There are a variety of drinking water Contaminants that can be categorized into two broad regulatory categories – Primary – the ones that can impact your health and cause disease, and Secondary - the ones that can cause aesthetic or use problems with the water. In addition, we've included the category No Standards that includes contaminates that aren't regulated but which can have a negative impact on your drinking water quality or use.
The Primary Drinking Water Standards are the parameters or contaminants that have a specific health concern. Typically, these health specific concerns can occur before the parameter causes or is associated with an aesthetic problem with the water. The Primary Drinking Water Standard Categories included in this section include: Microbiological (i.e. Total Coliform, E coli, Legionella, Giardia), Inorganics (IOCs), Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs), Synthetic Organic Compounds (SOCs), Disinfection By-products (i.e. Trihalomethanes) and Radioactive Isotopes (i.e. Radon, Alpha Beta, Uranium, Radium).
Secondary Drinking Water Standards are based on aesthetic, cosmetic, or technical issues and concerns or are related to the use of the water, but do NOT impact health, unlike Primary Drinking Water Standards which are based on specific health concerns or impacts. The Secondary Drinking Water Standards categories in this section include Inorganics (IOCs) and Conditions (aesthetic issues).
Although some commonly measured drinking water contaminants or water conditions have no specific drinking water standard, we’ve developed a formal set of guidelines for a number of common Contaminants and Conditions based on our professional experience, guidelines created by other agencies or states, health-advisories for the EPA, and clean-up standard. The No Standards categories included in this section are Inorganics (IOCs), Organics, Gas, and Conditions.