According to the EPA
, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
defines water contaminants quite broadly. A contaminant can be anything that isn’t a water molecule. So if it’s not H2O, it’s technically a contaminant.
LThis means that not every contaminant is unsafe to consume. For instance, the dissolved minerals found in 80% of the water in the U.S. pose no health risks. However, minerals like calcium and magnesium can cause hard water problems.
There are many other water contaminants that could lead to health problems. The EPA says
water contaminants can be:
- Physical- sediment or organic material that changes water’s physical properties.
- Chemical– either naturally-occurring or man-made.
- Biological– microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
- Radiological– chemical elements that emit radiation such as cesium, plutonium, and uranium.