Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 by Nick Koz
The film industry and news media have highlighted major incidents involving contaminated water that instill fear in the public. The water coming out of your faucet can be clear, hydrating, and poisonous. Thankfully, these stories increase transparency and testing frequencies by municipalities and well users. This makes most water coming out of household faucets relatively safe to drink. However, there are still some common contaminants from residential water sources that are good to understand in order to be an informed consumer.
Common Water Contaminates from Residential Water Sources
1. Microbial contaminants: It is a fact of life that animal waste gets into our open water sources. If a water source is not treated properly, this waste can contaminate water with bacteria and viruses such as Giardia or Cryptosporidium. When water is contaminated in this way, the water division must contact its users and instruct them to boil water before use until the problem is resolved.
2. Nitrate: When fertilizers are used in agriculture or residential lawn care, nitrate is washed away in runoff and enters water supplies. This is not terribly harmful to adults in small doses, but it can be very harmful to infants and pregnant women.
3. Arsenic: Naturally occurring elements, like arsenic, are commonly washed into water sources, but long-term exposure of high amounts of arsenic is poisonous and linked to many chronic illnesses and cancers. Your water district monitors arsenic levels to make sure they are at low enough levels to meet quality standards.
4. Lead: Whether or not your water contains lead has to do with your water source but also your service lines that get water to your home. If your building is over 30 years old, your pipes may be made out of lead. Some brass pipes also contain lead. Very high levels of lead can be toxic to the body.
Finding Safe Drinking Water
The water that comes out of your water is treated in order to make it safer, but it still contains contaminants. Even bottled water only has to adhere to Food & Drug Administration (FDA) quality standards. If you are a St. Charles resident on city water, you can see your water quality report here. The important thing to understand is that most water contains contaminants at “acceptable” levels, and the only way to ensure that your drinking water is contaminant-free is to take filtration into your own hands.
Call us today to find out how to make your home drinking water safe from contaminants at 1-630-864-7078