4 Things To Know About Haloacetic Acids in Drinking Water

Water companies take detailed steps to disinfect the water supply so it’s safe for the public. However, the blend of chemical treatments can occasionally have the opposite effect. One of the side effects is the development of haloacetic acids. Continue reading about the things you should know about haloacetic acids in drinking water to protect the health of you and your loved ones!

What Are Haloacetic Acids?

Water companies primarily collect water from lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. Naturally, the water contains organic matter like leaves, vegetation, bacteria, and viruses. Chlorine helps eliminate these substances to produce safe and sanitized drinking water.

Haloacetic acids (HAAs) are a form of disinfection byproduct. When water companies utilize chlorine to sanitize the water supply, it can react negatively with natural organic matter. Therefore, it develops the byproduct haloacetic acid, which can have potentially harmful effects.

This substance can result in five different compounds. They are commonly referred to as HAA5s. The substances include:

  • Dichloroacetic acid
  • Trichloroacetic acid
  • Monochloroacetic acid
  • Bromoacetic acid
  • Dibromoacetic acid

How Do You Know if Your Water Supply Is at Risk?

The maximum contaminant level for HAA5s is 60 µg/L or parts per billion. If the community’s water exceeds the limit determined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company must communicate the information with all households using the water supply. The EPA will most commonly disclose this through an annual local water report.

Are Haloacetic Acids Harmful to Your Health?

Another important thing to know about haloacetic acids in drinking water is that long-term exposure can be harmful to your health. Individuals who frequently drink water containing HAAs are at a higher risk of developing cancer.

HAAs can potentially harm reproductive organs, as well. This can lead to birth defects in pregnant women. Fetuses have a higher risk of malformation and may have difficulty growing organs like the heart and kidneys.

How Can You Get Rid of These Contaminants at Home?

HAAs do not demonstrate a strange smell, color, or taste in drinking water. It’s difficult to know if there are haloacetic acids in your home’s water supply.

Nonetheless, you can eliminate the substance so you never have to worry! A water purification company like Premier H2O has many reverse osmosis water systems to choose from. These high-tech machines perform four, five, or six stages of filtration to dispose of all contaminants, including HAA.

Activated carbon filters are also effective solutions. Through the process of adsorption, activated carbon will block contaminants from reaching the end of the waterspout. You can install a countertop filter on your sink so you always have readily available water to drink that’s free of HAAs.