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3 Surprising, Yet Common, Contaminants That May Be Present In Your Water

by Wade Black

Water is crucial for your family's health and wellness, but it is also important for your home's function. Unfortunately, the process of moving water into your home can be challenging due to possible environmental concerns. While surprising for most homeowners to learn, their water may contain harmful toxins. These toxins not only affect the look, smell, and taste of the water, but they can also affect your family's health and wellness. Even though they are common, most people are not familiar with these possible toxins. Here are a few surprising, yet common, toxins that may be affecting your water quality.


One of the most dangerous issues that may be present in your water is also one of the most difficult to diagnose. Lead is not only invisible, but it is also odorless and tasteless, so you may not even realize this hazard is in your water until you or a family member become ill.

Lead is most commonly found in water that is delivered into the home through lead pipes and pipes that are soldered together using lead.

If an excessive amount of lead is found in water that you consume regularly, your health will be affected. Lead has been linked to cardiovascular issues, developmental delays in children, and problems related to the musculoskeletal, neurological, and renal systems. In addition, lead has been linked to infertility.

If you believe lead may be present in your water, efficient testing is imperative. If it is found in your water supply, removing the source of the lead is key. This may require replacing parts of your home's plumbing.

Professional water treatment is also an option you should consider. Be sure to utilize treatments such as reverse osmosis or distillation that are specifically designed for removing lead.


Because it is a naturally occurring metalloid found in the earth, arsenic is common in groundwater, which makes it a common toxin found in a household's water supply.

Like lead, arsenic does not have any taste or smell, so you may not realize you have this toxin in your home's water until you have it tested.

If you ingest large amounts of water that contains arsenic, you will become ill. In many cases, this excess consumption over a period of time can lead to arsenic poisoning. Here are a few symptoms or arsenic poisoning:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Metallic taste in mouth
  • Excess saliva
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hair loss
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Blood in urine/feces

If you are experiencing one or more of the above signs, consult your doctor for further testing. A simple blood test can determine if you have arsenic in your body.

Your home's water source will need to be tested in addition to water found in the environment around your home. Immediate treatment, such as a water filtration system that is capable of removing arsenic, should be used on your main supply for drinking water. Then, additional treatment of the arsenic's main environmental source will be necessary.


Iron is another common water contaminant that affects the look and taste of the water while increasing the risk of health issues. Fortunately, determining if your water contains iron is possible with a simple visual test.

If the water appears red or brown or if you notice discoloration and staining on your tub, shower, and sink, it is most likely due to iron.

Excess consumption of water with iron can lead to an iron overload, which can affect your liver, heart, and pancreas. Bathing in water that contains high amounts of iron can affect your skin and hair, as well. Skin may be inflamed and irritated, and your hair can be dry, brittle, and dull.

As with the other contaminants, testing and treatment of your home's water source will be essential for restoring the water back to a healthy state. 

To learn more about water treatment options, check out websites like