What’s In My Drinking Water?

Drinking Water

Whether you’re on a well system or city tap, news stories of contamination may have you wondering about what’s in your drinking water. Trade those worries for action and let’s find out the state of your water together. At Benchmark Environmental Engineering, we want to make sure your San Jose, CA water quality is safe with information, tools, and testing.

Is It Safe To Drink?

There are dozens of controlled drinking water contaminants that the EPA regulates. They have determined what levels of each of these substances are harmful to humans. Although your water may contain something concerning, it may not be in high enough levels to harm you.

Sources Of Contaminated Water

So what’s fouling up the water? There’s actually not one single source of illness-producing water hazards. You could be exposed to everything from naturally occurring chemical in groundwater to the chemicals used to clean your water to bacteria and viruses.

Chemicals, Bacteria & Viruses On Tap

The EPA separates possible contaminants into six categories: microorganisms, disinfectants, disinfection byproducts, inorganic chemicals, organic chemicals, and radionuclides.

You may not know the difference between inorganic and organic chemicals or what a radionucleotide is. We’ve listed a few of the substances you probably are familiar with to give you a better idea of things you don’t want in your drinking water at high levels.

Microorganisms Like Bacteria & Viruses

  • Cryptosporidium
  • Giardia lamblia
  • Legionella
  • Fecal Coliforms
  • E. Coli
  • Viruses

Disinfectants, Byproducts & Radionuclides

  • Chlorine
  • Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
  • Radium
  • Uranium

Inorganic Chemicals

  • Arsenic
  • Asbestos
  • Cyanide
  • Flouride
  • Lead
  • Mercury

Organic Chemicals

  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Vinyl Chloride
  • Benzene
  • Dioxin
  • Styrene

Sources Of Water Pollution

So, how do these organisms and chemicals get in your water in the first place? Again, there are a variety of water contamination sources. Industrial waste, agricultural runoff, leaching from old pipes, soil erosion, herbicide and insecticide runoff, landfill runoff, purposeful water additives, fecal waste contamination or natural occurrence are all sources of water pollution.

Protecting Infants, Immunosuppressed Individuals & The Elderly

Unfortunately, when there is too much of a chemical or microbe in your water, it can affect your health. Results can range from flu-like symptoms to skin irritation to anemia to even increased cancer risks. Babies, those with immune sensitivities, and our seniors are more likely to be affected.

Finding Out What’s In Your Local Water

Finding out what’s running through your taps and pipes is easier than you might think. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) provides a free tap water database to get you started. Your local government should also have recent test results for your area on their website.

Test For Drinking Water Safety In San Jose

There’s no need to guess when you can test. For an in-depth, individualized look into what’s in your San Jose home drinking water, contact us today at Benchmark Environmental Engineering. We provide thorough water testing and well water inspection services.