It's easy to assume that if your water is clear and tastes fresh, there are no contaminants. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. The EPA describes water contaminants as "any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter in water." It further describes contaminates as "anything other than a water molecule." While some contaminants are harmless, others can be dangerous to your health.
How Does Water Become Contaminated?
There are several ways that water can become contaminated including improper disposal of chemical wastes from factories, pesticides from farms, and bacteria from septic tanks. Contaminants from landfills, soils, and rocks can seep into the ground and enter the water supply. Pollution in the air may also enter the water supply through rain.
Common Water Contaminants Include:
- Bacteria & Viruses
Side Effects of Contaminated Water
Found naturally in soil and foods, the mineral fluoride is sometimes added to the water supply to promote dental health. However, studies show that excess fluoride can lead to bone, thyroid, and neurological problems. The amount added to water has been reduced to help prevent these problems.
According to the EPA, some signs that your water may be contaminated include recurrent gastrointestinal illness, scaly residues, soaps that don't lather, stained plumbing fixtures, objectionable taste or smell, and discoloration.
While you may have your suspicions, the only sure way to know if your water is contaminated is to have your water tested.
Precautions You Can Take
Water filters are a great way to make sure that your water is as clean as possible, but there are other precautions you can take. Proper disposal of waste such as oils, paints, and other household chemicals can prevent runoff into the water supply.
If you notice a strange taste, smell, or color of your water and fear your tap water is contaminated, contact Brian Wear Plumbing today to schedule a plumbing inspection and help alleviate any concerns.