How To Effectively Remove Dalapon From Your Water

Dalapon is an herbicide that was produced and used across the United States years ago. Although this chemical isn’t used anymore, it can still be found in our water sources and should be removed.

Dalapon can be removed from water with a reverse osmosis or distillation system. The most reliable filter media for dalapon from your water are activated carbon filters. This method is EPA-approved for dalapon removal and can be present in water filter pitchers and bottles, under-sink, and whole-house filtration systems.

This guide will explain what dalapon is and how it enters your water supplies, and of course the information you’re looking for – how to remove dalapon from your water.

Why Dalapon Is A Problem

Dalapon is a herbicide that controls the growth of grasses on crop farms or gardens. It can be used for lots of crops, including coffee, corn and even fruit trees. In the United States, Dalapon has been banned for a few decades and it’s not in any registered herbicide product anymore. 

However, because this herbicide was once used so much some residual herbicides may still be present on or around former farmlands. Dalapon from these areas can then enter our water sources when it rains.

These dalapon leftovers can enter rivers and lakes, or can seep through the soil into our groundwater, potentially contaminating our drinking water supplies. This includes both city water supplies and domestic wells.

Dalapon Contamination in the United States

Drinking water contaminated with Dalapon may be bad for your health, especially if you drink it over a long period of time. Fortunately, dalapon contamination isn’t common in the United States. While there hasn’t been an updated study in the last few years, people living in these states were exposed to Dalapon in their drinking water between 2017 and 2019:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Virginia

Florida had the worst contamination, with 108 water utilities and more than 3 million people affected. In 2017, small amounts of dalapon were also detected during a routine water quality check in South Kona, Hawaii County. 

The chemical was found in two of the County’s Department of Water Supply’s wells. However, the quantity detected was so small that it was classified as NQ – non-quantifiable – so it wasn’t regarded as a threat to public health.

How To Remove Dalapon from Your Water

There are 3 ways you can remove dalapon from water:

  1. Filters that use activated carbon
  2. Reverse Osmosis Systems
  3. Distillation units

Activated Carbon

Activated carbon filters can remove lots of contaminants from water. It’s especially good at removing organic contaminants, such as dalapon. When water containing dalapon passes through the filter, it comes in contact with the activated carbon and gets stuck. This process is known as adsorption.

Activated carbon is has a very large amount of space to trap dalapon (and other contaminants), making it very effective.

Activated carbon filtration can remove over 90% of dalapon from your water. It’s also the main method approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for removing dalapon from water.

It’s also effective at removing atrazine, another herbicide – read more about that here.

Activated Carbon Filtration Systems

Many filtration systems use activated carbon for their filters. There are quite a few brands of under-sink filters, whole house filters, water filter pitchers, and water filter bottles with activated carbon filters. Even reverse osmosis systems can have activated carbon.

These filters are an ideal option for removing dalapon from your water. It’s important to know that some brands will not remove dalapon as effectively as others. Just the same as any other contaminant. Before buying one, check to make sure the brand you use is certified to remove dalapon.

Water Filter Pitchers

Water filter pitchers are my favorite way to remove dalapon (and other contaminants), as they are easy to use, fill and maintain. The filters do need changing regularly as with time, the activated carbon becomes saturated, and its ability to remove dalapon decreases.

clearly filtered pitcher

We recommend the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher over any other. It can remove more than 99.98% of the dalapon in your water.

Water Filter Bottles

Like water filter pitchers, water filter bottles often have activated carbon filters that can help remove dalapon.

Because of the small size of the filters in water bottles, they can wear out relatively quickly, especially if you use the bottle often. When the filter wears out, it needs to be replaced.

Water filter bottles from Clearly Filtered (>99.98%) and Epic Water (>99.9%) can remove Dalapon.

Whole House Water Filtration

Dalapon can be removed from all the water that enters your home using a whole-house water filtration system. Usually, these systems use multiple filtering technologies simultaneously, including activated carbon.

To improve the overall quality of the filtered water, whole-house filtration systems also include pre- and post-filters.

Shower Filters

Shower filters cannot remove dalapon from water. Even though some might use activated carbon, shower filters need to maintain a sufficient flow rate for showering, this means water spends very little time in contact with the filter. This gives less time for contaminants like dalapon to be filtered out.

Under-sink Water Filters

These filters often use activated carbon filters as a major purification medium and can remove large quantities of dalapon from your water through adsorption.

While lots of under-sink filters use activated carbon, the units from Clearly Filtered and Epic Water have lab tests to prove they can remove dalapon from water.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis (RO) systems filter water through a thin semi-permeable membrane known as a reverse osmosis membrane. The RO membrane is full of very tiny holes. Because of how small the holes in the RO membrane are, water needs to be pushed through under pressure.

These pores are too small for dalapon (and other contaminants) to pass through. These contaminants are filtered out and left behind, while clean, filtered water comes through the system.

Reverse osmosis can remove about 90-95% of dalapon from your water. However, it’s currently not an EPA-approved method for dalapon removal.

Reverse osmosis water filtration systems don’t use the RO membrane by themselves though. Most of these water filters also use activated carbon – which is approved by the EPA for dalapon removal – and several other filters.

You can read more about the different herbicides that reverse osmosis can remove here.


Distillation is an efficient way to get rid of dalapon from water.

In distillation water is heated until it boils and turns into steam. The steam is then directed into another container where it’s cooled back into a liquid. 

Dalapon boils at a higher temperature than water. This means when the water boils and turns into steam, the dalapon is left behind. The distilled water collected in the condensing chamber is then dalapon-free.

Distillation is an incredibly efficient way to purify water, as it also eliminates lots of other contaminants, including minerals, heavy metals, and other organic compounds.

Russell Singleton

Russell has a Bachelor of Science (Environmental and Marine Geoscience) with Class I Honors. He is currently completing his doctorate in science and is passionate about all earth processes, especially isotope geochemistry and paleohydrology.

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