Solid Block Activated Carbon And Reverse Osmosis Water For Lead Contamination

With the Flint lead water crisis gaining headlines in the news recently, more and more Americans are becoming aware of problems associated with lead contamination. Lead contamination in the water supply can damage various organs, including the nervous and reproductive system, with worst-case scenarios resulting in convulsions, coma and death. If low levels of lead have been detected in your water supply, the most practical solution may be installing a home water treatment device certified under NSF/ANSI standards to reduce lead from 0.150mg/L to 0.010mg/L or less. Amongst all of the home water treatments available, solid block activated carbon filters and reverse osmosis systems are most highly recommended.

The Benefits of Solid Block Activated Carbon Filters

Solid block activated carbon filters are highly recommended for homeowners who are primarily concerned with lead contamination. Solid block activated carbon filters are basically composed of condensed activated carbon. Activated carbon will bind with ions, minerals and a wide variety of other organic and inorganic pollutants that have been dissolved in the water supply. These filters can only remove contaminants that are larger than the size of their pores. They are a better option for your home if you are looking for a system that:

  • uses very little energy to filter water;
  • are cost-efficient with units priced anywhere from $330 to $2,500 although you should keep in mind that replacement filters will be needed approximately once a year; and,
  • can be installed at the source of the water supply, so that only one filter needs to be installed.

When installing solid block activated carbon filters, you want to make sure you also test the pH of the water supply, as this may affect the effectiveness of the filter. Generally speaking, these filters are most effective when the pH of the water is acidic, which means it has a pH less than 7.0, rather than when the pH is basic, which means it has a pH between 7.5 to 9.0.

The Advantages of Reverse Osmosis Systems

Reverse osmosis systems rely on basic laws of nature to remove contaminants from the water supply. These systems applies energy to a semi-permeable membrane with different concentration of ions in the water on either side to drive ion and chemical concentration to desalinate the water supply. If you're wondering why you should choose reverse osmosis systems rather than solid block activated carbon filters, consider the following:

  • reverse osmosis systems remove all contaminants from the water supply, and as a result, the taste, odor and appearance of the water will be greatly improved; 
  • reverse osmosis systems tend to last longer than solid block activated carbon filters, and the membranes will easily last anywhere from 3 to 5 years; and,
  • reverse osmosis systems are also extremely easy to install, and have a relatively small design, so they fit just about anywhere, and are normally installed near the tap.

In short, if lead contamination is not your primary concern, reverse osmosis systems may be a better investment since they are capable of removing many other contaminants in the water supply. Due to their ability to be able to remove more contaminants, you can expect these home water treatments to be a tad more expensive than other alternatives that are also available. 


You can easily make a decision on which home water treatment system is best for your home depending on whether you require additional water contaminants other than lead to be filtered and depending on how much you are looking to spend. There are many different models of solid block activated carbon filters and reverse osmosis systems that are each able to offer unique advantages and features. For more information, speak with a company like Valley Pump Inc.