Contaminant Glossary (Partial List)

Chloride – Chloride may make your water taste salty and indicates contamination from an outside source such as salt storage, seawater, or septic waste.

Chlorinated Pesticides – Commonly used agricultural pesticides. Some people who drink water contaminated with these compounds could experience problems or damage to the eyes, liver, kidneys, or spleen and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

  • Endosulfan Sulfate
  • Endrin
  • Endrin Aldehyde
  • Endrin Ketone
  • Heptachlor
  • Heptachlor Epoxide
  • Hexachlorobenzene
  • Hexachlorocyclopentadiene
  • Lindane (gamma-BHC)
  • Methoxychlor
  • Toxaphene
  • Arachlor
  • Aldrin

Coliform Bacteria – Indicates contamination from an unsanitary condition such as septic waste or surface water entering the water supply. Health effects include gastrointestinal illness, cryptosporidum and giardia lamblia.

Copper – Usually associated with the corrosion of copper pipes. can cause stomach or gastrointestinal illness, liver and kidney damage and anemia.

Fluoride – added to many municipal water supplies, also found naturally. Excessive levels may damage teeth.

Hardness – calcium and magnesium are the main hardness materials. Although hardness is not a health threat, excessive levels may be harmful to plumbing fixtures and pipes. While deposits around faucet’s and on dishware are often caused by excessive hardness.

Iron – Usually comes from a natural source. High levels of iron may cause a bad taste in the water and cause severe staining of laundry and plumbing fixtures. Excessive iron can be a health risk to people with medical condition known as hemochromatosis.

Lead – Usually comes from corrosion of pipes and plumbing fixtures. causes numerous health disorders and reduced IQ scores. Our packages contain a double lead sample that includes a “first draw” and a “flushed line” sample. This helps to determine where the lead is coming from.

Nitrate – Comes from natural decay of organic matter and agricultural runoff. Nitrate causes decreased oxygen carrying capacity in infants and some adults. This can lead to methemoglobinemia (blue baby syndrome). Elevated levels of nitrate indicate possible contamination from agriculture and suggest the need for pesticide testing.

Nitrite – Similar to nitrate, however nitrite can cause decreased oxygen carrying capacity in anyone.

PCB’s – Environmentally persistent compound that were used in electronic compounds and some pumps. They can cause an increased cancer risk.

  • Aroclor 1016
  • Aroclor 1221
  • Aroclor 1232
  • Aroclor 1242
  • Aroclor 1248
  • Aroclor 1254
  • Aroclor 1260

pH – Indicates whether water is acidic or basic. Acidic water can cause corrosion of plumbing and fixtures, which leads to elevated levels of metals such as lead and copper. High pH can cause scaling of the plumbing system.

Sulfate – Naturally occurring but can indicate contamination of the water supply. causes gastrointestinal discomfort in individuals who are not accustomed to drinking the water.

Trace Metals – Trace metals may come from industrial contamination or natural deposits.They can cause increased cancer risk, damage to organs and changes in blood chemistry.

  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Barium
  • Berylium
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Mercury
  • Nickel
  • Selenium
  • Thallium

VOC’s – Compounds which are found in many household products, paints, petroleum products and industrial solvents. People who drink water containing theses compounds in excess of the MCL could experience damage to liver, kidneys, spleen, or circulatory system, or changes in the blood. There is also an increased risk of cancer associated with most of these compounds.

  • Benzene
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Chlorobenzene
  • O-Dichlorobenzene
  • P-Dichlorobenzene
  • 1,2-Dichloroethane
  • 1,1-Dichloroethylene
  • Cis-1,1-Dichloroethylene
  • Trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene
  • Dichloromethane
  • 1,2-Dichloropropane
  • Atrazine
  • Alpha-BHC
  • Beta-BHC
  • Delta-BHC
  • Chlordane
  • p,p-DDD
  • p,p-DDE
  • p,p-DDT
  • Dieldrin
  • Endosulfan 1
  • Endosulfan 2
  • Ethylbenzene
  • Styrene
  • Tetrachloroethylene
  • 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
  • 1,1,1-Trichloroethane
  • 1,1,2-Trichloroethane
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Toluene
  • Vinyl Chloride
  • Xylenes
  • Total Trihalomethanes