Crystal Clear – How Clean is the Water in Your Home?
When you turn on the tap to get a drink of water, you expect that the water that comes out will be safe for you to drink. Yet water can have contaminants in it, even if it is deemed safe by the water company. Here's a closer look at where Maryland's water stands and what you can do about ensuring the water you consume is as clean as possible.
Maryland Water Sources
One of the factors that impact the quality of your water is its source. In Maryland, your water may come from one of three sources, and these are city water, well water, and artisan water.
City water is cleaned at a local water treatment plant. It must meet EPA regulations and get tested regularly to ensure it is as safe as possible. While some contaminants can make their way into the water without violating the EPA regulations, the rules are relatively strict.
Well water comes from your property or a community well source. Well water should be tested regularly to ensure it is safe to drink, but chemicals in the soil can infiltrate the well and get into your water over time.
Finally, some homes in Maryland are connected to Artesian Water Company water. Based out of Delaware, this water company provides a high-quality water source that uses wells and water treatment facilities to provide a high level of quality to homeowners.
Factors that Impact Water Quality
There are many sources of contamination that are possible in your tap water. Some common contaminants include:
Lead - This heavy metal can leach into your water from lead pipes and plumbing fixtures. While this can happen from the water treatment plant, it can also occur inside your home.
Atrazine - This pesticide disrupts your endocrine system and can be found in tap water. This contaminant is rare in Maryland, as it is more common in the Midwestern and southern states.
Pathogens - Viruses, bacteria, and parasites can all be found in water, and they can make you sick. Water treatment helps eliminate these but may not eradicate them all.
Arsenic - Sadly, this poison is found in some water sources, and it has potentially fatal effects.
Nitrates - Nitrates are used in fertilizer, which can leech into the soil and the water supply through runoff. Too many nitrates in your water can be fatal to babies and dangerous for pregnant women.
Radioactive products - Some naturally radioactive particles make their way into the water.
These are just some of the possible problems in your water, and this is why water testing is so important. Water testing will tell you exactly how clean your water is, so you can decide on filtration and cleaning methods within your home to protect your family.