What contaminants can be found in the sources for municipal tap water?

Excerpt from :

Loudoun County, Virgina Drinking Water Quality Report for 2019.

“Your drinking water comes from the Potomac River and as needed Goose Creek. The Potomac River is augmented by reservoirs in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia through a shared supply agreement with water providers. Goose Creek receives water from Beaverdam Reservoir and Goose Creek Reservoir. Beaverdam Reservoir fills Goose Creek Reservoir when water levels get low and vice versa. Your drinking water from the Potomac River was fully treated by Loudoun Water and by our wholesaler, Fairfax Water. Drinking water from Goose Creek can be fully treated by Loudoun Water if supplemental drinking water is required. Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.

The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells.

As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and radioactive material and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or human activity. Contaminants that may be present in the water include:

● Microbes (viruses or bacteria) from septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, wildlife and wastewater treatment plants.

● Inorganics, such as salts and metals, which can occur naturally or result from storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining or farming.

● Pesticides and herbicides from agriculture, urban runoff and residential uses.

● Organics, like synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are byproducts of industrial processes and petroleum production; and can also come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff and septic systems.

● Radioactive contaminants, either naturally occurring or the result of oil and gas production or mining activities.”

Conclusion: we are lucky to have purified clean water easily accessible in our tap water.  However, I prioritize my daily budget with $2 for for a 1.5L bottle of fresh tasting natural mineral water filtered by the earth and naturally free from microbes, heavy metals, pesticides, organic runoff, and radioactive contaminants.  No treatment is necessary for natural mineral water from a clean source.

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