The most common contaminants found in household water on the Eastern Shore were sodium, manganese, total coliform bacteria, iron, and total dissolved solids (TDS). Other contaminants were found in less than 5% of samples.
Total coliform bacteria presence is an indication that surface water may be entering a well and other more harmful microorganisms may be present. E. coli were found in 4% of Eastern Shore samples.
Sodium is commonly found in sediments of the Eastern Shore. Softeners can also be a source of sodium. The EPA recommendation for sodium in drinking water is 20 mg/L. Manganese and iron tend to occur together naturally in geology, and are nuisance contaminants. Both can cause staining on fixtures, dishes and clothes, and a metallic taste.
Total dissolved solids, or TDS, is a measure of all dissolved impurities in water, and can be made up of sodium, nitrate, or other dissolved contaminants. It is a nuisance contaminant.
Click the water drops for more information about each contaminant. For information about other common contaminants in household water, please visit our Resources Page.