I’m Drinking That?! 5 Common Water Contaminants and How to Avoid Them
Environmental Protection Agency rules require public notification of situations that could pose a health risk. Some cases mean issuing notices within 24 hours but others allow 30 days or even up to one year.
Do you want to take a chance on waiting a month or up to a year to find out about problems with your drinking water? Let’s look at five of the most common contaminants in drinking water and what you can do about them.
Nitrates are chemicals found in fertilizers, manure, and liquid waste from septic tanks and plumbing systems. They tend to be more common in rural areas, where these sources are often found.
The nitrogen in fertilizers can combine with the groundwater to form these nitrates, which can leach into the drinking water. They can be dangerous in high enough concentrations, particularly to infants.
Arsenic is a metallic substance found naturally in small amounts. If drinking water contains higher levels than would naturally occur, it can lead to a variety of health problems including digestive issues, numbness in your extremities, and it is linked to some forms of skin cancer.
The most common source of arsenic contamination is manufacturing industries that generate arsenic. It doesn’t change the look or smell of water so to identify higher-than-normal levels of arsenic; you need to have the water tested.
3. Bacteria, Viruses, and Other Microorganisms
All water contains a certain amount of bacteria and other microorganisms. They’re not all harmful, but some can cause more serious issues, such as E. Coli and Legionella Pneumophilia.
These can be particularly harmful to children and the elderly. A good whole house water filter will be able to remove these harmful microorganisms from your water.
Aluminum is one of the most common elements in our soil and water, but it can cause problems in high enough concentrations. When human-made sources of aluminum increase the levels beyond what water would normally contain, there are several serious threats to your health.
Aluminum has recently been linked to some forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. It can also cause damage to the nervous system, kidney disease, and anemia.
Fluoride is a unique form of water contamination. It is added to our drinking water intentionally and has been since the 1940s. It was thought to help reduce the effects of tooth decay.
Recent evidence shows the opposite, however. It is now thought that it is damaging to the tooth enamel as well as causing discoloration of the teeth. High enough levels can also weaken bones.
What You Can Do About Water Contaminants
You’ve got a couple of choices for getting rid of the contaminants in your drinking water. The first is to buy your water from a source that either removes the contaminants or gets the water from a natural source that doesn’t have them in the first place.
The second option is to use filtration to get rid of as many of the contaminants as possible. A good water filter will let you continue to drink the water piped into your home, only without the unwanted ingredients.
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