The most common contaminants found in household water in Orange County were low pH, total coliform bacteria, lead, copper, and sodium.
Low pH (<6.5) can occur naturally in parts of Virginia geology. 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.
Lead was found in first draw samples exceeding 0.015 mg/L in 21% of samples, and copper exceeding 1 mg/L in 12% of samples.
Sodium concentrations above recommended levels are most likely the result of water softeners, used to remove hardness. Sodium can have negative health effects in excess levels.