Quick Reference Table for Water Contaminant Treatment



Acidic Water Soda ash injection; Sodium Hydroxide injection; Calcite
Acrylamide Carbon (with moderate probability of success)
Alachlor Carbon
Alpha particles Reverse Osmosis; distillation
Alum (Aluminum Sulfate) Reverse Osmosis; distillation
Aluminum Water softener; Reverse Osmosis; distillation; electrodialysis
Ametryn Reverse Osmosis, carbon, and UV used together
Ammonia Water softener with previous removal of calcium and magnesium; deionization; natural zeolite, chlorination
Antimony Reverse Osmosis; coagulation/filtration
Arsenic Ion exchange; Reverse Osmosis; distillation
Asbestos Reverse Osmosis
Atrazine Carbon
Barium Ion exchange; Reverse Osmosis; lime softening; electrodialysis
Benzene Adsorption with carbon; ozone
Benzo(a)pyrene (PAHs) Carbon
Beta particles and photon emitters Ion exchange-mixed bed; Reverse Osmosis; distillation
Cyanotoxins UV; Reverse Osmosis; nanofiltration;  carbon; chlorination
Total Coliforms (including fecal coliform and E. Coli) UV; chlorine/chloramine disinfection; ultrafiltration; Reverse Osmosis; ozone
Beryllium Activated alumina; coagulation/filtration; ion exchange; lime softening; Reverse Osmosis
Alkalinity Aeration; acid injection; anion exchange
Bisphenol A (BPA) No recommended treatment
Boron (Borate) Reverse Osmosis; ion exchange; increasing pH
Bromates (Potassium Bromate and Sodium Bromate) Prevention by pH alteration; anion exchange; ammonia impregnated carbon
Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis; distillation
Bromine (Bromide) Reverse Osmosis; carbon; UV; dialysis
Cadmium Reverse Osmosis; cation exchange; dialysis
Carbaryl (Sevin) Carbon; coagulation; ozone
Calcium Ion exchange; Reverse Osmosis; deionizers; dialysis; distillation; ultrafiltration
Carbofuran Carbon
Carbon dioxide Aeration; deionization; raising pH with Soda Ash injection
Carbon tetrachloride Air stripping;  carbon; coconut shell carbon; Reverse Osmosis
Chloral hydrate Carbon
Chloramines Carbon; catalytic carbon; ascorbic acid, UV
Chlordane Carbon
Chloride Reverse Osmosis; electrodialysis; distillation;  anion exchanger
Chlorine Carbon; KDF
Chlorine dioxide Carbon (possible success)
Chlorite Carbon (possible success)
Chloroacetones No recommended treatment
Chlorobenzene Carbon; Carbon with packed tower aeration
Chloropicrin Chemical oxidation
Chlorpyrifos Coagulation; carbon; ozone
Chromium Reverse Osmosis; distillation; strong base anion exchange regenerated with caustic soda
Color Carbon; anion exchange after water softener; iron/manganese removal methods
Copper POE applications and plumbing fixtures protected by cation exchange, pH control, and film-creating compounds such as polyphosphates; POU treatment: Reverse Osmosis, distillation, and carbon
Corrosion Increasing pH; Reverse Osmosis to reduce chlorides; carbon filtration to reduce chloramines/chlorine; lowering temperature of hot water heater; sediment filtration; decrease flow rate
Cryptosporidium Carbon; Reverse Osmosis; nanofiltration; UV; ozone; distillation
Cyanazine (Bladex) Carbon
Cyanide Reverse Osmosis; electrodialysis; chlorination, retention, and filtration; Carbon  with packed tower aeration
1,2-Dichloropropane Carbon with packed tower aeration; carbon
1,3-Dichloropropene/ 1,3-Dichloropropane Carbon; hydrolosis
1,4-Dioxane Biological activated carbon; UV or ozone with hydrogen peroxide
2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) Carbon
Dalapon Carbon
DBCP (1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane) Carbon and packed tower aeration;  carbon
DDT (Dichlorodiphenyltrichlorethane) Carbon; coagulation
DEHA [Di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate] Carbon
DEHP [Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate] Carbon
Diazinon (Spectracide) Hydrolosis
Dichloroacetic Acid (DCA) Prevention through pre-filtration to remove organic matter or pH adjustment prior to treatment
o-Dichlorobenzene Carbon with packed tower aeration; Carbon
p-Dichlorobenzene Carbon with packed tower aeration; carbon
1,2-Dichloroethane Carbon with packed tower aeration; activated carbon
1,1-Dichloroethylene Carbon with packed tower aeration; activated carbon
cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene Carbon with packed tower aeration; reduction by Reverse Osmosis
trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene Carbon with packed tower aeration; reduction by Reverse Osmosis
Dichloromethane (DCM) Carbon with packed tower aeration
Dicofol Hydrolosis; possible treatment with activated carbon
Diflubenzuron Activated carbon
Dimethoate Chlorination and Carbon
Dinoseb Carbon
Dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD) Carbon
Diquat Carbon
Diuron (DCMU) Activated carbon
Edetic Acid (EDTA) Ozone with activated carbon
Endocrine disruptors (EDCs) Nanofiltration; Reverse Osmosis; activated carbon; distillation; ozone; advanced oxidization
Endosulfan Activated carbon
Endothall Carbon
Endrin Carbon
Epichlorohydrin (ECH) No recommended treatment; limited usage
Ethylbenzene Carbon
Ethylene dibromide Carbon
Fenitrothion Hydroloysis
Flouride Reverse Osmosis; distillation; filtration through activated alumina
Formaldehyde Carbon
Foaming agents Coagulation/flocculation; sedimentation; filtration; activated carbon
Giardia lamblia Filtration of 1 micron size or below; UV; Reverse Osmosis; ozone; shock chlorination
Glyphosate (Roundup) Carbon
Haloacetic acids (HAA5) Pre-filtering prior to disinfection treatment; activated carbon; Reverse Osmosis
Hardness Water softener; Reverse Osmosis; lime softening; polyphosphates; siliphos
Heptachlor Carbon
Heptachlor epoxide Carbon
Heterotrophic plate count (HPC) N/A
Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) Carbon
Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD) Carbon
Hexachlorocyclopentadiene Carbon with packed tower aeration
Hydrogen Sulfide Oxidizing with gas: chlorine, aeration, hydrogen peroxide, ozone, potassium permanganate followed by filtration of oxidant and elemental sulphur; open tank aeration; carbon for small amounts; changing sacrifical anode of hot water heater
Iodine-131 Reverse Osmosis
Iron Ferrous Iron removal: Water softener; oxidation with air, ozone, potassium permanganate, chlorine, or hydrogen peroxide; filtration with Filox, Birm, and Greensand; Ferric Iron removal: filtration with wound string filter; backwashing filter; Heme Iron removal: scavenger anion resin; oxidation with chlorine followed by mechanical filtration
Iron Bacteria Chlorination
Lead Reverse Osmosis; water softeners; removing the source; corrosion control methods in pipes including pH and alkalinity adjustment; calcium adjustment; silica or phosphate-based corrosion inhibition
Legionella Heat and flow-rate management; UV; ultrafiltration
Lindane Carbon
Magnesium Water softener; Reverse Osmosis
Malalthion and Malaoxon Activated carbon
Manganese Ion exchange; oxidation/filtration; chemical feeding then filtering through greensand, carbon, or filter ag
MCPA (4-(2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxy)acetic acid) Carbon; ozone
Mercury Activated carbon; Reverse Osmosis; distillation; ion exchange; sulfide precipitation; starch xanthate
Methane Atmospheric aeration
Methanol (Methyl Alchohol) Ozonation with UV
Methoxychlor Carbon
Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether (MTBE) Coconut shell carbon; reduction through carbon block filtration
Metolachlor (S-Metolachlor) Carbon
Molinate Carbon
Monochloracetic Acid (MCAA or Chloroacetic Acid) No recommended treatment; formation during water disinfection may be prevented with pre-filtration to remove organic matter, or pH adjustment
Mutagen X and MX Analogues Activated carbon
Naphthalene Activated carbon
NDMA (N-Nitrosodimethylanime) Reverse Osmosis removes 50%
Nickel Strong acid cation exchanger; reduction through activated carbon and RO
Nitrite (measured as Nitrogen) Ion exchange; Reverse Osmosis; electrodialysis; distillation and blending
Nitrate (measured as Nitrogen) Ion exchange; Reverse Osmosis; electrodialysis; distillation and blending
Nitrilotriacetic Acid (NTA) Activated carbon
Norovirus Reverse Osmosis; nanofiltration; ultrafiltration; chemical oxidation; UV; distillation
Odor Activated carbon; oxidation/reduction; chlorine dioxide; ozone; hydrogen peroxide
Oryzalin Activated carbon
Oxamyl (Vydate) Carbon
2-Phenylphenol (OPP) Activated carbon
Paraquat dichloride Activated carbon
Parathion (Ethyl Parthion) Activated carbon; hydrolysis
Pendimethalin Carbon
Pentachlorophenol Carbon
Perchlorate Reverse Osmosis; anion exchange; carbon adsorption; distillatin
Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs) Activated carbon; Reverse Osmosis
Permethrin Activated carbon
Pesticides Activated carbon; Ultrafiltration; Reverse Osmosis
pH Raising pH: feeding soda ash, caustic soda, sodium bicarbonate, or potassium hydroxide; calcite; corosex; Lowering pH: feeding sulfuric, hydrochloric acids, phosphoric acid, acetic acid, citric acid, vinegar into water
Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) Chlorine; ozone; activated carbon; Reverse Osmosis
Phosphates Alum; sodium aluminate; ferric chloride; precipitated with lime to hydroxyapatite at pH of 10 or more and then filtered
Picloram Carbon
Pirimiphos-methyl Activated carbon
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) Carbon
Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Carbon
Propanil Activated carbon
Pyriproxyfen Carbon
Tetrachloroethene/Perchloroethylene (PCE) Carbon with packed tower aeration
Radon Point-of-entry devices: Carbon, Aeration systems
1,2,3-Trichloropropane (TCP) Carbon
2,4,6-Trichlorophenol (Dowicide 2S) Carbon
Temephos Adsorption with activated carbon
Terbuthylazine (TBA) Carbon
Tetrachloroethanes Activated carbon
Thallium Activated alumina; ion exchange
Toluene Carbon with packed tower aeration
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Reverse Osmosis, Distillation, Deionization.
Toxaphene Carbon
Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) No recommended treatment; can be reduced during chlorination with coagulation and pH regulation
1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene (TCB) Carbon with packed tower aeration
1,1,1-Trichloroethane Carbon with packed tower aeration; activated carbon
1,1,2-Trichloroethane Carbon with packed tower aeration; activated carbon
Trichloroethene (TCE) Activated carbon adsorption; reverse osmosis (70-80 % removal); air stripping
Tritium No known treatment
Turbidity Depends on amount and nature of particles present; Likely use of sediment filters
Uranium Reverse Osmosis; anion exchange; activated alumina; electrodialysis; enhanced coagulation/filtration
Selenium Reverse osmosis; anion exchange; distillation
Silica Ion exchange with strong base anion resin; coagulation/filtration; reverse osmosis; ultrafiltration; lime softening/precipitation in large flows
Silver Reverse Osmosis; distillation; strong acid cation exchange for reduction
2,4,5-TP (Silvex) Carbon
Simazine Carbon
Spinosad DT (Spinosyns A and D) Activated carbon
Styrene Carbon with packed tower aeration
Sulfate Reverse Osmosis; strong base anion exchanger
Vanadium Ion exchange
Vinyl chloride Carbon with reverse osmosis; distillation; air stripping
Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) Activated carbon; coconut shell carbon; reverse osmosis; aeration with activated carbon
Xylenes (total)

Carbon with packed tower aeration; activated carbon