Drinking Water Contents

PRIVATE DRINKING WATER
PROTECTING DRINKING WATER
HUMAN HEALTH
MANAGING DRINKING WATER QUALITY PROBLEMS

Drinking Water Well Quality Basics

Groundwater, the source of water for private wells, is never simply a pure combination of hydrogen and oxygen atoms (H20). It contains many impurities, reflecting the composition of the soils, sand, gravel, and rock through which it travels. Groundwater naturally contains:

  1. Dissolved minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, chloride, and sulfate
  2. Gases such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, and nitrogen
  3. Dissolved organic compounds

As a result of human activity, groundwater can also contain contaminants such as pesticides, nitrate, metals, …

Drinking Water Treatment – pH Adjustment

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About pH

pH is an indicator of the acid or alkaline …

Drinking Water Treatment – Activated Alumina

EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Fluoride, arsenic, selenium, and chromium.

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Uses of activated alumina

Activated alumina can be used as a point-of-entry or point-of-use water treatment device. Activated alumina absorbs contaminants instead of filtering them. The effectiveness of activated alumina depends on the contaminant, characteristics of the …

Drinking Water Treatment – Oxidizing Filters

EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Oxidizing filters oxidize and filter iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide in one unit.

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Uses

An oxidizing filter is an in-line, point-of-entry device (on the main incoming water line) that converts dissolved iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide to a solid form and then …

Drinking Water Treatment – Potassium Permanganate

EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Dissolved iron and manganese, and hydrogen sulfide.

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Uses of potassium permanganate

Potassium permanganate is a point-of-entry treatment method that oxidizes dissolved iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide into solid particles that are …

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 – Ozone

EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Pathogenic (disease-causing) organisms including bacteria and viruses, phenols, some color, taste and odor problems, iron and manganese, and turbidity.

NOT EFFECTIVE AGAINST: Large cysts and some other large organisms, inorganic chemicals, and heavy metals.

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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 – 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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