What You Should Know

untreated water

Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some minerals and other constituents considered contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. Federal law requires that the highest level of any contaminant detected in our treated water be reported to you. Those results are listed in this document. Federal law also requires that we explain the contaminants that may be present in source water (untreated water), not just Lake Michigan which is the source for the Holland water system, but other types of source water as well. The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells.

As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.

Contaminants that may be expected to be in source (untreated) water include: Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations and wildlife. Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally occurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming. Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff and residential uses. Synthetic and volatile organic chemical contaminants, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can come from gasoline stations, urban storm water runoff, and septic systems. Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

To ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prescribes regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water, which must provide similar protection for public health.

More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800.426.4791. The EPA requires HBPW to test tap water daily. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration examines bottled water only weekly.

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk for infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800.426.4791.