Drinking Water and Human Health Effects

Health effects related to contaminants in drinking water can be divided into two categories: those that cause acute effects and those that cause chronic effects.

Acute health effects

Acute effects are usually seen within a short time after exposure to a substance. Acute effects may result from water containing pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, or they may result from a single large exposure to a chemical contaminant. Acute health effects are generally reversible as long as the contaminant of …

Drinking Water Treatment – Filtration

EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Small particles and suspended solids such as ferric iron, clay, silt and sand, and some pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, and colloids (suspended matter).

NOT EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Any dissolved contaminants such as nitrate, dissolved iron, sodium, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

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Setback Distance From Septic to Drinking Water Well

Many rural residents use an on-site wastewater treatment system (an individual septic system) for treatment and disposal of wastewater, or sewage. Household wastewater may contain contaminants such as disease-causing bacteria, infectious viruses, household chemicals, and excess nutrients. A properly designed, installed, and maintained septic treatment system will reduce the risk of polluting the drinking water supply with these contaminants.

State and local codes specify how on-site wastewater treatment systems must be designed, installed, and maintained. A septic tank and …

Drinking Water Treatment – Distillation

EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Some heavy metals, dissolved solids, some bacteria and viruses, inorganic materials such as nitrate, sodium, fluoride, and sulfate, and some toxic organic chemicals.

NOT EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Most volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and some bacteria.

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Distillation

Distillation is …

Water Quality Protection Around Your Home

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, comes from many diffuse sources. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters.
Once polluted runoff enters our water resources, it can be very difficult and expensive to clean up. Each of us can take actions …

Drinking Water Treatment – Chlorination

Image:Wellhead.jpgChlorination may be effective in removing pathogens, including certain viruses and bacteria, from your well water system.

EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Pathogens, including certain viruses and bacteria.

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Questions to Ask Before You Buy A Water Treatment System

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Drinking Water Treatment – Cation Exchange Units

EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Positively charged ions such as iron, magnesium, calcium or manganese.

NOT EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Negatively charged ions, such as nitrates, bicarbonate, sulfate, selenium, and some compounds of arsenic.

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Protect your drinking water well from going dry

When dry or drought conditions exist, water conservation measures could reduce the likelihood of your well going dry.

If your drinking water well goes dry, you need to consider local conditions affecting your well. Is there a drought that is worse than usual? Has this happened during other droughts? Are your neighbors experiencing similar problems? Have you observed other changes in your well, such as changes in taste or smell of the water? Is there a new industrial, commercial, or …

Drinking Water Treatment – Anion Exchange Units

EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Negatively charge ions, such as nitrates, bicarbonate, sulfate, selenium, and some compounds of arsenic.

NOT EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Positively charged ions such as iron, magnesium, calcium or manganese.

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