The most common contaminants found in household water in Culpeper County were low pH, total coliform bacteria, copper, lead, manganese, nitrate, and E. coli.
Low pH (<6.5) can occur naturally in parts of Virginia geology. pH below 6.5 was found in 38% of samples. Although not a concern in itself, low pH can be a driver of how corrosive the water is. Once the water enters the house it can result in metals such as copper and lead leaching into the water from plumbing components that contain these metals, such as brass fittings or copper pipes.
Total coliform bacteria presence is an indication that surface water may be entering a well and other more harmful microorganisms may be present. Total coliform was found in 30% of the Culpeper County samples. E. coli were found in 10% of the samples and are a sign that human or animal waste is entering the water supply.
Lead was found in first draw samples exceeding 0.015 mg/L in 17% of samples, and copper exceeding 1 mg/L in 18% of samples