Common Contaminants Lurking in Unfiltered Water
While some dangerous substances are artificial, others are found naturally in groundwater. The following are some of the most typical types of chemicals and contaminants that may be present in your tap water:
Chlorine is a common antimicrobial agent used in water treatment facilities to disinfect public water supplies. The substance prevents the development of bacteria and viruses that are bio-contaminants. When drinking chlorinated tap water, one runs the risk of developing asthma, food allergies, congenital problems, and even pose as a cancer risk in different types. Fortunately, chlorine in tap water can simply be removed by boiling it or simply leaving it out to evaporate for at least 24 hours.
Fluoride has been connected to hypothyroidism and all associated symptoms, like weight gain, depression, and exhaustion. The buildup of fluoride in the bones due to prolonged exposure to high fluoride levels is known as skeletal fluorosis. Fluoride can build up in the body’s high-calcium regions, causing joint stiffness and brittleness, making older people more prone to fractures.
The water supply may occasionally become contaminated by pharmaceutical supply runoff. Additionally, wastewater treatment facilities frequently fall short of removing them properly. According to one study, sewage treatment plant water contains many drugs, including Tylenol, Oxycodone, antidepressants, and more.
Some plumbing materials contain heavy metal lead, which can contaminate drinking water. Even in small amounts, ingestion of this can harm your health. More severe effects include brain and nervous system damage. Unfortunately, boiling lead will not remove it. But by filtering your water before using it, you can lessen your exposure to lead.
Despite regulating public water supplies, lead service lines and plumbing systems connecting homes to the main water supply can contaminate tap water. The same holds for drinking fountains, faucets, and hoses attached to water tanks with lead lining. Water that passes through corroded plumbing and old pipes will likely contain lead.
Both surface water and groundwater can support the growth of pathogens like bacteria and parasites. Certain bacteria and harmful germs can be detrimental to your health. A potential sign of pathogens in drinking water is the presence of coliform bacteria, more commonly known as E. coli.
A toxic substance called mercury can be present in waterways located near factories, landfills, refineries, and agricultural land. In addition to the environment, this heavy metal can occasionally be found in unfiltered water.
As a neurotoxin, mercury can harm the kidneys and the central nervous system. It can have adverse effects if consumed in large doses, resulting in congenital disabilities and brain damage. Additionally, it may harm your hearing, vision, or brain. There are no safe levels of mercury because even small amounts can result in harmful health effects.
Synthetic fertilizers and herbicides may contaminate water sources through groundwater seepage or storm runoff. They frequently contain dangerous ingredients like nitrates, which can harm unborn children and pregnant women. It can result in premature birth or methemoglobinemia (blue baby syndrome) for expecting mothers.