Polyphosphates in drinking water: Is it safe?
Sometimes you’ll come across water with phosphates in it – or a treatment that uses polyphosphates. And the natural question is: Are these safe?
First, what are polyphosphates?
Polyphosphates are a natural chemical. They come from naturally occurring phosphorus-bearing rock, and they’ve been used for over a hundred years to treat specific water quality problems.
So, why are they in my water?
Polyphosphates are commonly added by Public Water Systems to prevent or slow corrosion in the water distribution system.
Additionally, they’re used to purify water against inorganic contaminants, such as iron, manganese, and hardness minerals — which are often found in water supplies. Polyphosphates are used to maintain the water quality in the distribution systems and pipes.
How do they work?
Basically, the polyphosphates bond with the inorganic contaminants (already in your water) and block them from forming hard scale, staining and various types of damage to piping.
In the process, the polyphosphate forms a protective coating on the metallic plumbing and components your water passes through – including service lines, household plumbing, dishwashers, washing machines, water heaters, and so on. The coating / liner from the polyphosphate also helps keep corrosion elements in water from dissolving some of the metals in plumbing systems. This reduces the potential of elevated levels of dangerous metals such as lead and copper levels in the water coming from your plumbing.
When you have polyphosphates in your water, you’ll see a more stable water quality with minimum color, scale, deposits, corrosion, or need for chlorine in your water treatment.
Can I use ANY polyphosphate to treat my water?
The short answer is NO.
It is important to use a polyphosphate that is third-party certified as safe for use in drinking water. One such third-party certification is by the NSF. Also, a polyphosphate certified by the NSF meets EPA guidelines for human and environmental safety.
Are ALL polyphosphates the same?
There may be thousands of different polyphosphates — each created for a specific purpose and to solve specific problems. As such it is important to use a certified polyphosphate that is designed to treat the water quality problems specific to what you are experiencing.
Conclusion: Are polyphosphate in drinking water safe?
Yes — If you get the right polyphosphates for your needs. Polyphosphates are not only safe for you to drink and use in your home, they’re a key component in getting natural, soft water.
Over the years, we’ve successfully used Polyphosphates to treat many water–quality issues.
If you’ve got water problems you’re trying to solve, give us a call, we’d love to help you trouble-shoot them so that you can have great–tasting, soft water in your home.