Drinking Water Contamination

Water is something that we all take for granted. Most of us give little thought to turning on a faucet and getting a drink which we assume is reasonably safe and healthy for us. But there are a number of factors that contribute to drinking water contamination no matter where we live.

Some of these factors occur naturally in drinking water, and others are introduced by agriculture, industry, municipal water systems, and our own carelessness with chemicals for cleaning, transportation, and other common human activities. This article will briefly outline some of the more common contaminants in drinking water, how they get into our water, and the effects that they have on our health.

Microbial Sources of Water Contamination

Inorganic Sources of Water Contamination

Water Contamination from Disinfectants

All of these disinfectants are commonly used in municipal water systems all over the country to reduce the amount of bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Additional disinfectants over and above the usual levels are added after heavy rains as a safety precaution.

Water Contamination Byproducts from Disinfectants

These byproducts are caused by the reactions of natural organic materials with the disinfectants commonly added to water by municipal water systems.


This brief overview of the most common drinking water contaminants gives you a general idea of what types of impurities are found in most drinking water whether we get it from bottles, private wells, city water systems, or other sources.

As we become more aware of what is commonly found in a glass of water, more and more of us are looking into different types of water filters that we can install in our homes. These filters run the gamut from pitcher water filters to whole house systems with a wide variety of different filtration methods for removing contaminants. Increasingly, through action and awareness, each of us is becoming our own water superintendent for our homes, and that may be the most reliable solution of all.