Water Contaminants

    Published: March 4, 2015

    Common Water Contaminants

    There are literally thousands of toxic chemicals, radionuclides and microorganisms that can find their way into drinking water. From antimony to arsenic to barium, beryllium, cadmium, benzene, mercury, lead, hexachlorocyclopentadiene and more, these toxins can cause a myriad of health issues. To reduce risk, the EPA asks state-run filtration programs to meet Maximum Contaminant Level Goals based on numerical quantities, which are deemed below toxic levels. Unfortunately, according to recent reports, these goals aren’t being met in some major metropolitan areas.

    Where Do Contaminants Come from?

    There are a mind-boggling number of toxins that can infiltrate drinking water. Usually, these come from agriculture and industrial sources; however, sometimes they leach from aging infrastructure inside and outside the home. The biggest offenders include:

    • Copper, pH and lead contamination from pipe corrosion
    • Coliform bacteria resulting in gastro-intestinal illnesses
    • Radon contamination from affected soil
    • Nitrate and pesticide contamination from nearby agriculture
    • Metal contamination from nearby mining operations
    • Strontium, sodium, chloride and barium contamination from nearby gas drilling operations
    • Manganese, iron and copper contamination from stained plumbing or laundry fixtures
    • Excessive volatile organic compounds, total dissolved solids, sulfate, chloride and metals stemming from nearby junkyards, landfills, gas stations or dry cleaning operations

    If you get your water from a private well, you’re at a much higher risk of contamination. That said, recent reports indicate that public filtration systems may not be doing a sufficient job of eliminating these types of harmful toxins from the public water supply.

    Disturbing Data

    The Environmental Protection Agency has set legal limits for allowable amounts of contaminants in the public water supply. Unfortunately, a report from the website 24/7 Wall St suggests these limits are being exceeded throughout the country. Profiled by NBC News, the study found that countless U.S. cities have drinking water with chemicals and pollutants that exceed limits set by the EPA. Among these chemicals included high volumes of carcinogenic trihalomethanes, lead and arsenic, along with radioactive uranium and herbicides known to cause birth defects.

    Taking Extra Measures

    If you’re concerned about potential contaminants in your drinking water, a Pelican Whole House Water Filter with UV can help. Thanks to state-of-the-art filtering technology, these affordable home filtration systems can eliminate microorganisms and provide an extra layer of protection against potentially-contaminated municipal water supplies. For any questions or for a free consultation, contact a water treatment expert today at 877-842-1635.