4 Effective Ways of Eliminating Copper From the Drinking Water
Your household plumbing system is the reason for the presence of copper in drinking water. The following four methods are highly effective for removing copper from drinking water.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
Reverse osmosis can help you remove up to 97-98% of the copper from drinking water. This filter system features a selectively permeable RO membrane that blocks copper and other contaminants, allowing clean water to flow through it and improving water quality.
RO filter system is compact, easy to install and maintain. It is highly cost-effective and energy-efficient in providing clean and fresh water.
Distillation systems are very effective when it comes to reducing copper concentrations from the water. But, they can distil only a small amount of water at one time. Moreover, distillation is expensive compared to reverse osmosis as it needs electricity or any other energy source to boil water.
Still, people prefer water distillers because they not only remove a large number of ions but also kill bacteria and viruses. These systems are available in the market in small units that you can easily use by putting them over your kitchen counter.
Ion Exchange Filters
The mechanism of the ion exchange unit is the replacement of hazardous ions with safer ones. Its filter cartridges are filled with resin containing potent anions to attract positively charged copper. When water passes through it, the resin traps the copper and allows the clean water to leave the filter unit.
When the resin is saturated with the copper ion, you can regenerate it by removing the trapped copper. This filter system is very effective for copper removal on a larger scale.
Several adsorbents are available in the market to eliminate copper from the water. Activated carbon, alumina, and magnetic adsorbents are highly active in removing copper from water.
When water passes over the porous media, the contaminants form a layer, leaving the water clean. Some absorbent media are reusable, plus there will be no sludge formation.
What Is Copper?
Copper is an essential mineral and chemical element. Its ductility has made it a metal of choice for many industries. It is important for the proper working of enzymes and is a significant constituent of our blood. The range in which copper is beneficial to consume is 2-4mg/day.
If your drinking water contains more than 0.05mg/dm3 of copper, you are consuming an unsafe amount of it, which could harm your health. Luckily, a more than normal range of copper causes discoloration and imparts metallic taste to water that can help you judge water quality.
You should also get your drinking water tested annually for the amount of copper in it to ensure it is not crossing the safe limits.
Source of Copper Contamination
Copper is a mineral that occurs naturally in water, but that amount is relatively low. Farming, mining, and wastewater from industrial and municipal sources add high levels of copper into lakes and rivers.
From all the sources, the one that is more common and important for contamination of drinking water is the erosion of plumbing system’s copper pipelines and fixtures. Corrosion could be from any reason like long-standing water, extremes of the temperature of the water, residual chlorine, acidic or soft water, or changes in water pH.
This corrosion of copper pipes adds a high amount of copper that is extremely hazardous to human health.
The Symptoms & Dangers of Consuming Copper
Various health effects are posed by drinking water containing higher than the allowed threshold of copper. Short-term intake of high levels of copper causes gastrointestinal distress, including nausea, vomiting, gastritis, and diarrhea.
If you continue the consumption of a higher level of copper for a longer duration, chronic symptoms can develop. High concentrations of copper in drinking water can have toxic effects like kidney problems and liver damage. So, you should be careful about the amount of copper in the water you consume daily.
Long-term consumption of a high amount of copper can severely damage the lungs and skin. Wilson’s disease, generally known as hepatolenticular degeneration, and Indian Childhood Cirrhosis caused by the accumulation of higher levels of copper in liver cells are chronic diseases caused by its long-term consumption.
Does Water Filter Remove Copper?
If your drinking water tastes metallic or is discolored, or your water pipes are made up of copper, there are high chances that you are drinking harmful levels of copper along with water. You need to be careful and look for ways to reduce this extra copper from your drinking water.
There is a significant number of water filters available in the market. Some can eliminate this metal very efficiently, while others can partially remove it.
Filters having reverse osmosis membranes can reduce the copper level to almost 97-98%. The pore size of such filters should be 0.0001, which is enough to trap copper.
Hence, installing an effective filtration system in your houses can save you from the hazardous effects of high levels of copper.
Which Water Filters Are Used for Copper Removal?
We have searched for the best options to help you extract copper quite efficiently.
Countertop Water Filters
The countertop filter system is very effective in the copper case as the main reason for additional copper could be your copper pipelines. It filters the water once it has already crossed all the pipelines. You can place it over your kitchen counter and carry it where you want.
These filters could incorporate a reverse osmosis membrane in them, increasing their efficiency in removing copper. The RO membrane can remove up to 97-98% of copper.
The change in water ph could be the reason for the corrosion of pipelines, thus adding copper into the water. So in cases where you need to both adjust the pH to resist further corrosion and eliminate copper by filtration of the water, the water ionizer system is the best option.
Though it is expensive, it effectively solves the problem of the high copper content in water by dealing with the primary source of additional copper.
Under Sink Water Filter
Another good option you have for your house is the under sink filter system. It can remove 99% of contaminants from water. They are available in a huge variety with different filtration techniques from which reverse osmosis is the most common one.
You can install this filter system under your kitchen sink, hence preserving your kitchen’s beauty.
Water Filter Pitcher
These filter systems are small in size but are good at filtering copper from water. It is a portable filter, and you can easily put it in the refrigerator due to its compact size. It is low in cost and is energy efficient. However, the quantity of clean water from best water pitcher provides is not very much but quite enough for a small family.
FAQs on How to Remove Copper From Water?
How do I know if my house is contaminated with copper?
You can judge high levels of copper in your drinking water by its color and taste. High levels of copper impart metallic taste and greenish color to the water. But in addition to that, you should get your water’s copper level checked annually. Copper testing strips are also available in water, with which you can quickly check Cu levels by yourself.
Is boiling effective for copper removal?
No, boiling the water high in copper does not help reduce the copper levels; as you know, boiling causes vaporization. If the water molecules evaporate, the copper will stay in the pan, increasing the copper content in the remaining water.
Does Brita remove copper?
Yes, the Brita water filter effectively removes heavy metals like copper. It uses activated carbon pearls and ion exchange pearls to trap heavy metals efficiently and effectively. You can use Brita filters to remove copper from your water.
The environmental protection agency has set the copper level in the water to be a maximum of 1.3mg per liter. A higher level of copper is harmful while drinking and taking a bath. As copper also affects the skin and eyes, you should be cautious about the level of copper in the water.
In order to get rid of it efficiently, you should first check your plumbing system and copper pipes. If copper pipes are old and corroding, then it is better to replace them.