Naturally Occurring Contaminants in Water

A lot of people think that a clear stream or lake is pure water, free of contaminants and safe to drink. The reality is that water from most any natural source can not be assured to be free of contaminants. Learn a few facts on naturally occuring contaminants in water.

The migration of water over land or through the ground causes it to pick up dissolved naturally occurring minerals and radioactive material.  Waters in lakes and streams can also capture substances resulting from animal waste of human activity. “Beaver Fever”, caused by Beaver waste in waters and streams where those animals are abundant in the wild is one example. Giardiasis, an often debilitating intestinal disease, is the result of that animal’s waste.

Bottled water and normal drinking water may reasonable be expected to contain at least minute amounts of some contaminants.  The presence of these contaminants does not necessarily imply or indicate that that source of water poses a health risk.  The human body is a marvelous machine and can combat most minor contaminants.

Source water before treatment may contain contaminants including microbes, inorganic contaminants, herbicides, pesticides, radioactive materials and certain organic chemical contaminants.

Also contaminants may be found in drinking water supplies that may cause taste, color or odor problems to humans.  They may cause visitors to the drinking water supply to be unnerved, but most residents who have experienced and used these drinking water supplies for a number of years do not notice or mind. If you are a new resident of one of these supply areas, call your local jurisdictional authority and make a few inquiries for your own peace of mind or get a home filtering system to get the taster or odor you desire.

To insure that your tap water is safe to drink, the U.S, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)and your local jurisdictional authority (Texas has the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) regulate the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by that states water systems. 

Contact the EPA to find more information about contaminants in your drinking supply, if any.

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