Removing Micro-plastics From Your Tap Water

A few Months ago, Time Magazine reported that “Plastic Fibers Are Found in 83% of the World’s Tap Water”.  It has even been repoted in some bottled water.  Everyone is worried about what it might do to humans and animals with prolonged exposure, but no one knows the consequences yet.  So, if you believe what you can’t see can’t hurt you, then you can skip the rest of this blog.  However, if you would rather be safe-than-sorry, then there are things you can do about it right now.

There are at least three (3) technologies that can be utilized to remove micro-plastics from the water supply, but before I address that, what about water treatment devices that are made of plastic?  Can’t they also leach plastic?  Good question… and the facts are that extremely cheap plastic products can leach plastic, but the plastic utilized in the manafacture of high quality water treatment equipment typically contains high-density plastics made of products which pose no threat of leaching. So, if you are dealing with a reputable company, the odds are the plastic used is non-leaching.  Laboratories have been using plastics for years with no leaching in analytical process which require there be absolutely no leaching.

Three Technologies to Remove Micro-plastics

Carbon Block Filtration – Typically, the smallest plastic particles are approximately 2.5 microns, but most are  substantially bigger. Therefore, a carbon block filter enginerred for lead reduction (approximately 0.5 microns)  will do a credible job. Undersink Carbon Block Filtration Systems are extremely common.

Electro-Adhesion – The US Water Pulsar Disrupter Filter uses Electro-Adhesion to filter out particles to sub-micron levels.  Not only can it remove plastics, but it also removes bacteria, cysts, virus, arsenic, chromium 6, lead and other heavy metals.

Reverse Osmosis –  This technology seperates the water from the contaminants and filters down to below .0001 microns so it obviously is a very viable method. Reverse Osmosis can be utilized as a whole-house system or undersink option.

These technologies can be utilized as “stand-alone technologies” or in tandem with others.  In many cases, a point-of-use system (just for drinking water) or a whole house solution, may consist of all three technologies.  Do you want to just treat your drinking water, or all the water in your home?  There is no right answer – the choice is yours, but you can rest assured that the technology exists to remove micro-plastics from the water, even if the current technology does not tell us what the long-term effects of exposure to micro-plastics in the water might be.

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This article has 23 Comments

  1. Three Technologies to Remove Microplastics
    Carbon Block Filtration, Electro-Adhesion, Reverse Osmosis
    What about DI filtration?

  2. Russ,

    How is the world could you leave out the word “by?”

    Is this the pot calling the kettle black? Hopefully, you are not an English teacher. We will get around to spellcheck soon…

    Could I at least get a B-? 😉

  3. I have been wanting to switch from water bottles for some time now. I have 4 options to choose from to clear my water totally and steering clear of plastic completely.
    1.Use an all stainless faucet filter then pour that into an over the counter water distiliation system that is all stainless and glass to remove the flouride.(could not find a system that removes fluoride thats all stainles)
    2.Continue buying water bottles(I view the report on their website) ,use that water in the distillation system.
    3.Pour faucet filtered water over bone char/GAC mixture into hops brew mesh basket into a glass container(again flouride removal)
    4. Do number 3 with water bottles.
    I am trying to find the best way.I like the fact that even though bottled water does have microplastics ,it taste better and I can view the water quality online.I just hope that the GAC/Bone char mixuture grabs those plastics. Decisions right!

  4. An article about filtering that doesn’t filter the text it’s written in???
    Even after comments point it out????

  5. Carbon Block Filtration – Typically, the smallest plastic particles are approximately 2.5 microns, but most are substantially bigger. Therefore, a carbon block filter enginerred… (engineered, make that two typos.)

  6. I spend my summers in Georgian. I boil water from the bay for drinking. I then put the water through a Brita filter. Does this process remove microplastics.

  7. Mark,
    First of all, thank you for writing this article. I appreciate you taking the time to research, write, and publish. I am also appreciative of the fact that I can ask questions directly to an expert.

    Someone previously asked a question that mentioned distillation. I have been looking at different types of home distillers as a potential method of removing micro plastics. However, it is challenging to find information on distillation with respect to removal of micro plastics. Do you think you could please provide some insight into this? Any information would be most appreciated.
    Thank you.

  8. Hi Mark,

    I just read this article, and am hoping you also have some insight into how to manage water filtration in the case where a pressure tank is necessary. My water comes from the well on my property, and so I have a pump in the well and a pressure tank in the basement to source, contain and distribute the water in the house.

    Recently I have looked into buying a new pressure tank, and discover that my only choice is a tank that has a polypropylene liner with a heavy butyl diaphragm. I do not know (or believe) that these materials are inert, and in any event the pipes and connectors are often plastic.

    Is there a filtration system that would address the micro-particles that might be released in this scenario?

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts or suggestions — Best, Melissa

  9. Melissa,

    Fine sediment filtration along with prolonged-contact granualr activated carbon filtration followed by reverse osmosis would be my recommendation. There is a lot of plastic in some of those but it is of the type that should not be released into the water. We utilize this same type of system for laboratory water where there can be absolutely nothing in the water or it interferes with testing. If you want an estimate, we would have to see a good water analaysis and a system such as that would start at $6,000 to $7,000.

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