Uranium/Arsenic/Nitrate Information for Locals

Can Harmful Contaminants be removed from home’s water in California?

The above question has two answers: Scientifically yes, legally no! Uranium can easily be removed from water using reverse osmosis or another method known as anion exchange. The EPA recommends these two methods in their “Best Available Technology” (BAT), which is their list of recommended procedures for removing different harmful water contaminants. These methods are in wide use removing uranium in other parts of our country. In California, however, the problem gets much more complicated. The California Department of Health Services (DHS) through their Drinking Water Device Department enforces the California Health and Safety Code which states:

“No water treatment device that makes product performance claims or product benefit claims that the device affects health or the safety of drinking water, shall be sold or otherwise distributed that has not been certified by the department or by another entity in accordance with subdivision (b). Water treatment devices not offered for sale or distribution based on claims of improvement in the healthfulness of drinking water need not be certified pursuant to this section.……” Section #116835

This means that if any person claims that a reverse osmosis drinking water system or any other water treatment device will remove uranium from a home’s water, that device system must be certified by the State for that purpose.

Iron filters, water softeners or other devices which do not make health claims do not need certification.

This law does not apply to commercial applications, only residential.

Here comes the bad news: There are no drinking water devices which are certified for residential uranium removal in California.

For more information visit the DHS web site: DHS Department of WaterTreatment Devices

Joe Stern Water Conditioning has been working with it’s suppliers and the DHS to get a device certified for uranium removal, but it looks like it will be a long time before this happens. Not only would the manufacturer have to submit it’s device for testing, it would also have to propose and get approval for the testing protocol, since none exists for uranium removal testing.

Since uranium, according to the EPA is only harmful if taken internally and not harmful for bathing, washing and cleaning; we recommend that families which have uranium in their water use bottled water for their drinking and cooking.