According to the EPA, there are over 60,000 chemicals in the country’s drinking supply. However, they only regulate a total of 91 chemicals. That leaves quite a few (tens of thousands) of chemicals unaccounted for in public drinking water. Unfortunately, the human senses cannot detect every microbial or organic contaminant. It could be years before you notice an issue with your drinking supply. Here in Little Rock, we’re no stranger to water quality issues. In fact, there are plenty of common contaminants in our very own drinking supply.
Common Water Quality Contaminants
If you’re just beginning to explore waterborne contaminants, then you’re in for a world of information. There are thousands of chemicals in the water supply. We’re going to examine some of the most popular:
- Arsenic – Arsenic is typically due to natural deposits of metals in the earth’s crust. These metalloids enter groundwater via erosion or manmade sources, such as petroleum production and wood preservatives.
- Chloramine – Long-term exposure to chloramine has been known to increase the risk of cancer and infant birth delivery issues. Furthermore, it is estimated that chloramine is responsible for between 2-17 percent of bladder cancer diagnoses each year.
- Fluoride – Fluorine is a natural element found in almost all soil. It is often introduced into public drinking water to reduce tooth decay. Estimates put the amount you drink at harmless levels over an entire lifetime.
- Radium – Radium is formed by the radioactive decay of uranium and thorium. The leading concern regarding radium is the increased risk of cancer, kidney damage, and birth defects.
Effects of Waterborne Contaminants
Until someone becomes sick from the drinking supply, few of us ever consider the water we drink. It’s time to turn that thought process around. Water near agricultural centers, which are popular in the area, often means various pesticides or fertilizer are entering the drinking water. These chemicals lead to eye, liver and kidney diseases – even an increased risk of cancer or reproductive issues.
If you are exposed to significant amounts of waterborne chemicals, you’ll begin to notice acute effects within a matter of hours or days, depending on the levels. Many people suffer acute health effects when exposed to high levels of waterborne contaminants. In drinking water, bacteria and viruses are the most common type of contaminant leading to illness.
Typically, the human body can fight off microbial contaminants in the same manner as fighting off a cold or minor illness. Therefore, acute health effects do not have long-term or permanent effects on the body. If your immune system is weakened, however, an issue may present itself in the long-term. You’ll want to seek medical attention promptly.
Take back your drinking water with a whole-home water filtration system from bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of Little Rock. Give us a call anytime for services at 501-207-0818. We will install a high-quality filtration system to improve your drinking supply!