Parameter Type: Drinking Water Testing for Metals
Parameter Name: Silica
What it is and Where it Comes From:
Silicon dioxide, also known as silica, is an oxide of silicon with the chemical formula SiO2, most commonly found in nature as quartz and in various living organisms. In many parts of the world, silica is the major constituent of sand. Silica is one of the most complex and most abundant families of materials, existing as a compound of several minerals and as synthetic product. You can find silica in food, rocks, plants, medicine, cosmetics, toothpaste, and even the body. Silica is used in the body as a food additive and a filler in drugs and vitamins. The solid crust of the earth contains 80% to 90% silicates or other compounds of silicon. Water passing through or over the earth dissolves silica from sands, rocks, and minerals as one of the impurities it collects. The silica content in natural waters is commonly in the 5 to 25 ppm range, although concentrations over 100 ppm occur in some areas. Drinking water testing gives you several benefits like peace of mind, identifying contaminants in your water, and insight into health concerns. Safe Home offers Laboratory drinking water testing kits for silica, allowing you to collect your water sample and ship it directly to our EPA-Certified Laboratory. This platform of drinking water testing for silica will give you an accurate level based on the lowest level of a parameter our instruments can detect (Method Detection Level). Safe Home drinking water testing for metals can be used for city and well water supplies. Drinking water testing should be done any time you notice a significant change in your water quality.
Silica in water can be beneficial or cause water and treatment problems. Silica present in drinking water may be protective with respect to the decrease of cognitive function as it was suggested by several epidemiologic studies. it has been shown that the performances to a cognitive test were positively correlated to the consumption of silica and that the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) was reduced in subjects who had the higher daily silica intake compared to the others. Data have suggested the possible use of silicates as a therapeutic agent for AD since both model tangles and precipitated beta-pleated sheets of betaA4 can be reversed to soluble forms by silicates. The role of silica in drinking water on cognitive function has been however little studied and clear results have not yet emerged. The potential benefit of silica needs to be confirmed in additional investigations to exclude causes of error related to certain methodological biases. If such association do indeed exist, interventional strategies could be set up to reduce the incidence of AD. Over exposure to silica in drinking water has not been reported to cause human health effects.
Solutions to Contaminant Levels:
After drinking water testing, what are my treatment options? There are various ways to remove silica from a water supply, including lime softening, ion exchange, reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, and electrocoagulation. Lime softening is a process where hydrated lime or quicklime is added to raise pH and precipitate calcium. Ion exchange is ions are charged atoms or molecules. When an ionic substance is dissolved in water, its molecules dissociate into cations (positively charged particles) and anions (negatively charged particles). Reverse osmosis is a process that removes foreign contaminants, solid substances, large molecules, and minerals from water by using pressure to push it through specialized membranes. Here’s how reverse osmosis works. Unlike osmosis, which is a passive process, reverse osmosis requires external force (pressure) to work. Pressure is applied to a highly concentrated solute solution, such as salt water, to pass through a membrane to a lower concentrate solution. The membrane allows water to flow through but blocks out larger molecules, like contaminants. The reverse osmosis process leaves higher concentrations of solute on one side and only the solvent, or freshwater, on the other. Ultrafiltration (UF) is a water purification process in which water is forced through a semipermeable membrane. Suspended solids and high-molecular-weight solutes remain on one side of the membrane, the retentate side, while water and low-molecular-weight solutes filter through the membrane to the permeate side. Electrocoagulation is a broad-spectrum treatment that removes total suspended solids, heavy metals, emulsified oils, bacteria, and other contaminants from water. As water passes through the electrocoagulation cell, multiple reactions take place simultaneously. First, a metal ion is driven into the water. On the surface of the cathode, water is hydrolyzed into hydrogen gas and hydroxyl groups. Meanwhile, electrons flow freely to destabilize surface charges on suspended solids and emulsified oils. As the reaction continues, large flocs form that entrain suspended solids, heavy metals, emulsified oils, and other contaminants. Finally, the flocs are removed from the water in downstream solids separation and filtration process steps. Who do I need to contact to find out more information about water quality in my area? Every community water supplier must provide an annual report to its customers, known as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). The report provides information on your local drinking water quality, including the water’s source, contaminants found in the water, and how consumers can get involved in protecting drinking water. How often does the local public water system preform drinking water testing? Frequency of drinking water testing depends on the number of people served, the type of water source, and types of contaminants. Certain contaminants are tested more frequently than others, as established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. You can find out about levels of regulated contaminants in your treated water for the previous calendar year in your annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).
File Under: Metals
Drinking Water Testing - Parameter Types
MCL’s (Maximum Contaminant Levels) MCL’s are levels that set by the USEPA and are enforceable to Public Water Utilities, requiring additional treatment, when the levels are exceeded. These same guidelines should be at least considered, by owners of private wells. Some states have more strict guidelines than the USEPA. Not all parameters have MCL’s. If the parameter has an MCL, it’s listed.
MCLG’s (Maximum Contaminant Level Goals) MCLG’s are goals set by the USEPA that we should all strive for when consuming drinking water from any water supply. Concentrations of certain parameters (even below the MCL’s), are still not healthy for humans and animals to drink. These same guidelines should at least be be considered, by owners of private wells. Some states have more strict guidelines than the USEPA. Not all parameters have MCLG’s. If the parameter has an MCLG, it’s listed.
ACTION LEVELS ACTION LEVELS are a specified concentration of a respective parameter in drinking water, that is above a “treatment level” set by the USEPA. When these levels are exceeded, further treatment and monitoring is required by the respective utility who’s water violated this limit.Action Levels apply to parameter-rules such as but not limited to the Copper/Lead Rule.
PARTS PER MILLION (ppm) PPM is a scientific measurement which represents milligrams of the parameter being tested per liter of the respective liquid. Example: If Copper in your water supply is at a concentration of 1.00 mg/L, this is the same as saying the concentration is 1.00 ppm.