Untreated city water may not be safe to drink, so it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for any contaminants in your water supply. 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. Even if the water reaches your home in pristine condition, metals and other contaminants from your home’s pipes could potentially seep into your water.
While untreated city water doesn’t always pose a health risk, it could damage your pipes, appliances, clothing, and more. This might sound alarming, but don’t panic! There are plenty of solutions available, and your local water treatment experts are trained to address any problem you could think of. Let’s get started by taking a look at some of the contaminants you might find in your water. From there, we’ll talk about what you can do.
Lead and Other Metals
Over time, construction materials are updated to meet safety regulations. However, older pipes in and around your home may not have been updated. Unfortunately, many old pipes were made with lead. If these pipes are not properly maintained, lead can leach into your water. Lead poisoning can cause a wide range of health problems you’ll want to avoid. In fact, lead is one of the most common contaminants in city water and has resulted in events such as the Flint Water Crisis.
Arsenic is another hazardous contaminant 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 based on a true story. This can be eliminated with proper care and water treatment.
Pesticides and Farm Runoff
You might be thinking that rural contaminants won’t reach you in a city, but that isn’t the case. 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, they could contaminate a city’s water supply. There’s also Atrazine, a pesticide that has been found in drinking water. Like nitrates, Atrazine may be flushed into the water supply via farm runoff.
Contact Hague Quality Water of Maryland for a water test today if you’re concerned about pesticides and runoff.
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. While it’s a fact that some areas of Maryland are prone to hard water, water softeners designed for city water can resolve this problem easily.
Hard water generally does not pose a serious risk to your health. It can potentially ruin your appliances, such as your washing machine, dishwasher, and water heater. In addition, 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 and What You Can Do
In addition to these contaminants, bacteria and pathogens could also be a threat. While water treatment plants go to great lengths to eradicate this issue, some pathogens still make their way through. Litter, gardening fertilizer, pet waste and pharmaceuticals can harm your city water as well.
Do the above contaminants have you worried? That’s understandable, but there are simple steps you can take to mitigate this problem in your community.
- Don’t Litter! The first step is choosing not to contribute to this problem. Throw your trash in a garbage can or recycle it, if you can. The old adage still applies: treat others how you want to be treated. You wouldn’t want your neighbors’ waste in your city water.
- Wash your car on grass/soil or at a commercial car wash. The cleaning products you use for your car are filled with chemicals, and they can drain into the water supply after you hose off your car. If you wash your car on grass or soil rather than your driveway, it can absorb these pollutants. Otherwise, use non-toxic supplies or take your vehicle to a car wash (they have drains specifically designated for waste water).
- Recycle. All of your glass, paper, metal, cardboard, and plastic should be placed in a recycling bin. Contact a representative from your county to learn more details about recycling in your area.
- Volunteer for a Clean-Up Event. Conduct a quick search online to find local clean-up groups. This will give you first-hand experience with the consequences of waste. Before long, you’ll understand how this can affect your city water. Plus, everyone in your community will be grateful for your help!
Concerned About Your Drinking Water? Don’t Worry! We Can Help.
Hague Quality Water of Maryland provides free water testing. First, you should call us to conduct a water test. We can identify any contaminants already present in your drinking water. Next, you can greatly reduce both present and current threats by installing a water filtration system, such as the Hague WaterMax® BEQ system!
Contact us today at 410-757-2992 to make sure your city water is pristine! You have enough on your plate already. Get back to doing the things you love rather than worrying about your water.