Water Contaminants: Dangerous Substances You May Be Ingesting

Construction & Contractors Blog

The importance of safe drinking water cannot be overstated. This is why it is so important that homes and businesses take the time to get their water tested. There are so many possible contaminants in drinking water – from organic compounds to byproducts from industrial applications – that it only makes sense to verify the purity of your drinking water from time to time.

Just so you have an idea of what could possibly be in your water, here is a list of possible contaminants:



  • Cryptosportidium – Can cause gastrointestinal problems, such as cramping, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Giardia lamblia – Can cause gastrointestinal issues, vomiting, cramping and diarrhea.
  • E. Coli – Comes from feces contamination. Can cause gastrointestinal issues, and can lead to serious illness.
  • Viruses – Can be present in the water, leading to similar symptoms as some of the above bacteria, including diarrhea, vomiting and cramping.


If the person or organization cleaning the water is not careful, the quality of the water can be affected. Soil can become distributed within the water, and disinfection chemicals can remain behind in the water. Some of the byproducts of of the disinfection process include:

  • Turbidity – Refers to the general cloudiness of the water supply. The cloudier the water, the more likely it is that there may be harmful contaminants in the water.

  • Chlorite – Can cause problems in young children and infants, including nervousness and anemia

  • Bromate – Has been linked to increased risk of cancer.

  • Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) – Can cause problems with the central nervous system, as well as the liver and kidneys. Also known to increase the risk of cancer.

  • Chlorine – A powerful disinfectant. Excess can lead to stomach discomfort and irritation of the nose and eyes.

Inorganic Chemicals

These can leach into the water source in numerous ways, including as byproducts from industrial work and as naturally occurring contamination.

  • Arsenic – May increase cancer risk. Causes damage to skin and circulatory system.

  • Asbestos – Consumption in drinking water can lead to intestinal polyps.

  • Cadmium – Can cause kidney damage.

  • Lead – Leads to developmental disabilities in children.

  • Mercury – Can cause kidney damage.

Know What Is In Your Water

This is only a short, abbreviated list of all the possible contaminants in your water supply. If you are on a city water supply, your water will be tested periodically. But it still doesn't hurt to have your own test done to ensure safety. If you are using well water, it is in your best interests to have the water tested yearly. To learn more, contact a company like A B Hoxie with any questions you have.


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