What is Phosphorus?
Phosphorus is a highly reactive chemical element commonly found in agricultural fertilizers, organic wastes, and manure. Phosphorus compounds are essential for life. The chemical element is the 6th most abundant mineral in the human body. White phosphorus and red phosphorus are the two major forms of elemental phosphorus found on earth.
Is Phosphorus Dangerous in Drinking Water?
While it’s an essential compound for living organisms, high levels of phosphorus in drinking water may lead to various health problems, according to the EPA. In some parts of the world, particularly in the UK, phosphorus in the form of phosphate is intentionally added to water systems to prevent lead from contaminating water systems. Prolonged exposure to high levels of phosphorus in drinking water may lead to health problems, such as liver, heart, and kidney damages, and osteoporosis.
Is There Phosphorus in Drinking Water?
Soil erosion is one of the main causes of phosphorus in water systems. Since phosphorus attaches itself to soil particles, it makes it easier for the chemical element to invade surface and groundwater. It can also enter various water systems via runoff during rainfall events.
What Happens If Phosphate Levels are too High in Water?
A significantly increased growth of algae and aquatic plants are signs of high phosphorus levels in water systems. These algae blooms are dangerous as they produce algal toxins lethal to humans and animals.
How Do You Remove Phosphorus from Drinking Water?
Phosphates in water systems are removed chemically, biologically, or by using the biological-chemical method. In water filtration systems, granular activated carbon (GAC) removes phosphates in the drinking water.