Contamination of water by germs or dangerous chemicals is a very serious issue that require immediate action. A common sign of water contamination is the change in color, flavor and odor of the water. A change in any of these properties is enough reason to report the issue to local health agency, environmental department or water supplier.
In order to address the problem of water contamination, the first step is to determine the cause or mode of contamination. A water sample will have to be collected and tested. The result of the analysis of water will provide valuable information that will be used for determining the cause of the problem.
There are several common causes of water contamination. The first one is referred to as natural contamination in which natural-occurring minerals and substances get into the water. This is mainly due to melted snow, rain and flood water percolating through the soil and dissolving minerals and taking it to the water table or surface waters.
The second one is agricultural practices such as farming and livestock raising. Chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers are applied to the soil which can then be carried off to water supply sources similar to the naturally-occurring minerals and substances.
Improperly disposed waste and byproducts from factories is the third cause of water contamination. Some factories store their waste and byproducts in drums that can leak into the soil and penetrate to reach underground water. Other factories throw their waste in rivers and streams. These practices are illegal but some risk breaking the law and getting caught to reduce the cost related to proper waste disposal.