Water Contaminants And Why You Need Water Testing

Water covers approximately 71 percent of the surface of the Earth and is essential for the existence of life on the planet. Because water is critical for human life, it is important to ensure that your water is as safe as it can be for drinking. Following you will find information on common water contaminants, the health complications these contaminants can cause and the importance of having water testing performed on a regular basis.

Why You Should Get Your Water Tested

Water can become contaminated by microorganisms, industrial byproducts and chemicals.


There is an invisible menace that sometimes contaminates clear and seemingly safe drinking water: a parasite that looks like a microscopic jellyfish and goes by the name Giardia. This contamination is the result of human or animal waste pollution. Giardia, also known as Giardia intestinalis, Giardia lamblia or Giardia duodenalis, can cause severe gastrointestinal discomfort including diarrhea and vomiting. Giardia can affect drinking water if the water line or well has been breached. Other microorganisms that affect drinking water include coliforms (such as E. coli), cryptosporidium and legionella.

Industrial Byproducts and Chemicals

Factories put off massive amounts of waste material every day. Unfortunately, some of this waste finds its way into the streams, rivers and aquifers of America. Contaminants such as antimony – a byproduct of petroleum refineries – can lead to decreased blood sugar levels. Others, such as lead and cadmium, may lead to kidney damage in adults and delayed development in young children.

Chemical contamination is caused by runoff from crops treated by insecticide or herbicide. The contamination can also be caused by chemical discharges from factories. These contaminants include benzene, carbofuran, dinoseb, lindane, toluene and vinyl chloride. Some chemical contaminants are the result of toxic applications that are now banned. These include heptachlor and chlordane, both of which are residual contaminants from an illegal termiticide. Chemical contaminants can lead to cancer, reproductive damage, liver problems, blood disorders and nervous system damage.

Water Testing

To avoid the serious health implications of contaminated drinking water, it's a good idea to consider having your water tested on a regular basis. Wells should be tested at least once a year. City water is tested by the water treatment plant. Depending on the source of your water, you can choose from radiological, bacterial and industrial test kits. To receive the most accurate results possible, contact a local water testing company like A B Hoxie.