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When It Comes To Clear Water, Looks Can Be Deceiving



It’s one of the most essential elements for all life on earth — water. Without it, we would quickly become dehydrated and eventually die. But water can be deceptive. Even though it may look, smell and taste just fine, lurking within it can be invisible enemies contaminants that can seriously affect your health.

Microbial and organic contaminants cannot always be detected by human senses. You might go years before realizing a problem exists. Many people never become suspicious until others in the community start to get sick. Water near agricultural areas may contain harmful organic material from pesticide or fertilizer application. Chemicals from pesticides and fertilizers in water may increase cancer risk and reproductive problems, and can impair eye, liver, kidney, and other body functions. Similar problems can result from exposure to water near industrial plants.

Some common waterborne contaminants include: bacteria and viruses, aluminum, ammonia, arsenic, copper, mercury, silver and uranium, among others.


The U.S. EPA has set standards for more than 80 contaminants that may occur in drinking water and pose a risk to human health. The contaminants fall into two groups according to the health effects that they cause: acute effects that occur within hours or days after consumption; and chronic effects that occur after people consume a contaminant at levels over the EPAs safety standards over the course of many years — such as cancer, liver or kidney programs.

Sullivan County Labs opened for the convenience of local well owners and businesses that need to determine their water safety and evaluate potential contaminants. Today, our state-of-the-art lab offers a wide range of water analyses for potable, recreational, and process water (wastewater sewage treatment plants). Our analytical lab is both NYS Department of Health and PA DEP certified to accurately measure constituents in your water. For more information, give us a call today.

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