Lead in drinking water usually originates from metal water taps, interior water pipes, or pipes connecting a house to the main water pipe in the street. You cannot see, taste or smell lead in drinking water.
High levels of lead are particularly harmful for infants, children, and pregnant mothers. Harmful side effects include delays in physical or mental development and deficits in attention span and learning abilities. Lead exposure with adults can lead to kidney problems and high blood pressure. Consult the CDC for more information about the risks of lead contamination.
The primary drinking water standard MCL for lead is 0.015 mg/L.
Arsenic found in drinking water is generally a byproduct of agriculture and/or industrial run-off and is a known carcinogenic. Arsenic has no smell, taste, or color even in high concentration. Lab testing is the best way to detect the presence of Arsenic in your water supply.
High levels of Arsenic ingestion have been linked to an increased risk of skin, bladder, kidney, prostate, and lung cancer. For more information about Arsenic see the CDC’s fact page.
The primary drinking water standard MCL for Arsenic is 0.010 mg/L.
Nitrate in drinking water usually originates from fertilizers or from animal or human wastes. Nitrate concentrations in water tend to be highest in areas of intensive agriculture or where there is a high density of septic systems.
Nitrate has a primary drinking water standard that was established to protect the most sensitive individuals in the population (infants under 6 months of age and a small component of the adult population with abnormal stomach enzymes). These segments of the population are prone to methemoglo -binemia (blue baby disease) when consuming water with high nitrates.
The primary drinking water standard or MCL is 10 mg/L.
Barium in drinking water can result from oil and gas development, landfill leachate, coal waste and high octane fuels, among other sources. Barium has been linked to an increase in blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, muscle weakness and affect the nervous and circulatory system.
The primary drinking water standard or MCL is 2.0 mg/L.
The pH of water is a measure of how acidic or basic the water is. It is measured on the pH scale (from 0 to 14) in pH units. If the pH of water is less than 7.0, it is acidic, and if it is greater than 7.0, it is basic.
Water with a pH of exactly 7.0 is considered neutral. If pH values deviate very far from neutral, other water quality problems may be indicated. These would include the presence of toxic metals such as lead (at low pH) and high salt contents (at high pH). It is recommended that the pH of your water be between 6.5 and 8.5 to minimize other potential water quality problems. In general, pH is an indicator of other potential water quality problems.