How do germs and chemicals get into my drinking water?

There can be many sources of contamination of water systems. The most common sources of contaminants include:

  • Naturally occurring chemicals and minerals (e.g., arsenic, radon, uranium)
  • Local land use practices (e.g., fertilizers, pesticides, livestock, concentrated animal feeding operations)
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Sewer overflows
  • Malfunctioning wastewater treatment systems (e.g., nearby septic systems)

EPA and the State regulates many contaminants that pose known human health risks. Testing of both raw source water and treated drinking water determines if any contaminants are present and to what extent the water system must treat water to ensure those contaminants are removed after treatment.

Show All Answers

1. Where does my drinking water come from?
2. How is my drinking water regulated?
3. How do germs and chemicals get into my drinking water?
4. How do I filter water at my home if I am concerned about water quality?
5. How can I find out if there has been a violation in our public water standard?
6. Who do I need to contact to find out more information about water quality in my area?
7. How often does the local public water system test my drinking water?
8. What should I do if I want my household water tested?
9. Who should I contact if my water has a funny smell, taste, or appearance?