It’s bad enough to be able to see, smell, or taste a contaminant. But what if your water looks, smells, and tastes just fine — is it? Not necessarily.
Microbial and organic contaminants cannot always be detected by human senses. You might go years before realizing a problem exists. Many folks never become suspicious until people in the community start to get sick. Water near agricultural areas may contain harmful organic material from pesticide or fertilizer application. Chemicals from pesticides and fertilizers in water may increase cancer risk and reproductive problems, and can impair eye, liver, kidney, and other body functions. Similar problems can result from exposure to water near industrial plants.
Even if you cannot see, taste or smell the contaminants, there are resources available to help you detect and treat the issues.
The U.S. EPA has set standards for more than 80 contaminants that may occur in drinking water and pose a risk to human health.
In drinking water, microbes, such as bacteria and viruses, are the contaminants with the greatest chance of reaching levels high enough to cause acute health effects.
The drinking water contaminants that can have chronic effects include chemicals (such as disinfection byproducts, solvents and pesticides), radionuclides (such as radium), and minerals (such as arsenic). Examples of these chronic effects include cancer, liver or kidney problems, or reproductive difficulties.
Organic: Herbicides, Pharmaceuticals
Microorganisms: Bacteria, Virus, Cysts
Radionuclides: Radioactive compounds
Proper levels are important to the development of children’s teeth, especially under the age of 5.Excess amounts can cause:
Arsenic, Cadmium, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Selenium…