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Naturally occurring contamination
The chemistry of the groundwater flowing into a well reflects what’s in the environment. If the natural quality of groundwater to be used for human consumption presents a health risk, water treatment will be necessary.
Examples of naturally occurring substances that can present health risk are:
- Microorganisms (i.e., bacteria, viruses, and parasites; these tend to be more common in shallow groundwater)
- Radionuclides (i.e., radium, radon, and uranium)
- Heavy metals (i.e., arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and selenium).
- Public water systems are required to treat drinking water to federal quality standards. However, it is up to private well owners to make sure their water is safe.