There is more to the drinking water in the UK than you think; Did you know that it can contain contaminants such as:

  •  Germs
  • Bacteria
  • Disinfectant bi-products
  • Nitrates
  • Arsenic
  • Lead and Copper
Illustrations by Shannon Orcutt

There are regulations within the water industry to keep these all at a minimum.  Your tap water is very safe to drink but, and its a big but, if there is room for improvement then surely we should be striving toward giving people the safest water we can?

What are germs?

The term germ refers to a group of microscopic bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa that can cause disease.  Germs can be found anywhere, on anything. They can affect people, plants, animals and food. Germs in water are traditionally 'killed' with a chlorination treatment at the source.

What are bacteria?

Bacteria are microscopic single-celled organisms that thrive in diverse environments. They can be found in the human gut, in the soil and in water. Bacteria can be helpful in a controlled environment such as:

  • curdling milk into yogurt
  • food supplements to help aid digestion

However harmful bacteria can bring with it disease; it is these bacteria that need to be eradicated from our water system.

What are disinfectant bi-products?

You don't want these in your water!

What are Nitrates?

Nitrates are inorganic compounds; combined with other elements they used as preservatives and color fixatives in cured meats. They are also used industrially for things like gunpowder, explosives, fertilizers, and glass enamels!

What is Arsenic?

Arsenic is a metalloid - a natural element that is not actually a metal but which has some of the properties of a metal. It naturally occurs in the ground and there for finds its way into ground water sources.

What is lead and copper?

Lead and copper typically finds its way into our water by way of the plumbing. Lead can build up in the body and be particularly harmful to children and infants. Copper in drinking water is rare, at very high levels it can cause stomach upsets and more severely, copper poisoning.

For useful information on lead and copper in your water we have a useful link for you from DWI (Drinking water Inspectorate)

Is there Lead in my water?

Is there Copper in my water?

Glass of water anyone?