Tap Water

19 Oct. 20

5 Harmful Elements That Might Be in Your Tap Water

Water is essential for optimal health. It helps your body maintain a normal temperature, digest food better, and get rid of waste. Furthermore, not getting enough water can cause various health problems. It can lead to dehydration, muscle weakness, and even an increased risk of heatstroke. 

Considering its importance, you naturally want to make sure that your family and loved ones drink only safe water. However, to do this, you need to take a closer look at where you are getting your supply. 

If you usually find yourselves automatically turning on a tap, filling your glasses, and drinking, it may be time to rethink your choices. This practice can be exposing everyone at home to serious health risks. Tap water can contain various harmful elements, like the following: 

1. Heavy Metals 

Heavy metals such as mercury, lead, copper, chromium, and aluminum are notorious for their carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effects on human health. Especially if taken excessively for a prolonged period, they can increase risks of these diseases: 

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Brain deformities
  • Dementia 
  • Cancer

2. Arsenic 

This is a natural metalloid chemical found in the earth’s crust, but it is widely distributed throughout the environment in air, water, and land. It can be highly toxic and dangerous in its inorganic form. 

Prolonged arsenic exposure can cause skin lesions, cancer, and other cardiovascular diseases. In the worst cases, it can lead to arsenic poisoning and bring about severe conditions, such as vomiting, numbness in the hands and feet, partial paralysis, and blindness. 

3. Nitrates 

These are inorganic compounds commonly used as preservatives for processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon, and ham. They also naturally occur in the air, soil, and water; hence they can also be found in the tap water flowing to your home. 

Nitrates need to be regulated in drinking water. Consuming excess levels of this contaminant can cause the so-called “blue baby” disease in infants. In this condition, the amount of hemoglobin in the baby’s blood is greatly decreased, resulting in poorer oxygen transportation and the blueness of the skin.

4. Phosphates 

These are compounds made of phosphorus and oxygen. They are usually used as plant nutrients in fertilizers and as a water softener in detergents. Phosphates are among the most notorious contaminants in bodies of water because they promote excessive algae growth. 

They also pose certain health risks to humans when consumed in large amounts. Phosphates can increase the risk of hardened arterial walls. Additionally, they can cause kidney damage and osteoporosis.

5. Bacteria 

The presence of bacteria has been a long-time issue when it comes to drinking water. One of the most common bacteria present in tap water is Escherichia coli or E. coli. While these can be commonly found in humans’ digestive systems, certain strains can cause illnesses such as the following: 

  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
  • Low-grade fever
  • Respiratory infections (caused by Legionella) 
  • Food poisoning (caused by Salmonella) 


Drinking water from the tap can be exposing everyone in your family to the risks of developing certain health issues and problems. For this reason, you need to be cautious when it comes to your drinking water. It’s not enough for you to check the water quality for signs of contamination on your own. Seeking water treatment solutions and installing filtration systems will help you truly protect your loved ones.

If you aren’t confident with the quality of your tap water, we can help! Quality Water of the Carolinas is your one-stop-shop for all your water treatment services and purification needs. We can help you set up your whole house water filtration system in Charlotte, NC—get in touch today to get started!