We are made up primarily of water. In fact, up to 60% of an average adult body is composed of water. It’s so important for our survival that the average person can go only three or four days without it.
And yet, it’s not uncommon to find pollutants in our drinking water. The Clean Water Act passed in the 1970s, but it’s still under attack today.
Are you concerned about pollutants in your water? Do you know what to be on the lookout for?
This article will help you get a handle on the facts about contaminated drinking water. We’ll go over the three most common water pollutants. Read on for more information!
1. Microbiological Water Pollution
When microbes contaminate drinking water, it’s called microbiological water pollution. The contaminants can include bacteria, protozoa, or even viruses.
You’ve heard of some of these nasty pests before. Coliform, E. coli, Giardia lamblia, and Crypotsporidium all have the potential to make people sick.
How do these microscopic creatures get into drinking water supplies?
Usually, they result from either human or animal waste that has washed into rivers or lakes. Rain or irrigation water can also carry these them into shallow groundwater aquifers.
Left unchecked, these small creatures spread with vicious speed. Microbes such as E. coli have the potential to make wide swaths of the human population ill. Because of this, we must guard carefully against them.
Nitrate is another common water pollutant. It’s found in fertilizers, manure, and liquid waste discharged from septic tanks.
Too much of this nutrient can lead to uncontrolled algae blooms. They destroy the water ecosystem by killing fish and blocking out sunlight needed by underwater plants.
Nitrate is also a problem for humans, especially infants and pregnant women. If a baby ingests too much nitrate, they can develop a dangerous condition called “blue baby syndrome.” Nitrate poisoning will actually turn the baby a bluish color!
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), high levels of nitrate are a problem in rural communities. There, it’s a direct result of farm pollution.
3. Chemical Water Pollution
Chemicals like arsenic and mercury are found naturally in water. For example, many rock formations contain arsenic, and it occurs as an organic compound in much drinking water. In this state (and in small quantities), arsenic is harmless.
Inorganic arsenic, on the other hand, is highly toxic. There are a host of known diseases associated with ingesting too much arsenic, including cancer.
Other chemical pollutants are equally unhealthy. For instance, long-term exposure to high levels of mercury can lead to kidney damage.
All these chemicals can enter our drinking water through:
- Improper waste disposal
- Increased human activity
- Industrial accidents
They are a serious and dangerous form of water pollution.
Conclusion: Common Water Pollutants
These, then, are the most common water pollutants. They come from a variety of water pollutants sources and can pose a serious threat to human health and safety.
Are you concerned about possible contaminants in your drinking water? If so, we can test your water. Testing your water is the best way to gain peace of mind.
You can also check out our blog for more information about water and common contaminants. We hope you find this information useful!