Water Safety & Regulations
Arsenic in WaterThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reviewing the drinking water standard for arsenic because of special concerns that it may not be stringent enough. Arsenic is a naturally occurring mineral known to cause cancer in humans at high concentrations.
Who is VulnerableNitrate in drinking water at levels above 10 ppm is a health risk for infants of less than six months of age. High nitrate levels in drinking water can cause blue baby syndrome. Nitrate levels may rise quickly for short periods of time because of rainfall or agricultural activity. If you are caring for an infant you should ask advice from your health care provider.
Lead in WaterInfants and young children are typically more vulnerable to lead in drinking water than the general population. It is possible that lead levels at your home may be higher than at other homes in the community as a result of materials used in your home’s plumbing. If you are concerned about elevated lead levels in your home’s water, you may wish to have your water tested by a private laboratory. Letting the water run for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using tap water may reduce your exposure to lead. Additional information is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline, or online.
Other ContaminantsSome people who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous systems, and may have increased risk of getting cancer.
All sources of drinking water are subject to potential contamination by substances that are naturally occurring or man made. These substances can be microbes, inorganic or organic chemicals and radioactive substances. All drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline.