The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally-occuring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.
Contaminants can include:
- Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria: These may come from wastewater treatment facilities, septic systems, agricultural and/or livestock operations and wildlife.
- Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals: These can be naturally-occuring, or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic waster water dischages, oil and gas production, mining or farming.
- Pesticides and herbicides, which may originate from a veriety of sources, such as: agriculture, urban storm-water runoff and residential uses.
- Organic chemical contaminants (including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals): These are byproducts of industrial processes and petroleum productrion. They may also come from gas stations, urban storm-water runoff, and septic systems.
- Radioactive contaminants: These can be naturally-occuring or the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.
ECCV ensures that your tap water is safe to drink by adhering to EPA regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The Food and Drug Administration regulates limits for contaminants in bottled water that must provide the same protection for public health.
Does ECCV Have Hard Water?
ECCV’s annual average of water hardness is approximately 100 parts per million (ppm). “Hardness” in drinking water is caused by two minerals: calcium and magnesium, both of which dissolve naturally. Hard water is safe to drink, but it can have undesired effects on cleaning and bathing. Soaps and detergents lather less in hard water. In addition, hard water can form a residue when combined with detergents, which can stay behind on dishes and laundry. Hard water can also form “scale” on fixtures and appliances, resulting in energy inefficiencies. In the United States, water hardness may range from 0 to 500 parts per million (ppm), depending on the source of the water and level of treatment. A level of 500 ppm is considered extremely hard water.
Why Is There Fluoride In My Water?
Fluoride exists naturally in many ground and surface waters in the United States. At the proper concentrations, fluoride can be effective at preventing, and sometimes reversing cavities in teeth. That’s why many communities add it to drinking water. The level of fluoride in the ground water that ECCV provides is in the range of .69 to 1.37 milligrams per liter. This level is adequate for proper dental health; therefore, no additional fluoride is added to our water. Some people who drink water containing fluoride in excess of the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) over many years could get bone disease, including pain and tenderness of the bones. Fluoride in drinking water at half the MCL or more may cause mottling of children’s teeth, usually in children less than nine years old. Mottling, also known as dental fluorosis, may include brown staining and/or pitting of the teeth, occurs only in developing teeth before they erupt from the gums. Because of these risks, the Environmental Protection Agency has established a MCL for fluoride of 4.0 milligrams per liter.
Drinking Water and Your Health
All drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of these contaminants does not necessarily mean that the water poses a health risk.
Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons; such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, persons with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice concerning drinking water from their health care providers. For more information about contaminants and potential health effects, or to receive a copy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by cryptosporidium and microbiological contaminants, call the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.