23 October Water from the tap running into a clear glass

What Are the Most Common Contaminants Found In Tap Water?

Posted by PlumbWize

Tap water is crystal clear, but does that mean it’s crystal clean, too? 

Concerns about water quality have gained significant attention, and for good reason. While many areas receive water from municipal sources that undergo rigorous testing and treatment, it’s essential to be aware of potential contaminants that can affect the purity of your tap water.

Having access to safe tap water is an essential part of our daily lives. We drink, wash, cook, and clean with it, suffice it to say this component of our homes needs to be clean and suitable for use. 

As industry experts in complete plumbing solutions, we believe in empowering homeowners with knowledge about the common contaminants found in tap water, so you can make informed decisions to safeguard your family’s health. 

Before you can battle the enemy, you need to know the enemy. Let’s get into it! 

7 Contaminants in Tap Water

By understanding the common contaminants in tap water, you can take proactive steps to protect your family. Some contaminants may be harmless in small quantities, while others can pose severe health risks. Being informed allows you to make informed decisions, from choosing appropriate filtration methods to advocating for safer water sources in your community.

a young child drinks water directly from the tap

1. Microorganisms

Microbes like bacteria, viruses, and protozoa can infiltrate water supplies, causing waterborne diseases. Proper disinfection and water treatment by your municipality are essential in preventing these contaminants.

2. Chlorine and Chloramine

Chlorine is an indispensable element that eliminates parasites, bacteria, and viruses. In its absence, tap water could be dangerous to your health. On the other hand, if the chlorination is too powerful, then it can be absorbed by the body. Too much chlorine can cause eye and nose irritations and lead to severely dry skin and hair.

Chloramines form when ammonia is added to water that contains free chlorine. This substance is usually added as a secondary disinfectant. When the naturally occurring materials in water meet chloramine and chlorine, they take another form called disinfectant byproducts, which have been known to cause cancer.

Faucet filters or water filters are usually not enough to remedy this situation and improve water quality. Instead of the simple water softening units, reverse osmosis filtration serves as a more effective solution. 

3. Lead 

Even low doses of this toxic metal can inflict damage on a person’s health. Lead can leach into your water from old pipes and fixtures, making it vital that any home built over 60 years ago should have its plumbing inspected by a professional. Homeowners should strongly consider replacing their old home’s pipes if this is the case to avoid illness, costly repairs, or worse. 

4. Heavy Metals

Besides lead, tap water can contain other heavy metals like mercury and cadmium. Mercury has multiple passageways into public drinking water, with some of these being landfill runoff, cropland runoff, discharge from factories, and erosion of natural deposits.  

Exposure to high concentrations of mercury can lead to kidney damage.

A person spraying pesticides in a field of grass

5. Pesticides and Herbicides

These two synthetic chemicals are designed to protect crops and landscapes by controlling unwanted pests and weeds. Unfortunately, these chemical residues can find their way into groundwater and water supplies, potentially impacting the quality of your tap water.

Exposure to these compounds through drinking water has raised health concerns, as prolonged ingestion of certain pesticides and herbicides has been linked to adverse health effects.

To address this issue, homeowners can employ filtration methods like activated carbon filters and reverse osmosis systems to effectively target and remove pesticide and herbicide contaminants.

6. Flouride 

Fluoride is added to many municipal water supplies to promote dental health. While safe at recommended levels, excessive fluoride can cause dental fluorosis. Using fluoride-free water sources can help control intake.

How to Filter Contaminants Out of Tap Water  

Toxins in your water are invisible to the naked eye, but there are ways to filter them out and ensure that your water is safe for use and consumption.  

Before installing any type of water filter or faucet filter, have your water professionally tested to determine exactly which contaminants are lurking around. Once the toxins are identified, you’ll know which NSF-certified water filtration system to choose. After all, you want more than just soft water; you deserve healthy water. 

A plumber installing a water filtration system under a sink

Out with the Toxins in Your Tap Water 

A professional plumber is your trusted partner in ensuring the purity and safety of your water supply. By partnering with the experts at PlumbWize, you’ll gain access to:

  • Thorough water assessments of your water supply, identifying potential contaminants and their sources, whether it’s aging pipes, well water, or local environmental factors.
  • Professional installation and maintenance of advanced filtration and purification systems tailored to your specific needs.
  • Expert pipe replacement services if your plumbing system is contributing to water contamination.
  • Regular, routine maintenance to ensure your plumbing and filtration systems are functioning optimally, giving you peace of mind.

Take a proactive stance in securing the highest water quality for your household! Don’t compromise when it comes to the health and well-being of your family.

Contact us today for a quote.  


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