Unfortunately, the city water coming out of your tap might not always be safe to drink.
Sometimes, there are issues at the local water treatment plant. Often, an issue arises as the water travels from the plant to your tap. For example, heavy metals or sediments might leak into your water. If the water reaches your home in pristine condition, metals and other contaminants from your home’s pipes could seep into your water.
Even if your water doesn’t pose a health risk, it could damage your pipes, appliances, clothing, and more. Let’s take a look at some of the contaminants you might find in your water.
Lead and Other Metals
Many old pipes were made with lead. If these pipes are not properly cared for, lead can leach into your water. Lead poisoning can stunt childhood development and lead to a host of other problems. Lead is one of the most common contaminants in city water and has resulted in crises, such as the Flint Water Crisis.
Arsenic is another dangerous metal that could make its way into your city water. The EPA has previously estimated that as many as 36 million Americans have consumed water with arsenic above 3 parts per billion, which is above the agency’s recommendations.
While many water treatment plants take steps to reduce iron in city water, it can still make its way to your tap. This could result in rust stains and other issues.
Another potential contaminant is hexavalent chromium 6, which was the subject of the popular Erin Brockovich film, itself based on a true story. This dangerous carcinogen should be avoided and eliminated.
Pesticides and Farm Runoff
Even if you don’t live near a farm and drink city water, pesticides and farm runoff could still make its way into your water supply. Unfortunately, the runoff can affect water supplies over considerable distances.
Nitrates, for example, are frequently used as a fertilizer. When it rains or the plants are watered, some of the nitrates could flow into local rivers and streams. From there, it could contaminate a city’s water supply.
There’s also Atrazine, a dangerous pesticide that has been found in drinking water. Like nitrates, Atrazine may be flushed into the water supply. Many other dangerous pesticides and farm chemicals could potentially make their way into drinking water.
Calcium and Magnesium
You may have heard of “hard” water. This common condition occurs when calcium and magnesium contaminate your water supply. This occurs when the calcium and magnesium leach into the water from limestone or another source. Unfortunately, some areas of Maryland are prone to hard water.
Hard water generally does not pose a serious risk to your health. However, it can ruin your appliances, such as your washing machine, dishwasher, and water heater. It can also prevent soap from forming suds, meaning dishes and clothes will be difficult to wash. Skin irritation is commonly reported as well.
Other Contaminants That Could Be Found in City Water
Do the above contaminants have you worried? Unfortunately, the list of potential risks is far from exhaustive.
Bacteria and other pathogens frequently make their way into drinking water. While water treatment plants go to great lengths to kill such bugs, some bugs make their way through. Further, leaks could allow bugs in after the water has left the plant.
These days, even medicine is making its way into water. Pharmaceuticals have been found in water supplies. While you should always take your prescriptions as the doctor ordered, you don’t want to accidentally consume other people’s pharmaceuticals.
Worried About Your Drinking Water? Here’s What to Do.
First, you should conduct a water test to identify any contaminants already present in your drinking water. Fortunately, Hague Quality Water of Maryland provides free water testing. Next, you can greatly reduce both present and current threats by installing a water filtration system, most likely our Hague WaterMax® BEQ system!
So get in touch and let’s make sure your city water is pristine!