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Drinking Water Contaminants Summary:

Water is called the Universal Solvent because it dissolves more substances than any other solvent.  Since water is capable of dissolving or suspending a tremendous variety of materials there is simply no way to get "pure" water (H2O and nothing but H2O) out of your faucet.  All water, outside of a research laboratory, will have some other stuff in it.  Even distilled water you make at home or purchase at the store will eventually have some carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air dissolved in it forming a weak acid (carbonic acid).  Distilled water bottled in plastic will probably contain some dissolved plastic molecules in it as well.

Water contaminant topics covered on my website include:

What Various Contaminants Can Do To Your Health Dissolved Contaminants:  Dissolved substances are usually individual atoms, molecules or ions (molecules that have gained or lost one or more electrons).
  • Inorganic:  Compounds that typically do not contain the element Carbon.  They can become dissolved in water from natural sources or as the result of human activity.
  • Organic:  These compounds all contain the element Carbon.  Although there are many exceptions, naturally occurring organic compounds (sugars, proteins, alcohol's, etc.) are synthesized in the cells of living organisms, or like raw petroleum and coal, formed by natural processes acting on the organic chemicals of once living organisms
Contaminants That Could Be In Your Drinking Water Suspended Contaminants:  Water molecules are in constant motion - hurtling around ricocheting off each other and any other substances that might be in it. Small organic, inorganic or living particles keep getting knocked around in random directions by these water molecules, and if they are small enough, this motion is enough to keep gravity from pulling them down and they remain in suspension - like a never ending soccer game with no goals.  
  • Pathogens: Disease causing organisms including, viruses, bacteria and protozoa.
  • Algae:  Algae (or phytoplankton) are a type of aquatic plant (has chlorophyll and are capable of photosynthesis).
  • Asbestos:  Asbestos is a mineral that forms minute fibers in the environment.
What's The Best Drinking Water Purification Method For You Drinking water sourcesWater Contaminant Risks:  Although water companies in the US and many other countries are strictly regulated and the treated water must meet certain minimum purity and safety standards, all water companies are not created equal.

You can reasonably assume that most are doing the best they can with the resources available to them - if for no other reason than to keep their name out of the evening news.  In general, though, the larger water companies (in the US anyway) have greater resources available to treat and distribute the water and maintain the distribution infrastructure. And, because they serve more people, they are required to meet stricter regulations.  Sensory clues to contaminants in your drinking water can be found here.
Drinking Water Scams Water Sources:  The geographic region where people live is an important contributing factor to both the quality and availability of fresh water.