What you need to know about common water contaminants
Fecal Coliform & Ecoli
These are bacteria whose presence indicates that your water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause short-term effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms.
Is a parasite that enters lakes and rivers through sewage and animal waste. This microbe has an outer shell that allows it to survive outside the body for long periods of time which makes it tolerant to many chlorine disinfectants. It causes cryptosporidiosis, a mild gastrointestinal disease. However, the disease can be severe or fatal for people with severely weakened immune systems. EPA and CDC have prepared advice for those with severely compromised immune systems who are concerned about Cryptosporidium.
Is a parasite that enters lakes and rivers through sewage and animal waste. It causes gastrointestinal illness (e.g. diarrhea, vomiting, cramps). Giardia, like cryptosporidium, can survive long periods of time outside the body and is also difficult to treat with just basic chlorine disinfectants.
Are common in the environment and are generally not harmful. However, the presence of these bacteria in drinking water is usually a result of a problem with the treatment system or the pipes which distribute water. This indicates that the water may be contaminated with germs which can cause disease.
Has no health effects, however it can interfere with disinfection because the particles can act as shields for viruses and bacteria and provide a medium for microbial growth. Turbidity may indicate the presence of disease causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.
Inorganic water contaminants
Arsenic is a highly toxic heavy metal. Some people who drink water containing arsenic in excess of EPA's standard over many years could experience a wide range of serious problems. Health concerns include damage to the bladder, lungs, heart, kidney and liver. Arsenic can also harm the central & peripheral nervous system and circulatory system. Arsenic exposure has been linked to several types of cancers.
Fluoride is often added by councils to drinking water to promote dental health. Each community makes its own decision about whether or not to add fluoride. Dental fluorosis, in its moderate or severe forms, may result in a brown staining and/or pitting of the permanent teeth. This problem occurs only in developing teeth, before they erupt from the gums. Children under nine should not drink water that has more than 2 mg/L of fluoride.
Lead typically leaches into water from plumbing in older buildings. Lead pipes and plumbing fittings have been banned since August 1998. Children and pregnant women are most susceptible to lead health risks. For advice on avoiding lead, talk to us about what products will prevent your water being contaminated by lead.
Many water suppliers add a disinfectant to drinking water to kill germs such as giardia and e coli. Especially after heavy rainstorms, your water system may add more disinfectant to guarantee that these germs are killed.
Chlorine is commonly used to disinfect drinking water. Some people who use drinking water containing chlorine in excess could experience irritating effects to their eyes and nose as well as stomach discomfort.
Chloramines are most commonly formed when chlorine and ammonia are added together to treat drinking water. Water that contains chloramines is usually safe as long as it meets regulations. In some cases, people who are exposed to chloramines in excess of standard may experience irritating effects to their eyes, nose and stomach.
What you need to know about Flouride in your drinking water - rakesh please make all bullet headings below anchor links
What is fluoride?
Fluoride compounds are salts that form when the element, fluorine, combines with minerals in soil or rocks.
Is fluoride in my water?
Many communities add fluoride to their drinking water to promote dental health.
What are fluoride's health effects?
Exposure to excessive consumption of fluoride over a lifetime may lead to increased likelihood of bone fractures in adults, and may result in effects on bone leading to pain and tenderness. Children aged 8 years and younger exposed to excessive amounts of fluoride have an increased chance of developing pits in the tooth enamel, along with a range of cosmetic effects to teeth.
How can fluoride be removed from my drinking water?
An aluminum filer and reverse osmosis are two methods which are proven to be effective in reducing the levels of fluoride in your water to below 4.0 mg per litre, or 4.0ppm.
What should you do if you’re concerned about fluoride in your water?
If you are concerned about fluoride in your water supply, give us a call and we'll help you find the right water filtration system to reduce the levels in your water.
What you need to know about nitrates in your drinking water - rakesh please make all bullet headings below anchor links
What are nitrates?
Nitrates are one of the most common groundwater contaminants in rural areas. They occur naturally in soil and water as a result of decaying plants and animal residues. Other common sources of nitrates include human sewage and livestock manure. Nitrates are also a common ingredient in chemical fertilisers.
How do nitrates get into your water?
Nitrates are highly soluble and readily moves with water through the soil profile. In areas of excess rainfall or over-irrigation, nitrates will be leached below the plant’s root zone and may eventually reach the groundwater. Nitrates in ground water can be derived from natural sources or from point sources, such as sewage disposal systems and livestock facilities. Surface water runoff from fertilised farmland and animal feedlots is a major potential source of nitrate contamination.
How do nitrates affect your health?
The presence of nitrates in your water is particularly dangerous to infants under 6 months old as it can cause a condition known as “blue baby syndrome," in which blood lacks the ability to carry sufficient oxygen to individual body cells. The most obvious symptom is bluish skin colour, particularly around the eyes and mouth. A baby with this symptom should be taken to an emergency medical facility immediately.
There are also potential health hazards for older children and adults, depending on an individual’s reaction to nitrates and the total nitrate ingested from all sources including food.
If you have young children, are pregnant, breastfeeding or have elderly people living in your household, then we highly recommended you get your water tested for nitrates.
How can I remove nitrates from my drinking water?
Despite popular beliefs boiling water will NOT decrease nitrate concentration in the water. Nitrates can be removed from water by distillation or reverse osmosis filtration. Some ion-exchange processes have also been found to successfully remove significant quantities of nitrate. Blending water that has high nitrate levels with water which has lower concentrations is another way to reduce the levels of nitrates in your drinking water.
How can I find out if there are nitrates in my water?
A simple water test can be carried out which will detect if there are any nitrates in your water. Simply call us and we will arrange a water test for you.
Guide to producing quality drinking water using reverse osmosis
Although Reverse Osmosis seems like a complex system it is really a simple and straightforward water filtration process, which is widely used. High-pressure (pump driven) reverse osmosis systems have been used for years to desalinate* water – to convert brackish or seawater to drinking water. Having a better understanding of how a reverse osmosis system works will eliminate the mystery and confusion you may feel when you're looking at purchasing a reverse osmosis system, with its many colored tubes and multitude of filters.
If you'd like to gain a better understanding of Reverse Osmosis, please click here to download our helpful guide.