EPA Science Inventory

LEACHING OF METALS FROM HOUSEHOLD PLUMBING MATERIALS: IMPACT OF HOME WATER SOFTENERS

Citation:

Sorg*, T J., M R. Schock*, AND D A. Lytle*. LEACHING OF METALS FROM HOUSEHOLD PLUMBING MATERIALS: IMPACT OF HOME WATER SOFTENERS. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-98/044 (NTIS 98-147309), 1998.

Description:

A pilot plant study was conducted to evaluate the effects of household ion exchange softening on the leaching of metals from home plumbing materials. The study was conducted in two phases on two different water qualities. Phase I was conducted using a finished tap water having a hardness of 160 mg/L (as CaCO3) and a pH of 9.1 and Phase II was conducted using a ground water having a hardness of 300 mg/L (as CaCO3) and pH around 7.3. The pilot plant systems consisted of two pipe loop systems, each system having duplicate loops of lead pipe, copper-solder pipe, copper tubing, and brass faucets. One pipe loop system was used as a control system and was fed the source water and the second system was the test system and fed the same water softened with a household ion exchange water softener. Pilot plant operation consisted of an intermittent water flowing period followed by a standing period each day. After a standing period, water samples were collected from each loop and faucet to determine the amount of metal leaching from the loops and faucets.

Considering the metal leaching data as a whole, the ion exchanged softened water did not show a pattern of higher metal leaching from the plumbing materials, nor did the water softener have a detrimental effect on the significant water quality parameters that influence metallic solubility.

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Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PUBLISHED REPORT/REPORT)
Start Date: 04/01/1998
Completion Date: 04/01/1998
Record Last Revised: 02/24/2006
Record Created: 12/08/2004
Record Released: 12/08/2004
Record ID: 99480

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

WATER SUPPLY AND WATER RESOURCES DIVISION

TREATMENT TECHNOLOGY EVALUATION BRANCH