Drinking Water Issues

Volatile Organic chemicals, or VOC’s, are a group of water contaminants that can be very dangerous if found in drinking water at unsafe levels.  VOC's are among the most costly water contaminants to detect, and difficult and expensive for municipal water systems to remove. There...

Turbidity is a water quality term that refers to the cloudy appearance of water, caused by particles or “suspended matter”. There are many types of particles that may be present in water, some of which are large enough to be seen and some are not.  Turbid...

Bacteria are the most numerous organisms on the planet.  There are literally millions of different types of bacteria.  They are one-celled organisms and are present in everything from water to food, and on objects, we touch every day.  What’s ironic about bacteria is that they...

Nearly everyone is aware of the health hazards of inhaling asbestos fibres from ceiling tiles and insulation.  But asbestos found in drinking water also can be hazardous to your health. Asbestos, which is a fibrous mineral sometimes used for fireproofing, has long been used to strengthen...

Heavy metals in water refer to heavy, dense, metallic elements that occur in trace levels, but are very toxic and tend to accumulate. Most heavy metals are too rarely found in water to justify government regulation, but a few have been given an MCL (Maximum Contaminant...

Nitrates (NO3-) and nitrites (NO2-) are chemical compounds that consist of nitrogen and oxygen. These compounds readily dissolve in water and have no taste or odour. Nitrate compounds are commonly used in fertilizers, food preservatives, and chemical oxidants. A small portion of nitrate compounds is...

Although water may appear to be clear, it always contains many microscopic particles, some of which can make water taste funny and even be dangerous to your health.  There are many types of particles, and the tiniest sub-micron sized particles may number in the millions...

What Is Cryptosporidium? Cryptosporidium (pronounced krip-toe-spo-rid-ee-um) is a parasite that can live in the intestines of humans, farm animals, wild animals, and household pets.  Although there are several species of Cryptosporidium, only one species, Cryptosporidium parvum, is known to cause infection in humans. The parasite, which...

Off-tastes and odours are common water quality problems across the country.  They are caused by a variety of factors, the most common of which is chlorine.  Keep in mind that tastes and odours will vary from tap to tap and are influenced by personal likes...

The word crypto means hidden or secret, and the word spore means seed or germ.  Therefore, Cryptosporidium literally means “hidden germ”. To residents of Milwaukee, Wisconsin the roots of this strange word were driven home in April 1993 when the city suffered the largest outbreak...