Activated Carbon (AC)
Carbon is a substance that has a long been used to absorb impurities. One pound of carbon contains a surface area of roughly 125 acres and can absorb literally thousands of different chemicals. Activated carbon is carbon which has a slight electro-positive charge added to it, making it even more attractive to chemicals and impurities. As the water passes over the positively charged carbon surface, the negative ions of the contaminants are drawn to the surface of the carbon granules.
Activated carbon filters are usually rated by the size of the particles they are able to remove, measured in microns, and generally range from 50 microns (least effective) down to 0.5 microns (most effective).
What Contaminants Does Carbon Remove?
Activated carbon filters remove/reduce many volatile organic chemicals (VOC), pesticides and herbicides, as well as chlorine, benzene, trihalomethane (THM) compounds, radon, solvents and hundreds of other man-made chemicals found in tap water. Some activated carbon filters are moderately effective at removing some, but not all, heavy metals. In addition, densely compacted carbon block filters mechanically remove particles down to 0.5 micron, including Giardia and Cryptosporidium, turbidity and particulates. Although some iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide will be removed by these higher quality activated carbon filters, a manganese greensand iron reduction filter is generally preferred to remove these contaminants as the effectiveness of carbon filter against iron and manganese is generally short-lived if the contaminant concentration is high.
Carbon filters are NOT generally successful at removing dissolved inorganic contaminants or metals such as minerals/salts (hardness or scale-causing contaminants), antimony, arsenic, asbestos, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, fluoride, mercury, nickel, nitrates/nitrites, selenium, sulfate, thallium, and certain radio nuclides.
AC does not remove sediment / particulate material very well, so they are often preceded by a sediment filter. Sediment pre-filters also prolong the activate carbon cartridge life by eliminating gross contaminants that would otherwise clog the activated carbon thereby reducing the surface area available for absorption.
Please call and arrange an inspection of your current water source and your usage for us to make an estimate on a system that would work for your needs. 714-530-5700 or 888-438-3529.