The most common contaminants found in household water in Russell County were hardness, total coliform bacteria, E. coli, sodium, and lead.
Hardness is composed of calcium and magnesium, which originates in bedrock such as limestone. 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.
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 58% of the Russell County samples. E. coli were found in 33% of the samples and are a sign that human or animal waste is entering the water supply.