Tap water is an essential part of our daily lives. We use it for everything from cooking to cleaning and even drinking. When you turn on the tap, do you ever wonder what’s in the water that comes out? Tap water is something many of us take for granted, and we assume it’s clean and safe to drink. However, the truth is that tap water can contain a wide range of substances, some of which can be harmful to human health. Below, we take a closer look at what may be in the tap water in your home and what you can do to ensure it’s as safe as possible.


Chlorine is a chemical that’s commonly used to disinfect tap water and make it safe to drink. While chlorine is effective at killing harmful bacteria and other microorganisms, it can also have some negative effects on human health. For example, exposure to high levels of chlorine in drinking water has been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer as well as skin irritation and other health issues.


Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that’s added to many municipal water supplies in order to promote dental health. While fluoride has been shown to be effective at reducing tooth decay, some people are concerned about the potential health effects of ingesting too much of it. High levels of fluoride in drinking water have been linked to a range of health issues, including skeletal fluorosis, which can cause pain and stiffness in the joints, as well as damage to the teeth and bones.


Lead is a toxic metal that can leach into tap water from old plumbing systems or other sources. Exposure to lead can cause a range of health problems, including developmental delays in children and an increased risk of heart disease and other health issues in adults. If you live in an older home or building, it’s important to have your tap water tested for lead on a regular basis.


Copper is a mineral that can be found in tap water. While it’s not harmful in small amounts, excessive exposure to copper can cause health issues such as anemia and kidney problems. Copper is typically present in tap water that has been sitting in copper pipes for an extended time. To reduce your exposure to copper in your tap water, it’s important to flush your pipes regularly and to install a water filtration system designed to remove copper.

Minerals that Cause “Hard Water”

“Hard water,” which is the common term for water that contains dissolved calcium, magnesium, and manganese, can cause dry skin, leave dishes spotted and filmy, and dull the colors in clothing. Hard water can cause even more serious problems, such as clogged pipes. Because the minerals in hard water tend to collect on the inside of pipes, they can build up over time and lead to clogging that can result in severe damage. 

Hard water also reduces the efficiency of water heaters. Even if you have an on-demand water heater, it can start to get clogged from mineral buildup, which will make it work harder to heat water and thus use more energy. In addition to increasing energy costs, hard water can damage and even destroy a water heater.

Pesticides & Herbicides

Pesticides and herbicides are chemicals commonly used in agriculture to control pests and weeds. These chemicals can leach into groundwater and other water sources, contaminating tap water in some areas. Exposure to pesticides and herbicides has been linked to a range of health problems, including cancer, reproductive issues, and neurological disorders.


Pharmaceuticals are chemicals that are used to treat a wide range of medical conditions. While these chemicals are effective at treating illness, they can also end up in our water supply through human waste. This means small amounts of pharmaceuticals can be present in tap water in some areas. While the health effects of long-term exposure to pharmaceuticals in drinking water aren’t yet fully understood, some studies have suggested exposure to these chemicals can have negative effects on human health.

How to Ensure Your Tap Water Is Safe to Drink

While most tap water in the United States is safe for human consumption, it’s still important to be aware of the potential risks and to take steps to reduce your exposure to harmful contaminants. There are a few things you can do to ensure the tap water in your home is as safe as possible to drink. Here are a few tips:

  • Have your tap water tested regularly – If you’re concerned about the quality of your tap water, have it tested by a reputable laboratory. This will give you a better understanding of the specific contaminants that may be present in your water and allow you to take steps to address them.
  • Install a water filtration system – There are a variety of water filtration systems on the market that can remove contaminants from your tap water. Some common types of filters include activated carbon filters, reverse osmosis filters, and distillation systems. Make sure to choose a system certified by an independent third-party organization, such as the NSF.
  • Use a water bottle with a built-in filter – If you’re on the go and don’t have access to filtered tap water, consider using a water bottle with a built-in filter.

At Arnett’s Water Systems, we’re committed to solving your water contamination issues quickly and correctly. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No matter what kind of issue you may be having with your home’s water quality, you can rely on our team of experts to solve it. Whether they need highly trained professionals to install a whole-house filtration system or a tankless hot water heater, San Diego homeowners can trust us to provide nothing less than exceptional service. Give us a call today at (619) 223-1209 to find out how we can improve the quality of water in your home.