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Top 10 Contaminants Found in Tap Water

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Water is life! However, access to clean drinking water is not a privilege everyone has, as communities struggle with contamination and subsequent health complications. While tap water undergoes treatment processes to remove impurities, it can still harbor various contaminants that pose health risks. At Mr. Rooter Plumbing, we understand the most common contaminants found in residential and commercial plumbing, ensuring measures to address water quality concerns and restore safety. Let’s look at common contaminants in tap water to help you make informed decisions. 

Lead

Lead is arguably the most significant contaminant in many water systems, especially in older infrastructure. Exposure to lead in drinking water can cause severe health complications in children, including developmental delays and neurological issues. To mitigate lead contamination, we recommend routine tests by a professional plumbing repair service

Chlorine

While chlorine is an active ingredient in water disinfectants that kills bacteria, excessive levels can produce byproducts that risk health hazards, such as trihalomethanes (THMs). If you notice high levels of chlorine in the water flowing to your fixtures, consult a plumbing expert to ensure the wellbeing of your loved ones. 

Arsenic

Arsenic is a naturally occurring compound on the earth, and contamination often occurs naturally in groundwater. However, arsenic also comes from industrial processes in excess amounts. Research shows that prolonged exposure to arsenic in drinking water is linked to various health problems, including skin lesions, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers. 

Microorganisms

Microbial contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and parasites can infiltrate water sources, causing gastrointestinal illnesses and other infections. The best way to mitigate these microscopic contaminants is to hire a plumbing repair service for proper water treatment and disinfection.

Fluoride

Fluoride is added to water supplies to prevent tooth decay. While this is often done in regulated amounts, excessive fluoride intake can cause dental fluorosis and other health issues. Before adding fluoride to your drinking water, consult a plumbing professional to ensure balanced levels for optimum dental benefits without causing harm.

Pharmaceuticals

Although it is a rare occurrence, trace amounts of pharmaceuticals and personal care products have been detected in some water supplies. These discoveries have raised concerns about potential long-term effects on human health and aquatic ecosystems. Plumbing repair service providers recommend proper wastewater treatment and monitoring to mitigate this contamination.

Nitrate

Nitrate contamination often results from agricultural runoff and sewage discharge. High levels of nitrate in drinking water can pose serious health risks, particularly to infants, as it interferes with the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. If you live near farming land or get water directly from rivers, lakes and dams, schedule routine tests to ensure nitrate levels aren’t dangerous.

Heavy Metals

Besides lead, tap water can contain other heavy metals like mercury, cadmium, and chromium, originating from industrial processes and environmental pollution. Long-term exposure to these metals can cause various health problems, including kidney damage and neurological disorders.

Pesticides and Herbicides

Pesticides and herbicides used in agriculture can leach into groundwater and surface water, contaminating drinking water sources. Chronic exposure to these chemicals is associated with adverse health effects, including cancer and reproductive issues.

Industrial Chemicals

Industrial activities can release various chemicals into the environment, some of which may find their way into drinking water supplies. Contaminants like PCBs, dioxins, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) pose health risks even at low concentrations and require rigorous monitoring and remediation efforts.

Ensuring access to safe and clean drinking water is essential for public health and wellbeing. While water treatment facilities are crucial in removing contaminants, ongoing monitoring and investment in infrastructure are necessary to address emerging threats and protect water supplies. Contact us at Mr. Rooter Plumbing, to understand the top contaminants found in tap water and effective proactive measures to mitigate risks and promote healthier living.

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