Serving Greater Lynchburg

What Causes Drinking Water Contamination?

What Causes Drinking Water Contamination?

Drinking Water Contamination

Water quality is an important consideration for homeowners in the Greater Lynchburg area. Whether you get your drinking water from a well or your local municipal water system, it’s important to regularly test your water to ensure it’s safe and healthy to consume. Even if there are no noticeable changes in the taste, color or hardness of the water, unsafe levels of contamination may exist.

While water treatment plants are required to meet EPA standards for contamination levels, it’s up to homeowners to ensure that their well water is safe. Ground water contamination can occur from human activity such as agriculture, mining, and industrial production, as well as naturally occurring sources such as minerals and organic matter in the soil.

Here are some of the things that can contaminate drinking water:

Microorganisms
Harmful microorganisms include viruses, cryptosporidium and giardia, all of which can lead to gastrointestinal illness such as diarrhea, vomiting and cramps.

Disinfection Byproducts
Chlorite is a byproduct of drinking water disinfection. In can cause anemia and nervous system effects in infants and young children. Bromate and haloacetic acids are other byproducts of water treatment and have been linked to an increased risk of cancer.

Inorganic Chemicals
Inorganic chemicals include arsenic, asbestos, barium, cadmium, copper, chromium, lead, mercury, nitrates and other chemicals. These contaminants can occur naturally in soil that comes in contact with water, as well as from industrial and agricultural byproducts. Even in very small quantities many organic chemicals can cause serious health problems.

Organic Chemicals
Organic chemicals include benzene, dioxine, toluene and other chemicals that can be found in industrial waste and agricultural pesticides and herbicides.

If you’re concerned about your home’s drinking water, call Hickey Plumbing, Air & Electrical. If water tests show that the water has elevated levels of contamination, or high mineral content causing hard water, we can provide effective solutions for cleaner water, including water softeners and whole home water treatment systems.