AAESTHETIC SUBSTANCES - Mostly harmless contaminants such as chlorine, sulphur, iron and manganese that cause taste, color, staining and odor problems.
SEDIMENT - Solid particles that settle out over a period of time.
HARDNESS - A common water quality problem caused by dissolved calcium and magnesium ( limestone) in water. Hard water causes scaling of pipes and hot water heaters, plumbing fixtures, etc. It makes cleaning and laundering more difficult.
LEAD - Commonly used in plumbing installation material until the late 1980's. U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) standards have since set limits on the amount of lead that may be used in solder materials. Lead has been found to occur in drinking water primarily due to leaching. Lead exposure has been linked to learning deficiencies in children and, at higher levels, has been associated with hypertension in adults.
ORGANIC CHEMICALS - A group of chemicals commonly referred to as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). There are over 80 VOCs regulated by the SDWA. Typical VOCs include benzene, trichloethylene, and chlordane. High levels of exposure to VOCs have been linked to a variety of cancers and organ damage.
TRIHALOMETHANES (THMs) - THMs are the first organic chemicals regulated by the SDWA. THMs are a byproduct of the chlorine disinfection process. THMs are formed when chlorine reacts with other organic compounds in water. THMs are known carcinogens and have been linked to bladder cancer.
MICROBIOLOGICAL PATHOGENS - Waterborne organisms that are known to cause disease in humans. Common waterborne pathogens include fecal coliform, dysentery, cholera, hepatitis and microbial cysts such as Crytosporidium and Giardia Lamblia.
CHLORINE TASTES AND ODORS - To ensure micro-biological safety, Municipal Water Utilities employ chlorine and/or chlorine plus ammonia. These substances can leave a chlorine "pool like" taste and odor to drinking water.
RADIOLOGICAL SUBSTANCES - Radium and its related cousins may be found in groundwater supplies. They are known cancer causing substances in humans. Radium exposure is through drinking and cooking while radon exposure is normally through inhalation. They are both regulated by the SDWA.
ASBESTOS - A construction material commonly used in insulation, building materials, or certain types of water piping. Asbestos is regulated by the SDWA. However, it has been linked to lung and bladder cancer in humans.
* These substances may not necessarily be in your water but you should have your water tested by a qualified laboratory to be sure!