least 25 people for more than six months per year that will be affected by the new regulation, 97% are small systems serving fewer than 10,000 people each.

Kinetico Inc., a leader in the water treatment industry for over three decades, offers the exclusive Macrolite® Coagulation-Filtration Arsenic Removal Series. The system is designed to help assist communities, businesses and institutions comply with the new EPA drinking water standard of 10 ppb that went into effect Jan. 23.

Chosen more times than any other company by the EPA for its National Arsenic Treatment Demonstration Program, Kinetico's municipal drinking water technology is being used in 17 full-scale demonstration sites around the country. The company provides water and wastewater treatment solutions for both municipal and industrial applications.

The Macrolite system involves a three-step process of oxidation, co-precipitation/coagulation and filtration to remove arsenic. The oxidation step uses the chlorination system to oxidize all arsenic (III) to form arsenic (V). The co-precipitation step involves injecting either ferric chloride or ferric sulfate into the oxidized raw water stream. The co-precipitation process takes place as the arsenic (V) adsorbs onto the ferric hydroxide floc. Finally, the pressure filtration system involves standard downflow filtration and upflow backwash through a granular bed of media.

The ceramic media, which is NSF 61 approved, removes arsenic to below detection limits (2 ppb) regardless of influent arsenic concentration. Chemically inert and compatible with all types of acids, caustics, oxidants and ferric salts, Macrolite is warranted to last 10 years, and under normal operating conditions may never need replacement.

In addition to its long life, the systems are extremely efficient and cost-effective. They possess excellent backwashing qualities that provide an efficient production-to-waste ratio greater than 98%. Although the specialized media appears to be more of an investment than anthracite/sand media, the initial cost difference is easily and quickly recovered because its higher particle removal efficiency results in lower chemical consumption and chemical costs.

Compact and durable, the system's design flow of 10 gpm per square foot allows a smaller system footprint, while its modular skid-mounted design makes for easy system expansion. High-quality spun fiberglass filter tanks or epoxy-lined steel filter tanks with view ports, stainless steel distributors, air sparge, pneumatic valving and module capacities from 60 gpm to 1,095 gpm are also standard on the systems, which arrive fully assembled and tested. The entire system is controlled by a programmable logic controller (PLC) in a central control panel, which monitors system performance through sensors that consist of various turbidimeters and flow meters.

Kinetico Inc. (www.kinetico.com), with headquarters in Newbury, OH, is a leading manufacturer of water treatment systems. An extensive network of dealers serving residential and light commercial customers has helped more than a million people in nearly 100 countries experience the benefits of better water. Industrial customers utilize the company's unique technology for water recycling, hazardous waste minimization, metals recovery and high purity water production. Kinetico also applies unique filtration technology to small, municipal water treatment systems. Since 1970, it has prided itself on creating unique water treatment systems that serve customers in an expanding variety of residential, commercial, industrial and municipal applications. The company also has offices and facilities in the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Denmark.

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