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5 Most Common Chemical Ingredients in Tap Water
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Here's a shocker: you've never had pure water. Ever. All water has chemicals and other impurities.

The water coming through your taps at home is treated with chemicals for a variety of reasons. Water treatment plants use these chemicals to make the water safe to drink.

Many of these chemicals fight off bacterial blooms and other possible diseases. Others are added to keep the water system running. But it's always a good idea to know what you're putting into your body.

Below, we've compiled a list of the five most common ingredients in tap water. You can always have your water tested to see if these appear in your water supply and the levels which they occur.

Disinfectants

There is a high probability that you will find trace amounts of disinfectants in your water supply. These are the chemicals that kill harmful bacteria and other organisms.

Of these disinfectants, chlorine is by far the most common.

Chlorine kills many organisms that can cause disease and ailments. By adding chlorine to the water supply, there is little chance of dangerous outbreaks such as dysentery.

pH Conditioners

The pH level of a thing tells you its acidity. A pH of seven is considered neutral and anything less is considered an acid.

Treatment plants must monitor the pH of a water supply to ensure the health of its users and to prevent damage to the system. Because of this, chemicals such as hydrogen chloride and natrium hydroxide are often found.

Algaecides

Algae can be a problem for water supplies. A large bloom can cause problems within the system and make people sick.

Algaecides contain copper and iron chemicals to kill algae before it turns into a large bloom. After the algaecides works, it can remain in the water and find its way into your water at home.

Antifoams

Foam can cause a lot of problems for water systems. A strong film surrounds air bubbles and turns them into hard-to-pop foams that can reduce the overall capacity and usefulness of the system.

To combat foam, treatment plants add antifoams made of oils and silica, which neutralize the foam and breaks it down. As with most added chemicals, these are harmless unless they are present in large amounts.

Corrosion Inhibitors

Corrosion along pipes and within equipment can cause devastation within a water system, leading to leaks and breaks.

Companies can add chemicals that stop corrosion as well as fix any problems that already exist. Inhibitors absorb into equipment and act as a protective shield against metal deposits and rust.

Other Ingredients in Tap Water

These are five of the most common ingredients in tap water. If you had your water tested, you may also find traces of nitrates, ammonia, fluoride. Again, these chemicals are important to the safety of a water supply and are not harmful in small amounts.