The most common contaminants found in household water in Giles County were total coliform bacteria, hardness, E.coli, sodium, iron and lead.
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 53% of the Giles County samples. E. coli were found in 25% of the samples and are a sign that human or animal waste is entering the water supply.
Hardness is composed of calcium and magnesium, which originates in bedrock such as limestone. Sodium is associated with water softeners, which are commonly used to remove hardness. Sodium can have negative health effects in excess levels.
Lead was found in first draw samples exceeding 0.015 mg/L in 4% of samples, and iron exceeding .3 mg/L in 5% of samples. These samples exceeded the EPA recommended limits.