Whether you are a private well owner or relying on city water, you want to ensure that your family is consuming water that is clean, safe and free from contaminants. Unfortunately, the contents of Maryland drinking water are not always safe to consume. Some substances are not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency or can be present in small amounts, but that doesn’t mean you want to be consuming them. Here’s what you should know about some of the most common pollutants in Maryland drinking water.
The State of Contaminants in Our State
One recent report found ten contaminants in Maryland drinking water that were above health guidelines, and five contaminants that were above the legal limit. Some of these chemicals have been linked to cancer and reproductive challenges, so homeowners and residents deserve to know if they are present in their water supply. The best way to know exactly what your water contains is with water testing from Hague Quality Water of Maryland.
What Are the Common Pollutants in Maryland Drinking Water?
- Chromium (hexavalent)
This is also known as chromium-6 which is linked with cancer and considered to be toxic. Unfortunately, the EPA only considers chromium-6 to be “likely carcinogenic.” This means that there is no legal limit and water treatment facilities are not legally required to test for it. It’s very commonly discharged from steel and pulp mills and can enter water through rock and soil erosion.
- Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
TTHMs are disinfection byproducts that form when chlorine is used during the water disinfection process. This must be tested for on a regular basis at water treatment facilities: consuming TTHMs can lead to an increased risk of cancers including skin cancer and bladder cancer. Dibromochloromethane is one example of the TTHMs. It can contaminate water that has been chlorinated as part of the treatment process, and it can lead to child development harm and reproductive difficulties.
- Radium-228 and Radium-226
The EPA has set legal limits for the combined amount of radium-226 and radium-228 that can be present in drinking water. While radium can be found naturally in rocks and soil, it is radioactive and dangerous to consume. When you consume too much radium-226 and radium-228, you could be at an increased risk of cancer.
This contaminant is formed as a byproduct of chlorine when it is used to treat drinking water. This is a serious hazard to children and fetuses, and it can also lead to reproductive challenges in those hoping to conceive.
Chloroform is another type of byproduct that can be formed during the water treatment process when chlorine is used. If you consume elevated levels of chloroform, you can experience fatigue or headaches. In the long term, you can develop liver and kidney damage.
Chlorate can enter the Maryland drinking water through a variety of methods, including chlorine use, pesticide runoff or industrial discharges. Chlorate impairs thyroid function, which can then lead to other health difficulties.
- Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)
PFOAs are becoming more researched over time and they can be incredibly damaging to our health. PFOAs enter the water supply in a variety of ways, including firefighting, chemical runoff, industrial activity, consumer products and more. PFOAs have been connected to endocrine disruption, cancer, accelerated puberty, thyroid changes and immune system damage.
Arsenic is a poisonous substance that has been linked to cancer and can be found in groundwater supplies naturally. There are strict drinking water limits for arsenic.
Which Contaminants in Maryland Drinking Water Were Above the Legal Allowance?
While the contaminants reviewed above are found in Maryland water, not all are present at levels above the legal allowance. Contaminants above EPA established limits found in Maryland include:
- Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
- Radium-226 and radium-228
How Can You Protect Your Family?
Water quality in Maryland differs based on your home’s location. The best way to ensure your Maryland drinking water is safe is by having water testing performed by Hague Quality Water of Maryland.
Our water treatment professionals can thoroughly test your water and see what contaminants are inside. We can then walk you through the results of your water test and recommend filtration options that could help to make your water clean and safe again. From reverse osmosis systems to the Hague WaterMax® BEQ System, we have the perfect solution for you.
If You Live in a Home With a Private Well, You Need Hague Quality Water of Maryland
If you are concerned about the quality and contents of your water, we are here to help with your water improvement projects. Whether you need a reverse osmosis system or the Hague WaterMax® BEQ, our team cares deeply about the health and safety of your family. We also provide certified lab testing so you can verify the quality of your water. For additional assistance, call Hague Quality Water of Maryland at (410) 757-2992.