Barium is a chemical found at relatively low levels in nature; however, if it seeps into the drinking water and it is consumed regularly, it can cause a variety of potential health problems. Due to these significant health risks, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has ordered all water treatment plants in areas with higher levels of barium to remove its contents from the water prior to releasing it to the public for consumption. Below is a closer look at what barium is and how the barium removal process works.
What Are the Uses of Barium?
Barium has few uses, but it can be found in several types of products including bleaches, dyes, electrical components, metal alloys, glass, ceramics and fireworks. In addition, barium is used frequently in the well drilling industry.
How Does Barium Get Into the Water?
There are three major ways that barium makes its way into water sources. These are:
- Discharge of drilling waste
- Discharge from metal refineries
- Erosion of natural deposits
What Are the Health Effects of Barium?
Barium can build up in the muscles of the cardiovascular system, which can cause an increase in blood pressure as well as heart palpitations. This chemical is especially dangerous for those already suffering from major heart conditions.
How Does the Barium Removal Process Work?
Several common wastewater treatment processes are effective at removing barium from the water. Below is a look at the top four barium removal processes used today.
- Ion Exchange: Barium, magnesium and calcium are exchanged with the ions in a resin. The barium is then removed through a brine wash during the regeneration of the resin.
- Lime Softening: Both barium and calcium are flushed out of the water during the softening process.
- Reverse Osmosis: Barium and other soluble minerals are removed by pushing the water through a semipermeable membrane.
- Electrodialysis: Electrical current removes salt and barium from the water.
There are several other patented wastewater treatment options that effectively removal barium, but most of these still require the use of chemicals.
How Can Poly Processing Play a Role in Barium Removal?
Poly Processing can help by providing high-quality brine storage tanks and brine-making tanks that are often necessary for the ion exchange barium removal process. In addition, Poly Processing maintains a large inventory of premium storage containers that are designed for use with specific chemicals, includinghydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid and caustic soda, which are the three most commonly used chemicals in the reverse osmosis barium removal process.
When barium removal is an issue for your water treatment plant, Poly Processing has the storage tanks and tank configurations you require that can be delivered to your location.