Benzene as a Water Contaminant

Benzene is the base product among the family of BTEX chemicals (benzene, toluene. ethylbenzene, and xylenes). These hydrocarbons have been industrially produced in high volumes for many years and for many assorted uses, and are or have been constituents of motor fuels. While benzene is found naturally, there is little risk of natural benzene contamination of drinking water. There is a risk of groundwater contamination from leaking underground storage tanks and other industrial sources. Benzene finding its way into surface waters will be released in a few hours; contamination of drinking water is a potential concern for well waters.

Benzene is a known human carcinogen, with leukemia being the principal cancer concern.

Maximum Contaminant Level

EPA regulates benzene in the National Primary Drinking Water Standards, under the Chemical Contaminants Rules; the established MCL for benzene in drinking water is 0.005 mg/L.

Public Health Concern

Benzene exposure at very low levels is rather ubiquitous in our society, through exposure to gasoline vapors, automotive exhaust, tobacco smoke, and industrial emissions. There is a greater health risk in exposure to benzene-contaminated drinking water. Benzene contamination in groundwater is typically localized, associated with a specific facility that produced, used or stored a benzene product, in particular underground storage tanks for motor fuels and refining facilities.

Benzene is a known human carcinogen, with leukemia being the principal cancer concern. Other concerns include anemia, hemorrhaging and damage to bone marrow.

WETS Treatment

WETS has employed different treatment processes for benzene removal, including aeration and activated carbon. Benzene contamination is usually found in conjunction with other contaminants, and it is usually recommended to perform a pilot study to identify the optimal treatment process for a particular situation.

WETS’ ability to conduct a pilot study quickly and inexpensively is a clear differentiator for our company. WETS will mobilize its pilot study team to your site and conduct the appropriate studies on a slipstream of your water. Our solutions are unique for each plant as we do not offer an off-the-shelf product.

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