Coliforms are bacteria that are naturally present in the environment and used as an indicator that other, potentially harmful, bacteria may be present. Coliforms found in more samples than allowed is a warning of potential problems.
Not a health threat in itself; it is used to indicate whether other potentially harmful bacteria may be present5
Nitrates and nitrites are nitrogen-oxygen chemical units which combine with various organic and inorganic compounds. The greatest use of nitrates is as a fertilizer. Once taken into the body, nitrates are converted to nitrites.
Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome.
Arsenic is a semi-metal element in the periodic table. It is odorless and tasteless. It enters drinking water supplies from natural deposits in the earth or from agricultural and industrial practices. Approximately 90 percent of industrial arsenic in the U.S. is currently used as a wood preservative, but arsenic is also used in paints, dyes, metals, drugs, soaps, and semi-conductors. Agricultural applications, mining, and smelting also contribute to arsenic releases in the environment.
Skin damage or problems with circulatory systems, and may have increased risk of getting cancer
Trihalomethanes occur when naturally-occurring organic and inorganic materials in the water react with the disinfectants, chlorine and chloramine.
Liver, kidney or central nervous system problems; increased risk of cancer