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5 Common Contaminants in Water That Can Be a Concern

When we’re drinking our daily doses of water or using water to shower, how often do you find yourself wondering what’s actually in the water? You may be shocked to discover that sometimes there are a variety of contaminants living inside your tap water. Every water source is treated in facilities to be suitable for residences, but even then, some contaminants remain. Here are five of the most common ones.

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Nitrates are chemicals that are often found in fertilizers, manures, and liquid waste coming from septic tanks and plumbing systems. It’s one of the most common forms of water contaminants, especially in rural areas. When plants leave behind nitrogen, or when nitrogen is carried off by runoff, it can quickly come into contact with groundwater sources and convert into nitrate. Short-term exposure to water with high nitrate levels can be dangerous. 



Arsenic is a metallic substance that can be found in small amounts throughout nature. Although arsenic is a natural substance, it can cause a variety of health problems, including skin discoloration, digestive problems, numbness of the hands or feet, and skin cancer. Arsenic can enter your water either by mineral deposits or by hazardous waste produced by arsenic manufacturing industries. Either way, arsenic cannot be detected via sight or smell. The only way to discover arsenic in your water is by testing.



Aluminum is the third most common element found in the earth’s soil, water, and air. Since it’s so commonly found in nature, it can easily find its way into our water systems. Some of the health effects caused by aluminum include dementia, nervous system damage, kidney diseases, and anemia. 



Fluoride is another natural mineral found within the earth’s soil. It has long been considered a helpful additive for water sources to help combat tooth decay. However, recent studies have found that fluoride is doing more harm than good. Extreme levels of fluoride can cause fluorosis, a change in tooth enamel that can lead to white spots and staining. High levels of fluoride can also weaken the skeletal system. 


Bacteria, Microorganisms, and Viruses

All water sources have some degree of bacteria and protozoans. In small amounts, these things can be harmless. But in larger amounts, these creatures like E.Coli and Legionella Pneumophila can cause significant harm. 


Let Us Test Your Water

Most of the time, the only way to know if your water is contaminated is by having it tested by a professional plumber in MD. Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating is a Maryland master plumber and has years of experience testing water quality. If there’s a problem with your water, we’ll find it and correct the problem for you.


Contact us now to schedule an appointment. 

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