Most people think of water pollution as something that occurs around large factories and hurts wildlife and plants. That is not the only way that pollution can happen, however. A surprising number of homes deal with contaminated water caused by local farms, neighbors’ poor sanitary practices and even mining operations.
Municipal water sources filter out most of these contaminants, but they can’t remove everything. Learning about the most common sources of water pollution can help you understand the risks and figure out the best way to avoid them.
Mining and Industry
Many wells and other water sources become contaminated because of business activity in the same region. Oil wells, underground mining, factory discharge, natural gas mining and similar industrial sources can release a wide range of contaminants into the water. Your local industries could be responsible for high levels of heavy metals and synthetic chemicals in your drinking supply.
Farms can also be a major threat to clean water. While farmers don’t deliberately dump anything into the streams and rivers, rain can wash dangerous chemicals out of their fields and into surface and group water sources. The most common agricultural water contaminants include fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.
Sewer and Septic
Poorly constructed and maintained septic systems and sewer lines can be a very dangerous source of pollutants. When a sewage system leaks, it can release dangerous bacteria, protozoa and other micro-organisms into local waterways. Chlorine and other anti-microbial substances used in municipal water systems destroy most of these organisms, but they may not get all of them. Wells and similar water sources are even more at risk, since they are rarely treated to remove microbes.
Pollution in the air could get into your water, especially if your area is full of rivers, lakes, streams and ponds. Auto exhaust and smoke from factory and power plants can be pulled out of the air by rainfall. Sulfur, heavy metals and other contaminants wash into local waterways from no obvious external source, but they can cause serious problems nonetheless.
While it can be hard to prevent these sources of water pollution from affecting your supply, that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. By installing a high quality water purification and filtration system, you can remove dangerous materials and protect your family’s health.
While the initial cost of these systems may be high, they quickly pay for themselves in greater health and better tasting drinking water. Don’t let contaminated water affect your health and happiness; correct filtration can make a big difference in the quality of your water.