While water contamination isn’t quite as serious an issue as water pollution is, it’s still something you need to be aware of. Water contamination can easily get out of hand and end up causing pollution in many situations. Even if it doesn’t, drinking contaminated water for an extended period of time can cause health issues and may damage the pipes in your home as well. Pay close attention to the many signs of water contamination so you’ll be better able to make changes as soon as you notice a problem.
Water contamination can affect the groundwater in your area as well as the surface water. It’s not always easy to tell if water is contaminated, but there are a few ways you can be on the lookout for this issue. When you notice something that could be a problem, be sure to report it to the proper authorities.
There are plenty of potential causes to be wary of but here are a few to give you an idea:
Bacterial contamination – Are you and your family feeling sick more often than not? If you notice a lot of recurring issues like digestive upset, diarrhea, vomiting, or skin rashes, you might have water contaminated with bacteria coming out of your tap. This type of contamination might not be serious enough to make you drastically ill, but it can still lead to health problems, especially for younger children, older adults, and anyone who is immunocompromised.
Chemical contamination – Chemicals can find their way into water sources through a number of different venues, but the most common are through pesticides and fertilizers used in agricultural processes. Especially in areas where runoff from farms is very common, groundwater and surface water are both very likely to be contaminated with chemicals. Water tests can confirm this for sure, but this type of contamination may lead to increased health risks over time.
Nitrates – Fertilizers are also responsible for nitrate contamination in surface water sources. As nitrates build up in the water, they lead to algal blooms that can choke out fish, plants, and insects that live in the water. The more frequently this happens, the quicker mammals and birds in the area die off. This is the reason why the wetlands are disappearing.
Remember that if your water begins to smell strange, you might have a contamination issue on your hands. This is one of the first signs that something might be in your water supply that shouldn’t be there. Taste, appearance, and even the texture of your water can also indicate problems that need to be addressed. Basically, if your water doesn’t seem clean, it probably isn’t. Paying attention to your water can make a huge difference in keeping you, your family, and the water where you live healthy and safe.
If you want to make a difference in the water quality where you live, you can start by keeping contaminants out of your pipes. Don’t wash chemicals and medication down the drain, and always be sure your pipes are functioning properly. These may seem like small steps, but they can make a huge difference in the long run.