Updated: August 26, 2021

Water Contaminants

CONTAMINANT    
Total Coliform Bacteria Bacteria that occurs naturally in the environment and is found on the soil and in vegetation; General indicator of water quality May cause gastrointestinal distress
Nitrate Compound found in fertilizer and manure Shortness of breath; Blue baby syndrome in infants under 6 months; Health risk to pregnant women
pH An indicator of the water’s alkalinity or acidity Not harmful to human health, but depending on the value, the pH can affect the taste and feel of the water, damage plumbing, and potentially leach dangerous metals from pipes and fittings
Lead Metal that acidic groundwater can leach out of plumbing, pipe materials, or lead solder or brass fittings and components Irreversible damage to the brain, kidneys, nervous system, and blood cells; Irreversible developmental effects make children, babies, and fetuses most susceptible to lead poisoning
Copper Metal that acidic groundwater can leach out of plumbing, pipe materials, or lead solder or brass fittings and components Gastrointestinal distress; Liver or kidney damage
Sulfates Naturally occurring compound in groundwater High levels may cause diarrhea, causing dehydration that is especially detrimental to infants and young animals
Total Dissolved Solids General indicator of water quality; Measures dissolved impurities Not harmful to health; High levels may affect the water’s taste

Helpful links

Contaminants of Emerging Concern

Is Lead in My Drinking Water