Contaminants in Well and City Water

Contaminants in Well Water

What is a water contaminant?

  • Technically, anything that is NOT water that is IN water is a contaminant
  • For example, iron, sodium, even Kool-Aid, are contaminants
  • Some contaminants are harmful and some are just a nuisance

No single unit will remove every contaminant

  • Don’t confuse conditioned water, softened water or neutralized water with “purified” water.
  • For most residential households, a combination of an Ultra Violet Light System for bacteria and a Reverse Osmosis or an Always Fresh filtration system would achieve safe, potable water

The most common water contaminants in Connecticut are:

Max Level Sign or Symptoms Primary Source Treatment Options
Arsenic 0 Cancer Nature Many
Chloride 250 Taste Varies, road salt Reverse Osmosis
Chlorine 4 mg/l Taste As additive Carbon System
Always Fresh
Coliform Bacteria ZERO Gastro-intestinal illness Fecal waste Well Chlorination
Ultraviolet Light System
Copper 1.3 mg/l Liver/Kidney Plumbing, Nature Neutralizer
Reverse Osmosis
Always Fresh
Flouride 4.0 mg/l Bone disease Nature, As additive Reverse Osmosis
Hardness 5 grains White scaling Nature Water Softener
Iron 0.3 Red stains Nature Water Softener
Birm Filtration
Lead 0 Developmental Delays in kids Plumbing, Nature Carbon System
Reverse Osmosis
Always Fresh
Manganese 0.05 Brown stains Nature Water Softener
MTBE Methyl tertiary-butyl ether 70 ppb Multiple Man-made Carbon System
Nitrate as N 10.0 mg/l Blue Baby Syndrome Fertilizer, Sewage Reverse Osmosis
Nitrite as N 1.0 mg/l Blue Baby Syndrome Fertilizer, Sewage Reverse Osmosis
pH 6.4-10.0 Corrosion Nature Neutralizer
Radon 4,000 pi/cl Cancer Nature Carbon System
Aeration System
Sodium 28 mg/l —— Nature, Road Salt Reverse Osmosis
Sulfate 500 mg/l Laxative Nature, Road Salt Reverse Osmosis
Anion Softener
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Varies Varies Man-made Carbon System
Always Fresh

Frequently Asked Questions about Contaminants

How do I know I have contaminants in my water?Well Water Containments

  • Most of the time, you don’t.
  • Most contaminants are colorless, odorless and tasteless
  • Testing is the only way to really know

There are so many things to test for, what should I do first?

  • City water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Go to and search for your county
  • Private wells are not regulated
  • The CT Dept of Public Health recommends a yearly test for:
    • Total Coliform Bacteria
    • Nitrate
    • pH
    • Sodium
    • Turbidity
    • Color

If you have children, test for fluoride and lead

Check out this guide on Drinking Water published by the CT Dept of Public Health:

If you want the plain truth about contaminants and what to do to protect you and your family, call or email us today.

If you need help understanding an existing water test – we can help. 860-267-0110

Connecticut Drinking Water Safety