What Are VOCs And How To Remove VOCs From Your Water

Your water might have a lot of impurities, but the worst ones of the lot are certain organic components in water that can lead to a lot of bodily problems. To remove them, whole house water filtration systems are suggested. Here is everything you need to know about VOCs and how to remove them from your water.

What Are VOCs?

Volatile Organic Compounds, most commonly known as VOCs are a range of organic components that can contaminate the water. These organic compounds can easily be transferred and dissolved in water, making them unidentifiable and you will need to run certain tests on the water to pinpoint exactly what kinds of VOCs are present in it.

VOCs are mainly added to water reservoirs as chemical waste from factories or dumps. These components are found largely in paints, paint thinners, gasoline, car exhaust gasses, abrasive chemicals, harsh solvents, chemical cleaners, pesticides, and insect-killing sprays. They have really low boiling points; hence they are very volatile in nature as well, which means that they can convert into a gas at normal temperature and pressure, making them easily dissolvable in water and other fluids.

These components are extremely dangerous for the body and they can harm the eyes, nose, organs, and other important things in the body. You can get dangerous disorders from consuming too many VOCs and this is why the water supply system has a whole monitoring scale for VOCs. Potable water shouldn’t have VOCs in it, or the amount should be extremely small so as to not have adverse effects on the body.

Types Of VOCs In Water

Here are the 3 main types of VOCs present in water.

  • Trihalomethane (THM) is a byproduct produced from the process of disinfection. The main component in this VOC is chlorine, which is a main disinfectant constituent in the disinfecting process. If the water has excess organic compounds in it, then the chlorine can react with the hydrocarbons and produce THM and contaminate the water.
  • Perchloroethylene (PCE) is the main chemical waste produced in shoe polish factories. It has ethylene, chlorine, and other organic components, which make it dissolvable in water and it is another common VOC.
  • Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) is an agent used in making vehicle fuels with higher octane levels. It is used widely nowadays because carbon emissions are controlled by lead-free and high-octane fuel. This can easily dissolve in water since it is used in abundance in many factories and it can contaminate the water as well.

How To Remove VOCs?

Now that you know what VOCs are and what types of VOCs are present and prone to contaminating water, you need to remove them. Here are 2 of the most effective and common types of VOC filtration techniques:

Use A Carbon Filter

Activated charcoal or carbon is a very effective filter to remove almost any kind of impurities, including volatile organic compounds. The carbon in carbon filters tends to break up the organic composition of the VOC and it allows the individual components to be removed from the water.

There are water filters that are made up of carbon that can be used for this purpose. Your water will be free from all sorts of dangerous VOCs and the carbon does not impart any weird taste to your water either, so it’s a great thing to use if you want to get rid of VOCs in your water.

Reverse Osmosis

Another large-scale way of removing VOCs from the supply water, in order to make it potable, is through reverse osmosis. This technique is a bit more expensive and you will need to install an at-home RO unit, but it’s worth the investment.

It purifies the water by passing it through a semipermeable membrane, which allows the water to pass through, leaving behind the VOCs, because their molecular structure is bigger and they can get trapped in the membrane, leading to purified and clean water for you to drink.


There you have it! VOCs can be highly dangerous for you if you consume them through water, so it’s necessary to remove them from your drinking water, in order to deem said water potable. Make sure to use a water filtration system Warren that can remove VOCs.

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