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Get Informed | What is MTBE / Methyl tert-butyl ether?

Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) is made from methanol and is a by-product of the oil refining process. It was added to gasoline in an attempt to make gas burn cleaner, but studies show it has had little effect on curbing air pollution. At room temperature, MTBE is a volatile, flammable, and colorless liquid that is highly soluble in gasoline and slightly so in water. MTBE is 28 times more soluble than benzene in water and MTBE will diffuse 8.6 times faster than benzene in water although, it must be admitted, benzene is almost insoluble in water at 1.79 g/L. This allows MTBE to spread laterally faster than the other hydrocarbons, creating a wider and longer contaminant plume and facilitating the movement of the volatile organic compounds that were not as soluble in water.

MTBE is 2.6 times more likely to vaporize than benzene and is 9.2 times more likely to stay in water or to enter water from the atmosphere than benzene. MTBE's low Henry's Law Constant (0.024) indicates that it greatly prefers water to air and any MTBE vapor that contacts water will preferably move into the water at a ratio of 1:42. The decision to put MTBE in gasoline to reduce air pollution resulted in an increase in groundwater contamination associated with leaky underground petrochemical storage tanks. Unfortunately, the experts that were attempting to save the planet by making gasoline burn cleaner instead created jobs for environmental professionals, chemists, geologists, and laboratories, because their short-sighted decision resulted in widespread groundwater and drinking water contamination with yet another chemical, MTBE.

MTBE is manufactured by the chemical reaction of methanol, generally made from natural gas, and isobutylene. It promotes the more complete combustion of gasoline, reducing emissions of carbon monoxide (CO) and organic compounds. It does so by adding oxygen to the gasoline which increases the temperature at which it burns in the engine, reducing the amount of harmful byproducts in the vehicle's exhaust. Because it mixes readily with gasoline, is easily transported, has a low production cost and high octane-rating, MTBE has become the oxygenate of choice for most gasoline producers who face state and federal mandates to produce less-polluting gasoline. In the late 1970s, gasoline companies started adding MTBE in relatively low concentrations to gasoline to replace tetraethyl lead and to boost octane, a measure of a gasoline's ability to resist engine knock . In about 1996, the MTBE concentration in gasoline was increased to 10 to 12 percent to enhance complete combustion and reduce tailpipe emissions, especially in states like California that have widespread air quality problems. In 1990, in response to concerns over air pollution and aggressive industry lobbying, the U.S. Congress amended the Clean Air Act to require the use of fuels which add oxygen to gasoline. MTBE is the best known oxygenate, and the one embraced by most oil companies although other oxygenates are used in some areas. Approximately 31% of all U.S. gasoline contained MTBE and MTBE makes up about 85% of the oxygenates used nationally. Other oxygenates include: ethanol and ethanol-based ethers.

In a major setback to the oil and chemical industries, on July 27, 1999 an EPA panel recommended that MTBE be reduced in use as a gasoline additive because of the toxic hazards that MTBE poses to drinking water supplies throughout the country. MTBE is a known animal carcinogen and possible human carcinogen. The reported U.S. production of MTBE in 1992 exceeded nine billion pounds - virtually all of it is added to gasoline. Oil companies reportedly make approximately $3 billion per year from MTBE production. It was not until 2005 that, the Federal Policy Act removed the requirement to mix MTBE in gasoline (Source). California banned MTBE as an additive in 2002 and New York banned it as a fuel additive in 2004.

How Does MTBE / Methyl tert-butyl ether become a problem?

MTBE is highly volatile and would typically be expected to volatilize rapidly from soil surfaces or water, but MTBE is somewhat soluble in water and is highly mobile in soils; it adsorbs only weakly to soil and aquifer material. The solubility of MTBE in water at 25°C is approximately 5000 mg/L but its solubility in gasoline is much, much greater; gasoline can be as much as 10% MTBE. In comparison, the solubility of non-oxygenated gasoline is only about 120 mg/L. In the atmosphere, MTBE is rapidly transformed into formaldehyde which is an air pollutant. Bioremediation of MTBE in soil, both natural and human-assisted, has not been very effective. If found in groundwater at concentrations greater than 30 ppb, it is likely that the source is a leaking underground storage tank (UST), a point source. Lower concentrations probably represent a combination of point and nonpoint sources, which may include atmospheric washout and stormwater runoff from parking lots, roads, and other paved surfaces.

What are the Health Risks for MTBE / Methyl tert-butyl ether?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had proposed a "health advisory" level for MTBE in drinking water of 0.070 mg/L, but they ultimately set it as an aesthetic-based advisory standard in 1997/1998. Inhalation exposure of MTBE, while pumping gas, has been associated with "headaches, nausea, dizziness, irritation of the nose or throat, and feelings of spaciness or confusion" and as an irritant to the throat and/or nose. "If MTBE leaks from the gallbladder into other areas of the body, the patient can have minor liver damage, a lowering of the amount of white blood cells, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, dizziness, and confusion." "Some animals that were given MTBE by mouth had diarrhea and irritation in their stomachs and intestines. Some animals also had very slight liver damage." "MTBE irritated the skin and eyes of animals when exposed" (Source).

What are the Standards for MTBE / Methyl tert-butyl ether?

Because of taste and odor concerns, the EPA, in 1997/1998, suggested that the MTBE concentration should be no more than 0.02 (Odor threshold) to 0.04 mg/L (Taste threshold). In Pennsylvania, the Department of Environmental Protection established a health advisory level of 0.02 mg/L and Massachusetts set a secondary standard of 0.02 to 0.04 mg/L (Source). New Hampsphire and California set an MTBE primary drinking water standard of 0.013 mg/L because of concerns related to the gastrointestinal system and to minimize a risk of cancer to 1 in 1 million.

Get Tested | MTBE

You should get your drinking water tested for MTBE when you suspect your drinking water has been impacted by a leak or spill associated with a petrochemical operation, if you are adjacent to a landfill, a manufacturer that uses MTBE, old fuel stations, or is located near an activity with high MTBE emissions. In addition, MTBE can add a turpentine-like, sweet, solvent-like, alcohol taste or odor to the water, but this occurs at a level that is at least 10 times higher than the smell/taste thresholds for other volatile organic compounds in water. If your water has a film with a metallic sheen that, after being disrupted comes back together, then this would suggest the sheen is related to a petrochemical problem.

Level 1 | Observational Self-Testing

Level 1 Testing is done with simple observations that an individual can make with their own senses such as sight, smell, and taste. These observations can be readily apparent or can be observed as they change over time. In addition, accessible related information about the home can also be used to narrow down the cause of your water issues.

Notes on Level 1 Testing for MTBE / Methyl tert-butyl ether

There are few warning signs of a problem with MTBE since the threshold taste and odor level is rather high. The best screening test is location, location, and location. Are you located in an area that has had a historic problem with gasoline, old gasoline stations, or large manufacturers that produce or use MTBE? We strongly recommend learning about the historic hazards in your community. It is important to "Know Your H20!"

Observations for MTBE / Methyl tert-butyl ether

If you are on a private water source in an area that has existing or historic development that has used gasoline, is located near a landfill, or is near an industrial site and you notice that the water has a chemical or fuel-like odor and a film with a metallic sheen, you may have an issue with MTBE and other volatile organics.  

If you are on a city water source this is not likely a problem.

Level 1 | Self-Test Web App
To do a quick and easy self diagnosis of your water, click the button below.
Launch

Level 2 | Do-It-Yourself Testing

Level 2 Testing is Do-It-Yourself testing that can be done in your own home using a Testing Kit. After you’ve done Level 1 Testing, Level 2 Testing can confirm if your observations are correct. If your test results reveal the presence of a contaminant that is cause for concern, you can either proceed to determine the best treatment (see below) or continue to Level 3 Testing.

Notes on Level 2 Testing for MTBE- Methyl tert-butyl ether

We are not aware of a low-cost screening test or meter that can be used to document the level of MTBE in your water. Because MTBE is volatile, some of it will get into the air where there are gasoline station leaks or spills (so will some of the gasoline). There are some reliable low-cost air quality monitors that can monitor for total natural & synthetic volatile organic compounds causing most odors (TVOC).

Recommended Level 2 Tests
National Testing LabsWater Check Deluxe

<div class="product-note in-L4-carbon-filtration">Note: For rural Areas with <a href="/indoor-6/herbicides-pesticides">Herbicides and Pesticides</a> Usage</div>

View
National Testing LabsCityCheck Standard

<div class="product-note in-L4-sulfur-treatment">Note: Use in combination with Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Test</div>

View
Filter WaterBrondell Cypress Countertop Water Filtration System (Code A27AC)

<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trichloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>

View
Crystal QuestTriple Under-Sink Water Filter, 8-Stage

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device) </div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-carbon-tetrachloride">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chloroform-trichloromethane">Note: If the concentration of trihalomethanes is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-ethylbenzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-methylene-chloride-dichloromethane-dcm">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-xylenes">Note: If the concentration is < 1.0 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-atrazine">Note: If the concentration is < 0.001 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-alachlor">Note: If the concentration is < 0.002 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-glyphosate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.7 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-2-4-d">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bis-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.006 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trihalomethanes">Note: If the concentration is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-haloacetic-acids">Note: If the concentration is < 0.06 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chlorite">Note: If the concentration is < 0.8 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration of alpha is < 5 pCi/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration is < 4 millirems/year (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: Temporary Solution: If combined concentration is less than 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, and uranium are below drinking water limit (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-total-dissolved-solids">Note: Consider this treatment If the problem appears to be related to a metal or hardness.</div>

View
Crystal QuestGAC Carbon Commercial Water Filter System

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chloroform-trichloromethane">Note: If the concentration is < 0.080 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-ethylbenzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-methylene-chloride-dichloromethane-dcm">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trichloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-xylenes">Note: If the concentration is < 1 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-atrazine">Note: If the concentration is < 0.001 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-alachlor">Note: If the concentration is < 0.002 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-glyphosate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.7 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-2-4-d">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bis-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.006 mg/L (POE Device System Component</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L4-methyl-tertiary">Note: Concentrations < 40 ppb</div>

View
Crystal QuestThunder 1000CP Reverse Osmosis System with Pump

<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device System Component)</div>

View
Recommended Products
National Testing LabsL3-NATE-W-2 | WaterCheck Deluxe

<div class="product-note in-L4-carbon-filtration">Note: For rural Areas with <a href="/indoor-6/herbicides-pesticides">Herbicides and Pesticides</a> Usage</div>

View
National Testing LabsL3-NATE-C-3 | CityCheck Standard

<div class="product-note in-L4-sulfur-treatment">Note: Use in combination with Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Test</div>

View
Filter WaterST-FILT-B-01 | Brondell Cypress Countertop Water Filtration System

<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trichloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>

View
Crystal QuestST-CRYS-T-02 | Triple Under-Sink Water Filter, 8-Stage

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device) </div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-carbon-tetrachloride">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chloroform-trichloromethane">Note: If the concentration of trihalomethanes is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-ethylbenzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-methylene-chloride-dichloromethane-dcm">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-xylenes">Note: If the concentration is < 1.0 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-atrazine">Note: If the concentration is < 0.001 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-alachlor">Note: If the concentration is < 0.002 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-glyphosate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.7 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-2-4-d">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bis-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.006 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trihalomethanes">Note: If the concentration is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-haloacetic-acids">Note: If the concentration is < 0.06 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chlorite">Note: If the concentration is < 0.8 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration of alpha is < 5 pCi/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration is < 4 millirems/year (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: Temporary Solution: If combined concentration is less than 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, and uranium are below drinking water limit (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-total-dissolved-solids">Note: Consider this treatment If the problem appears to be related to a metal or hardness.</div>

View
Crystal QuestLT-CRYS-G-01 | GAC Carbon Commercial Water Filter System

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chloroform-trichloromethane">Note: If the concentration is < 0.080 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-ethylbenzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-methylene-chloride-dichloromethane-dcm">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trichloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-xylenes">Note: If the concentration is < 1 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-atrazine">Note: If the concentration is < 0.001 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-alachlor">Note: If the concentration is < 0.002 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-glyphosate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.7 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-2-4-d">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bis-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.006 mg/L (POE Device System Component</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L4-methyl-tertiary">Note: Concentrations < 40 ppb</div>

View
Crystal QuestLT-CRYS-T-03 | Thunder 1000CP Reverse Osmosis System with Pump

<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device System Component)</div>

View
Neighborhood Environmental Report

Order a Neighborhood Environmental Report to learn about potential hazards in your community.

Level 3 | Informational Testing

Level 3 Testing is done through an accredited Water Testing Laboratory. With Level 3 Testing, you can order a testing kit that is used to prepare your sample and submit it to the lab. By utilizing a lab, you have the assurance that a certified water expert had analyzed your water sample. If your test results reveal the presence of a contaminant that is cause for concern, you can either proceed to determine the best treatment options (see below) or continue to Level 4 Testing - Certified Testing.

Notes on Level 3 Testing for MTBE / Methyl tert-butyl ether

High quality informational water testing kits include testing for MTBE and other volatile organic compounds. If you are on a private water source and have not conducted a comprehensive assessment of your water, we would recommend the National Testing Labs Well Water Check Deluxe. MTBE is not likely going to be a problem with most regulated or city water sources, but if you are concerned we would recommend the National Testing Labs City Water Check Standard.  If you have previous testing and only want to target Volatile Organic Compounds, we would recommend the Tap Score VOC Kit.

If you are experiencing health problems which appear to be linked to MTBE or other organics, it may be wise to consider running an Environmental Intolerance Assessment.

Recommended Level 3 Tests
National Testing LabsWater Check Deluxe

<div class="product-note in-L4-carbon-filtration">Note: For rural Areas with <a href="/indoor-6/herbicides-pesticides">Herbicides and Pesticides</a> Usage</div>

View
National Testing LabsCityCheck Standard

<div class="product-note in-L4-sulfur-treatment">Note: Use in combination with Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Test</div>

View
Filter WaterBrondell Cypress Countertop Water Filtration System (Code A27AC)

<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trichloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>

View
Crystal QuestTriple Under-Sink Water Filter, 8-Stage

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device) </div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-carbon-tetrachloride">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chloroform-trichloromethane">Note: If the concentration of trihalomethanes is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-ethylbenzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-methylene-chloride-dichloromethane-dcm">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-xylenes">Note: If the concentration is < 1.0 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-atrazine">Note: If the concentration is < 0.001 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-alachlor">Note: If the concentration is < 0.002 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-glyphosate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.7 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-2-4-d">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bis-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.006 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trihalomethanes">Note: If the concentration is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-haloacetic-acids">Note: If the concentration is < 0.06 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chlorite">Note: If the concentration is < 0.8 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration of alpha is < 5 pCi/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration is < 4 millirems/year (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: Temporary Solution: If combined concentration is less than 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, and uranium are below drinking water limit (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-total-dissolved-solids">Note: Consider this treatment If the problem appears to be related to a metal or hardness.</div>

View
Crystal QuestGAC Carbon Commercial Water Filter System

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chloroform-trichloromethane">Note: If the concentration is < 0.080 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-ethylbenzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-methylene-chloride-dichloromethane-dcm">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trichloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-xylenes">Note: If the concentration is < 1 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-atrazine">Note: If the concentration is < 0.001 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-alachlor">Note: If the concentration is < 0.002 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-glyphosate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.7 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-2-4-d">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bis-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.006 mg/L (POE Device System Component</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L4-methyl-tertiary">Note: Concentrations < 40 ppb</div>

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Crystal QuestThunder 1000CP Reverse Osmosis System with Pump

<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device System Component)</div>

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Level 4 | Certified Testing

A Level 4 Certified Test Test uses chain-of-custody with a water professional coming to your home to prepare the water sample and then works with an accredited laboratory in order to certify your test results. This type of testing not only gives you the highest level of assurance in the accuracy of your test results, but can also be used as a document in legal cases. For Baseline Testing, we recommend that you use Certified Testing.

Notes on Level 4 Testing for MTBE- Methyl tert-butyl ether

If you need certified testing for MTBE, it would be advisable to test for a broader range of volatile organic compounds and it may be advisable to include testing for other organics like BTEX and many other substances like lead. The recommendation related to testing parameters depends on your situation. Before conducting any certified testing, it may be necessary to order an EDR Radius Check Report with a Geocheck.

Neighborhood Environmental Report

Order a Neighborhood Environmental Report to learn about potential hazards in your community.

Get Treatment | MTBE / Methyl
tert-butyl ether

It is unlikely that a city or regulated community water supply would be contaminated with MTBE, but it is more likely for private water supply systems or transient non-community systems. This may be a concern if you are located near a leaky underground storage tank, contaminated site, an area with a known or suspected release, or in an area where there are underground or surface petrochemical storage tanks. Volatile organic compounds can typically be treated and removed from water using a combination of air sparging/air stripping, Carbon Filtration, and Reverse Osmosis, but reverse osmosis is used as only a final barrier.

Short Term Treatment

Because of concerns related to the exposure to MTBE via consumption, inhalation, and dermal contact, the primary recommendation is to develop an alternative potable water source and to use bottled water. For trace-level MTBE and volatile organic contamination, it may be advisable to use a point-of-use carbon filtration system or a whole-house granular-activated-carbon unit. The NSF established NSF/ANSI 53 certification for POU/POE filtration systems designed to reduce specific health-related contaminants, including volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and MTBE (methyl tertiary-butyl ether).

Recommended Short-Term Treatments

<div class="product-note in-L4-carbon-filtration">Note: For rural Areas with <a href="/indoor-6/herbicides-pesticides">Herbicides and Pesticides</a> Usage</div>

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<div class="product-note in-L4-sulfur-treatment">Note: Use in combination with Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Test</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trichloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device) </div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-carbon-tetrachloride">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chloroform-trichloromethane">Note: If the concentration of trihalomethanes is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-ethylbenzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-methylene-chloride-dichloromethane-dcm">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-xylenes">Note: If the concentration is < 1.0 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-atrazine">Note: If the concentration is < 0.001 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-alachlor">Note: If the concentration is < 0.002 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-glyphosate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.7 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-2-4-d">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bis-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.006 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trihalomethanes">Note: If the concentration is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-haloacetic-acids">Note: If the concentration is < 0.06 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chlorite">Note: If the concentration is < 0.8 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration of alpha is < 5 pCi/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration is < 4 millirems/year (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: Temporary Solution: If combined concentration is less than 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, and uranium are below drinking water limit (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-total-dissolved-solids">Note: Consider this treatment If the problem appears to be related to a metal or hardness.</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chloroform-trichloromethane">Note: If the concentration is < 0.080 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-ethylbenzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-methylene-chloride-dichloromethane-dcm">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trichloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-xylenes">Note: If the concentration is < 1 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-atrazine">Note: If the concentration is < 0.001 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-alachlor">Note: If the concentration is < 0.002 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-glyphosate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.7 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-2-4-d">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bis-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.006 mg/L (POE Device System Component</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L4-methyl-tertiary">Note: Concentrations < 40 ppb</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device System Component)</div>

View

If concentration is at or over 0.07 mg/L, submit a Request for Consultation with the KnowYourH20 Team. Contact Us

Long Term Treatment

Regarding developing a long-term solution, it is critical not only to understand the source, extent, and nature of the contamination, but also to understand the secondary contaminants that may be associated with MTBE. For example, MTBE contamination associated with gasoline stations will typically have elevated levels of Iron, Manganese, heterotrophic bacteria, some salts, and other organics. Therefore, the treatment system may need to include oxidation/filtration, air stripping or Carbon Filtration, UV Disinfection, and even Reverse Osmosis. In addition, it is also advisable to remediate or mitigate the contamination event or release before implementing a long-term solution.

Recommended Long-Term Treatments

<div class="product-note in-L4-carbon-filtration">Note: For rural Areas with <a href="/indoor-6/herbicides-pesticides">Herbicides and Pesticides</a> Usage</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L4-sulfur-treatment">Note: Use in combination with Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Test</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trichloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device) </div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-carbon-tetrachloride">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chloroform-trichloromethane">Note: If the concentration of trihalomethanes is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-ethylbenzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-methylene-chloride-dichloromethane-dcm">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-xylenes">Note: If the concentration is < 1.0 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-atrazine">Note: If the concentration is < 0.001 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-alachlor">Note: If the concentration is < 0.002 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-glyphosate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.7 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-2-4-d">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bis-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.006 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trihalomethanes">Note: If the concentration is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-haloacetic-acids">Note: If the concentration is < 0.06 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chlorite">Note: If the concentration is < 0.8 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration of alpha is < 5 pCi/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration is < 4 millirems/year (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: Temporary Solution: If combined concentration is less than 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, and uranium are below drinking water limit (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-total-dissolved-solids">Note: Consider this treatment If the problem appears to be related to a metal or hardness.</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chloroform-trichloromethane">Note: If the concentration is < 0.080 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-ethylbenzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-methylene-chloride-dichloromethane-dcm">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trichloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-xylenes">Note: If the concentration is < 1 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-atrazine">Note: If the concentration is < 0.001 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-alachlor">Note: If the concentration is < 0.002 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-glyphosate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.7 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-2-4-d">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bis-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.006 mg/L (POE Device System Component</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L (POE Device System Component)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L4-methyl-tertiary">Note: Concentrations < 40 ppb</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device System Component)</div>

View

If concentration is at or over 0.070 mg/L - Recommendation: Seek Advice from a Local Professional (Customized Solution). Contact Us

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