How to Treat Contamination in Your Drinking Water Supply

Safeguard your health and home with expert tips on treating common drinking water problems.

Person filling glass with water at faucet
The recent train derailment and chemical release in East Palestine, Ohio, may have you thinking, What’s in my drinking water? Find out with a free water test from your local Culligan water expert.
Access to clean and safe drinking water is essential for the well-being of families and communities. Unfortunately, water contamination is a common problem that can have serious health consequences.
Culligan water recommends testing your water yearly. This helps identify any potential problems and guarantees safe drinking water.
If you have complex water worries, have recently moved, or own a private well, you may need an advanced test. Culligan water's lab in Illinois is EPA-certified and can provide this service. An advanced water test screens for dozens of complex contaminants including copper, radon, POAs/PFOAs, microscopic bacteria, manganese and more.
We'll provide valuable insights on how to identify impurities and boost water quality in your drinking water supply.*

Water Contaminants 101

What are Contaminants?

A contaminant is anything found in water — from minerals to microorganisms — that may be harmful to human health. Contaminants can be physical, chemical, biological or radiological in substance. Whether or not they are harmful depends on the level at which each contaminant is present.
A water test checks various parameters in your water. These include the pH levels, the total amount of coliform bacteria, nitrates, and dissolved solids.

Signs of Contamination

Most water in the U.S. contains some level of contamination from industrial and environmental pollution.
These are some signs of contaminated water:
  • Spotting, scaling and soap scum: Clean water does not leave dishes or other surfaces looking spotty after washing.
  • Stains in sinks and tubs: Reddish-orange, brown, black or blue-green colored stains could indicate contamination.
  • Funny tastes or odors: This could be due to bacteria in the pipes. It could also be caused by chemicals seeping into your water supply.
  • Skin and hair issues: An itchy scalp or dry, dull skin and hair could be signs of hard water.
  • Cloudy or discolored water: While easy to spy with the naked eye, these symptoms could be a sign of a larger issue.
It’s important to note that not all potential water issues can be observed. Some water contaminants, like arsenic, cause problems you can’t see, taste or smell, making regular testing all the more important.

Common Contaminants

After water testing, many people install water treatment systems to get rid of specific contaminants.
Here are some of the most common impurities found in water and why they can be problematic:
  • Ammonia - toxic for aquatic life
  • Arsenic - serious problems including cancer and harm to the cardiovascular and nervous systems
  • Barium - issues in the nervous and circulatory systems
  • Cadmium - kidney, liver, bone and blood damage
  • Copper - anemia, liver poisoning and kidney failure
  • E. Coli - intestinal infection
  • Enteric Viruses - rotavirus, norovirus, hepatitis A and E and more
  • Fluoride - bone disorders
  • Iron - rust stains in bathrooms, kitchens, appliances and laundry
  • Lead - damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Legionella - Legionnaires' disease (a severe form of pneumonia)
  • Sulfur - a rotten egg-like smell
  • Sediment - floating sand-like particles
Contaminants in water can be hazardous. However, the presence of one or more of them does not automatically mean a health risk.
Some water contaminants are only harmful if consumed at certain levels, and these levels vary by the pollutant. It’s also worth noting that some contam­inant levels might not be high enough to cause immediate sickness. Repeated exposure to small amounts of certain toxins can have the potential to cause serious health effects later on.

Culligan Drinking Water Solutions

Reverse Osmosis (RO) Drinking Water Systems

Reverse osmosis can reduce up to 99% of contaminants found in drinking water. This includes larger particles and those that you can’t always see, taste or smell.
Culligan reverse osmosis drinking water systems are customizable, with 12 interchangeable filters. They are certified to reduce up to 60 water contaminants unique to your household, including:
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Chromium
  • Chloride
  • Copper
  • Arsenic
  • Fluoride
  • Radium
  • Nitrate
  • TDS (Total Dissolved Solids)
  • Bacteria such as Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli
  • Protozoa, like Cryptosporidium and Giardia
  • Viruses such as Hepatitis A, Norovirus, Rotavirus
Whether you want an endless supply of cleaner drinking water or a system with a sleek, compact design that fits seamlessly into your home, Culligan can help find the best system for you.
Below are a few of the most popular Culligan reverse osmosis drinking water systems.
Culligan Aquasential Reverse Osmosis System
Culligan® Aquasential® Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System:
  • Up to seven stages of filtration with 12 interchangeable filters
  • Certified to reduce 60 different contaminants
  • Unlimited supply of safer water for just pennies a glass
  • Smart option available
Culligan Aquasential Tankless Reverse Osmosis System
Culligan® Aquasential® Tankless Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System:
  • Elegant, space-saving design
  • Four stages of filtration reduces contaminants by 95%
  • Unlimited supply of safer water for just pennies a glass
  • Smart option available

Bottleless Water Coolers

A bottleless water cooler dispenses water without a bottle. Traditional coolers have a bottle on top that holds the liquid. But, bottleless water coolers take water directly from your waterline.
Bottleless water coolers take tap water and put it through a multistage filtration process unmatched by the competition:
  • Sediment filter: Reduces large contaminants or particles.
  • Pre-carbon filter: Can remove particles as small as 10 microns.
  • Reverse osmosis: Reduces 99% of harmful contaminants, including lead, arsenic, nitrates and more.
Many bottleless water coolers also include a mineral cartridge and final polishing in their treatment processes for improved taste.
Below are three of our most popular bottleless water coolers.
Ascent 40 & 80 Bottleless Water Cooler
Ascent™ 40 & 80 Bottleless Water Cooler:
  • Multistage filtration reduces contaminants, unpleasant tastes and odors while adding minerals and electrolytes
  • Hot and cold water
  • Antibacterial spigots and a built-in air filter provide integrated safety
  • Large dispensing area perfect for tall bottles and cups
Ascent CT Bottleless Water Cooler
Ascent™ CT Bottleless Water Cooler:
  • Compact, space-saving design
  • Five-stage filtration process reduces contaminants, unpleasant tastes and odors while adding minerals and electrolytes
  • Hot and cold water
  • Large dispensing area perfect for tall bottles and cups
Culligan BluSoda Bottle-Free Water Cooler
Culligan BluSoda Bottle-Free® Water Cooler:
  • Countertop or freestanding options, both with large dispensing areas
  • Quality water filters reduce sediment, chlorine tastes and odor, along with microscopic impurities
  • Choose from cold, ambient and sparkling or cold, sparkling and hot
  • Dry cooling technology chills water quicker and more efficiently

Bottled Water

If you’re looking for a short-term solution, Culligan bottled water is a great option.
Culligan bottled water is produced at local bottling plants under strict standards set by the International Bottled Water Association. Culligan water uses reverse osmosis filtration. This process reduces microscopic impurities and contaminants. It is more effective than carbon filter pitchers or faucet filter attachments.
With reverse osmosis, pressure is used to force water through a semipermeable membrane. The membrane allows water molecules to pass through while blocking up to 99% of contaminants.
Culligan Bottled Water
Culligan Bottled Water Delivery:
Sport bottles remove the need to install a cooler or handle heavy, gallon-plus bottles. Culligan delivers, as well, and can tailor the quantity and frequency to meet your specific water needs. Contact your local Culligan water expert for pricing and ordering information.

Contact Your Local Culligan water Expert

No one filters more than Culligan water.
Our water experts can help you understand the different types of water contaminants and recommend the best treatment solutions for your common water problems. From carbon filtration to reverse osmosis, Culligan offers a range of products and services designed to remove even the toughest contaminants to provide cleaner, safer, and refreshing drinking water.
To learn more about the quality of your drinking water, connect with your local Culligan water expert.
Schedule your advanced water test or your free basic water test today!
*Contaminants may not be in your water.