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Understanding Water Contaminant Basics

Understanding Water Contaminant Basics


At Ashton Tucker, the primary goal of our water treatment equipment is to keep water safe and free of major contaminants. There are a number of different ways drinking water can become unsafe to drink, and these kinds of contaminations can be some of the easiest ways for disease to spread.

What are the various types of contaminants possible in water, and how do they get into water sources? Most importantly, how do we go about regulating and eliminating these sources of contamination? Let’s have a look.

Types of Contaminants

In most cases, there are four broad types of contamination that may enter a drinking supply at a given time. These four areas are:

  • Microbial pathogens: These include diseases like salmonella and dysentery, and they often cause some of the most immediate symptoms associated with contamination – nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and major stomach pain.
  • Organic compounds: These are items like pesticides or solvents that might enter a drinking supply accidentally. They often won’t cause immediate symptoms, but can lead to larger long term concerns like cancer and thyroid disease.
  • Inorganic compounds: Elements like arsenic or lead, these can have similar effects to organic compounds in many cases.
  • Radioactive elements: Radon and other radioactive chemicals may find their way into drinking water, and they have their own set of potential future complications, including radiation poisoning.

Contaminant Sources

There are several possible sources for possible water contamination. Any open-air water source is exposed to acid rain and storm runoff, and many forms of animal waste and other ground runoff can make its way into water sources in very rainy places or during particularly wet seasons. Some of these forms of waste will be eliminated by sunlight and naturally resistant microbes, but some will often remain. In addition, underground wells can fall victim to many water seeping issues.

Regulation and Safety

The most straightforward form of regulation for water safety is through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which uses the Clean Water Act to specify acceptable levels of contamination in drinking water. There will be times where contamination in a particular community may lead to community-wide orders to boil or otherwise treat water, and you’ll need to take special care if you live in one of these areas during one of these times.

At AshtonTucker, our water process equipment is state-of-the-art, and designed to meet and exceed EPA regulations. Speak with one of our experts today to learn more about what we do to prevent water contamination.


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