Many contaminants are currently unregulated by the government and do not have a set limit, known as the Maximum Contaminant Level, which is dictated by cost and the best available treatment technology. The Maximum Contaminant Level Goal, on the other hand, is based solely upon health considerations and is non-enforceable. In addition to being naturally occurring, contaminants may enter drinking water supplies through industrial sources, agricultural practices, urban pollution, sprawl, and water treatment byproducts. Exposure to these contaminants is not limited to ingestion and can also occur through dermal absorption and inhalation in the shower. Health risks for the general public include skin damage, increased risk of cancer, circulatory problems, and multiple toxicities. At low levels, these contaminants generally are not harmful in our drinking water. However, children, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems are more vulnerable to the health risks associated with these contaminants. Vulnerable peoples should take additional precautions with drinking water. This research project was conducted in order to learn more about our local drinking water and to characterize our exposure to contaminants. We hope to increase public awareness of water quality issues by educating the local residents about their drinking water in order to promote public health and minimize exposure to some of the contaminants contained within public water supplies.
Benson, Elizabeth and Harrison-Atlas, Dylan, "Human Health Impacts of Contaminants Found in Local Drinking Water Supply" (2007). Undergraduate Research Symposium (UGRS). 3.