NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  Learn More.

Water Contaminants: Causes and Health Effects

Causes Of Water Contaminants

Before moving onto consequences of polluted water, it is essential to state that the USA has declared some strictest codes regarding what comes from your tap.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) continually strives to ensure that your tap water is entirely safe to drink, and you'll often encounter the abbreviation MCL which stands for Maximum Contaminant Level.

So now that’s addressed, let us move on to know the causes of water contaminants and their effects on your health. 

What's Added at Origin and Why

best reverse osmosis system



You may be aware that fluoride is routinely added to our drinking water, which happened many years back to be able to keep problems like tooth decay at bay.

Nowadays, it's still added, but many experts believe we may be getting too much of a fantastic thing. Time is changed entirely since this decision was initially made.

We now have healthier oral hygiene practices and much better over the counter products that help keep our teeth healthy. Many studies have shown that overexposure to fluoride can lead to something called "fluorosis" that discolors the teeth and is unchangeable. Further still, it has been discovered that overexposure can lead to brittle bones



Chlorine is added to the water source as it will help to reduce the number of bacteria that can grow as it travels through many miles of pipes and into your system.

In reality, this substance was hailed as the primary reason why we do not see diseases like cholera and other water generated bacterium.

However, this will come at a cost. Chlorine has been associated with several health problems like eczema, asthma, cardiovascular disease and sometime most severe, bladder cancer. This can happen due to radicals are known as trihalomethanes (THMs). These are produced when chlorine reacts with other organic components while your water is on its way to your system.

As mentioned, there are good reasons for adding these chemicals to our drinking water, but if you are overexposed, the consequences can be quite shocking.

You will know if you've got an excessive amount on your tap water by merely looking at it. It might appear somewhat cloudy and look something like "carbonated water." Your nose will also help you recognizing this. Smelling both chlorine and fluoride in your water is straightforward.

Hard Water

Soft Water vs Hard Water

As you browse our website, you may notice that there is enough information about hard water and for a good reason.

The substances that make water hard are magnesium and calcium, and they can be incredibly difficult. When these two meet they adhere to one another, and not only that they adhere to the interior surface of your water pipes. They'll also stick to all kinds of components inside the appliances in your home that use water.

You will know when you have hard water when you are spending plenty of money on products to help eliminate something called lime-scale, that's the end product of both these components.

For those who have a chalk-like material around your taps or you've got white stains on surfaces that often come in touch with water, the possibilities are you have hard water.

Other Issues with Contaminated Water

water filtration and ionizer

Your tap water is exposed to a number of things when travels to your dwelling. Consider it. There are a large number of industrial by-products which produce their way to the ground.

A variety of industries use herbicides, pesticides and things like paint stripper or gas. The majority of the compounds included in them can contaminate your water.

Bacteria may also be a concern. The EPA does everything they can to ensure that your tap water is safe, but in some areas of the USA, it is just not possible to guarantee everything is dealt with.

Things to Look Out For

Hard Water Problem

As mentioned, smell and appearance is something to keep an eye out for. If the water that runs from your faucet is looking muddy, you may have a problem on your hands. This kind of problem is common, holiday properties where water is not run through the pipes on a regular basis.

Hard water can lead to skin problems in addition to decreasing the shelf-life of your plumbing and appliances.


Water Contaminants: Causes and Health Effects

The information about the causes of water contaminants that is provided in this post is no way intended to leave you in fear. As mentioned, for the most part, your tap water is safe. But, we have to understand that specific issues can happen and you must be aware of that to deal with the problem.

Ed Carmichael

About the Author Ed Carmichael

Ed is a water specialist in Tampa, FL. He built to help his friends and family learn about DIY solutions to common water quality issues in the home.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment: