What Are the Most Common Water Pollutants?


Arsenic is a heavy metal known to be very toxic. People who drink water that contains arsenic beyond EPA’s standard for many years could go through several serious health issues. These could include problems with the bladder, heart, kidney, liver and lungs.

Arsenic can cause damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, as well as the circulatory system. Exposure to arsenic has been connected to different kinds of cancers.


Most communities include fluoride in the water they drink to promote good dental health. It is up to a community to decide whether they would like to add fluoride to their water. EPA has set a standard of 4 mg/L fluoride for drinking water. Those who drink water with fluoride beyond this level for several years could suffer from bone disease, bone pain and tenderness.

EPA has set another standard of 2 mg/L to give protection from dental fluorosis. Whether it comes in a moderate or severe form, dental fluorosis could lead to the pitting or the brown staining of permanent teeth. This only takes place in developing teeth before piercing through the gums. Kids below nine years old should never drink water with more than 2 mg/L of fluoride.


Lead typically enters the water system from plumbing in older establishments. Since August 1998, pipes and plumbing fittings made from lead have been banned. Pregnant women and children are the most prone to health risks caused by lead. To avoid lead, know how to remove it from your drinking water by reading the EPA fact sheet.


To kill the germs in drinking water, like e coli and giardia, most water suppliers add a disinfectant to the water. After heavy rains, your water system may add more disinfectants to ensure that such germs are killed.


Many people who drink water with chlorine which is more than EPA’s standard could get irritated eyes and nose, plus stomach ache.

Chloramines are often formed whenever chlorine and ammonia are combined to treat the water. Water with chloramines is safe o drink – provided that it conforms to EPA rules. On the other hand, people exposed to chloramines beyond EPA’s standard may feel some irritation in their eyes, nose and stomach.

Chlorine Dioxide is added to water to control its taste and odor. Infants and younger children who drink water with chlorine dioxide which is more than the EPA’s standard could experience anemia and nervous system effects. The same effects may also take place in fetuses of pregnant women who drink more than EPA’s standard of water with chlorine dioxide.

Disinfection Byproducts

Disinfection byproducts are formed whenever disinfectants added to water to kill germs act in response with naturally-occurring organic matter in it.

Total Trihalomethanes

When people drink water with trihalomethanes exceeding EPA’s standard for many years, they may experience health issues as regards to their central nervous systems, kidneys and liver, as well as have a higher risk of acquiring cancer.

Haloacetic Acids

Those who drink water with haloacetic acids that are above EPA’s standard for several years have a higher risk of getting cancer.


Some individuals who drink water with bromate which is beyond EPA’s standard over the years are more prone to getting cancer.


A number of infants and kids who consume water containing chlorite greater then EPA’s standard could experience anemia and nervous system effects. Similar effects may also take place in fetuses of pregnant women.