What's in Your Drinking Water?

Your drinking water, both tap water and bottled water, comes from rivers, lakes, streams ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells.   As it travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, water picks up and dissolves naturally occurring minerals, radioactive material, and substances resulting from the presence of animals or humans.

Substances that may occur in the sources of your drinking water include:

  • Viruses and bacteria from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, or wildlife.
  • Salts and metals either naturally occurring or resulting from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.
  • Pesticides and herbicides from agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses.
  • Synthetic and volatile organic chemicals which are byproducts of industrial processes and petroleum production, or which come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff, and septic systems.
  • Radioactive contamination either naturally occurring or resulting from oil and gas production and mining activities.