What’s in tap water?

8th April 2010
What’s in tap water? (iStock)

Asked by: Anonymous

Tap water contains a huge variety of compounds and elements, but almost all of it at minuscule concentrations. As well as the chloride that’s added to kill bacteria and the fluoride to strengthen teeth, your water supply may contain calcium and magnesium salts (in hard-water areas), nitrates from fertiliser run-off, iron, copper, lead, chromium, manganese, aluminium and nickel from the plumbing itself. Plus, any of around 30 other contaminants and pesticides, usually at concentrations of under 10 parts per billion.