What Contaminants Do Water Filtration Systems Remove

Many Americans drink tap water and well water. It’s all we know. By the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards, our water is safe to drink. But is it as safe as it can be? According to experts, there are 84,000 known contaminants in our drinking water. And the definition of what is a contaminant spans a wide range. Although the municipal water systems responsible for our water supply do what they can to remove pollutants, many still seep into our drinking water. Thankfully, there are water filtration systems to remove others. Read on to find out the most common contaminants filtering your water can remove.




Chlorine is a complicated contaminant. It’s one of the most common chemicals used to treat and disinfect water, but it’s also a chemical our bodies don’t need. It kills harmful bacteria like viruses and microorganisms, but it kills good bacteria, too.


And although it’s an integral part of the sanitation process for sewage and industrial waste, it’s also one serious contaminant. Some homeowners also say that bathing with it leaves their skin feeling dry and itchy and leaves behind unpleasant tastes and smells. Using a water filtration system, you’re able to filter out chlorine and its sister chemical, chloramine (chlorine and ammonia).



Did you know that a percentage of the more than 4,000 different medications humans and animals take for our health ends up back in our drinking water? This is why it’s crucial to have a water filtration system installed in your home. It can remove the traces of prescription drugs from drinking water.


The contamination typically occurs when we flush unused or expired medication down the drain or it exits our bodies when we use the bathroom. Another cause is from the medications administered to livestock finding its way into the environment. A 5-year study done by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) found that not only was there a significant concern for pharmaceuticals ending up in the environment, but that prescription drug particles were small enough to pass through the water treatment methods at wastewater treatment plants.



Fluoride is a chemical that’s been contaminating our drinking water for decades. Many cities add it to their water supply because it’s said to help reduce tooth decay and because the human body naturally produces fluoride. Despite its health benefits, it’s notoriously hard to filter out excess amounts of fluoride from your water when you don’t use the proper system. Enter Reverse Osmosis. This method is one of the few filters that can significantly reduce the amount of fluoride in water. And according to experts, that’s approximately 90 percent.


Heavy Metals

Next up on the list of contaminants that water filtration systems remove are heavy metals. These are metallic elements naturally found in the earth’s crust, but because of human activities and their effect on the environment, heavy metals have leached their way into our water. The metals consist of copper, cobalt, zinc, and manganese, all of which are found in the human body. A few other metals that can taint your water include mercury and arsenic.


Drinking water contaminated with heavy metals results is a slow poisoning that can damage your health over time. The most common ailments caused by heavy metals are cancer, organ damage, and reduced mental and central nervous function.



If you’ve ever wondered how pesticides get into our groundwater and aquifers, watch your plants the next time you water them. You’ll notice that as you spray protectant your plants, it trickles down into the soil. When we spray down our crops with pesticides, sometimes the excess gets absorbed by the ground and the contaminants end up in our water supply. Rain also contributes to the contamination of our water.


Pesticides get washed off of the plants and seep down into the ground, contaminating our groundwater and making it hazardous for humans and animals to consume. Treatment to remove pesticides from entire water supplies can be costly, so installing a filtration system at home is a cost-efficient way to remove contaminants from your water.


Sand, Soil, and Sediment

One of the first things water filtration systems remove from your water is sediment, sand, and soil. Sediment especially is most commonly present in well water. When sediment finds its way into your well water supply, it can negatively affect your water’s taste and feel, bringing with it a telltale gritty feel and discolored appearance. There are several reasons why sediment taints your water supply:


  • When a new well gets installed, sand, soil, and sediment are stirred up in the bedrock.
  • When high concentrations of dissolved elements like iron, calcium, and magnesium solidify.
  • The well is damaged, or the bedrock is of poor quality.


In addition to affecting your water, sand, soil, and sediment can also wreak havoc in your home, damaging appliances, and your plumbing. If you’re unsure whether your well water is contaminated with one of the 3 S’s, take our free water test to gain insight into your water problems.



When we think about water contaminants, the one that always poses the biggest concern is lead. Historically, lead finds its way into household drinking water with older pipes connected to appliances, fixtures, and faucets. They begin to corrode in places that have water with high acidity or lower mineral content. Lead is extremely harmful to children, having the potential to cause life-changing complications. Its most common side effects include high blood pressure, kidney damage, developmental issues, and brain damage.



The Science of Water: Bringing Filtered Water to Your Home

Water filtration systems can remove a wide variety of contaminants from your water, but how much and how efficiently they do so depends on the type of filter you’re using. At The Science of Water, we’re proud to install residential water systems by Puronics. Each system solves a different water problem, and guarantees you’ll have clean, great-tasting water throughout your home.


If you’re interested in learning more about our services or how to get the best water you’ve ever tasted in your home, contact us today!