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Help Choosing Water Purification Systems
Private Well Water Purification Systems.
Is Ground Source Pollution A Problem?
If your drinking water comes
from a private well, below are some reasons for using water purification
systems to protect you and your family.
What are Some Naturally Occurring Sources of Pollution?
Microorganisms: Bacteria, viruses, parasites and other microorganisms
are sometimes found in water. Shallow wells — those with water close to ground level — are at most risk.
Runoff, or water flowing over the land surface, may pick up these pollutants
from wildlife and soils. This is often the case after flooding. Some of these
organisms can cause a variety of illnesses. Symptoms include nausea and diarrhea. These can occur shortly
after drinking contaminated water. The effects could be short-term yet severe
(similar to food poisoning) or might recur frequently or develop slowly over
a long time. Radionuclides: Radionuclides areradioactive elements such as uranium
and radium. They may be present in underlying rock and ground water.
Radon — a gas that is a natural product of the breakdown of uranium
in the soil — can also pose a threat. Radon is most dangerous when inhaled
and contributes to lung cancer. Although soil is the primary source, using household water containing
Radon contributes to elevated indoor Radon levels. Radon is less dangerous when consumed in water, but remains
a risk to health.
Nitrates and Nitrites: Although high nitrate levels are usually due to
human activities (see below), they may be found naturally in ground water. They come from the breakdown of
nitrogen compounds in the soil. Flowing ground water picks them up from the soil. Drinking large amounts
of nitrates and nitrites is particularly threatening to infants (for example,
when mixed in formula). Heavy Metals: Underground rocks and soils may contain arsenic, cadmium,
chromium, lead, and selenium. However, these contaminants are not often found in household wells at
dangerous levels from natural sources.
Fluoride: Fluoride is helpful in dental
health, so many water systems add small amounts to drinking water. However, excessive consumption of
naturally occurring fluoride can damage bone tissue. High levels of fluoride occur naturally in some areas.
It may discolor teeth, but this is not a health risk
What Human Activities Can Pollute Ground water?
Bacteria and Nitrates: These pollutants are found in human and
animal wastes. Septic tanks can cause bacterial and nitrate pollution. So can
large numbers of farm animals. Both septic systems and animal manures must be carefully managed to prevent
pollution. Sanitary landfills and garbage dumps are also sources. Children and some adults are at extra
risk when exposed to water-born bacteria. These include the elderly and people whose immune systems are
weak due to AIDS or treatments for cancer. Fertilizers can add to nitrate problems. Nitrates cause a health
threat in very young infants called “blue baby” syndrome. This condition
disrupts oxygen flow in the blood.
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs):
The number of CAFOs, often called “factory farms,” is growing. On these farms thousands
of animals are raised in a small space. The large amounts of animal wastes/manures from these farms can threaten
water supplies. Strict and careful manure management is needed to prevent pathogen and nutrient problems.
Salts from high levels of manures can also pollute groundwater. Heavy Metals: Activities such as
mining and construction can release large amounts of heavy metals into nearby ground water sources. Some
older fruit orchards may contain high levels of arsenic, once used as a pesticide. At high levels, these metals
pose a health risk.
Fertilizers and Pesticides:
Farmers use fertilizers and pesticides to promote growth and reduce insect damage.
These products are also used on golf courses and suburban lawns and gardens. The chemicals in these
products may end up in ground water. Such pollution depends on the types and amounts of chemicals used and
how they are applied. Local environmental conditions (soil types, seasonal snow and rainfall) also affect this
pollution. Many fertilizers contain forms of nitrogen that can break down into harmful nitrates. This could add to
other sources of nitrates mentioned above. Some underground agricultural drainage systems collect fertilizers and
pesticides. This polluted water can pose problems to ground water and local streams and rivers. In addition,
chemicals used to treat buildings and homes for termites or other pests may also pose a threat. Again, the possibility
of problems depends on the amount and kind of chemicals. The types of soil and the amount of water moving
through the soil also play a role.
Industrial Products and Wastes:
Many harmful chemicals are used widely in local business and industry. These can become drinking water
pollutants if not well managed. The most common sources of such problems are:
• Local Businesses: These include nearby factories, industrial plants,
and even small businesses such as gas stations and dry cleaners. All handle a variety of hazardous
chemicals that need careful management. Spills and improper disposal of these chemicals or of industrial
wastes can threaten ground water supplies.
• Leaking Underground Tanks & Piping: Petroleum products, chemicals, and
wastes stored in underground storage tanks and pipes may end up in the ground water. Tanks and
piping leak if they are constructed or installed improperly. Steel tanks and
piping corrode with age. Tanks are often found on farms. The possibility of leaking tanks is great on old,
abandoned farm sites. Farm tanks are exempt from the EPA rules for petroleum and chemical tanks.
• Landfills and Waste Dumps: Modern landfills are designed to contain any
leaking liquids. But floods can carry them over the barriers. Older dumpsites may have a wide variety
of pollutants that can seep into ground water.
These and many other reasons are why water
purification systems are essential for private wells and public utility
Omni Filters - Water
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| Water Cooler |
If you need help choosing a water
purification system, or need
additional information, please call:
Customer Service Department at 1-855-855-1976.