Water Hazards

AMBER WATER PROS installs water filtering solutions for dangerous Bacteria, Radon, Arsenic and other Water Contaminants in New York. Learn more about treating these hazards. Is someone in your life having health issues? It may be a problem with your water supply!

Water contamination can occur to city water supplies, well water supplies, and fresh water sources, such as springs, lakes, streams, and rivers. Consuming contaminated water can cause numerous effects.

Are you concerned about contaminants in your home’s water? Do you know if you can safely drink the water in your home? The first step is to conduct a water test from a trusted provider to further understand your water quality. The EPA recommends testing your private well at a minimum, annually. Beyond regular testing, there are several reasons to have your well tested. Some are immediate health issues, some are not dangerous but can affect the taste of your water and can indicate potential problems as well as affect your long-term well being.

Signs/Symptoms of Drinking Contaminated Water

First, it’s important to know the health effects people experience may or may not present themselves immediately. Further, factors such as the overall health, age, and physical condition of the person determine the extent of the actual effects experienced. Some of the more commonly reported problems experienced from drinking impure water include, but are not limited to, the following waterborne illnesses:

  • Gastrointestinal Problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Intestinal or Stomach Cramping
  • Intestinal or Stomach Aches and Pains
  • Dehydration
  • Death

Keep in mind, just because no signs or symptoms are experienced, it does not mean there are no potential long term effects.

For example ,if water sources are contaminated with radium or radon gas, you might not notice an immediate health effects. However, long term exposure has been linked to cancer and heart disease. Other possible contaminates found in tainted water sources are:

  • E. Coli Bacteria
  • Coliform Bacteria
  • Nitrates / Nitrites
  • Lead
  • Fluoride
  • Arsenic
  • Radium
  • Radon
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Herbicides
  • Pesticides
  • Chemicals
  • Fecal Matter
  • Microbial Pathogens
  • Parasites
  • Viruses
  • Petrochemicals

Bacteria Removal

It’s a good idea to test your water annually, particularly if you rely upon a surface water source (dug wells, shallow points, springs, streams and lake water). We can perform these tests for you. If your water tests reveal the presence of Coliform or E Coli Bacteria, please call us to discuss your options. We have multiple treatment options. We also believe the best solution for water contaminated by bacteria is to eliminate it at the source by drilling a gravel/screen or bedrock well. Water in drilled wells is filtered naturally by underground rocks and therefore not nearly as likely to contain bacteria.

What is Radon?

Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and naturally occurring radioactive gas produced from the decay of the element radium. Radium occurs naturally in rocky soil worldwide. Radon gas can dissolve in ground-water and later be released in the air during such normal household activities as showering, dish washing, and doing laundry. When radon accumulates in indoor air it can pose an increased health risk, primarily, lung cancer. Radon in water is extremely dangerous and the EPA estimates that in-home exposure to radon gas causes 20,000 cancer deaths annually.

So, how much Radon is too much?

The U. S. EPA has set an advisory “action level” of 4 p Ci/L for radon gas in indoor air. While not a mandated health standard, the level is a guideline for people to use in assessing the seriousness of their exposure to airborne radon. Concentrations noticeably lower than 4 p Ci/L are desirable.

See our RADON page for more information.

What is Arsenic?

Arsenic is a semi-metal element in the periodic table. It is odorless and tasteless. It enters drinking water supplies from natural deposits in the earth or from agricultural and industrial practices.

Arsenic occurs naturally in rocks and soil, water, air, and plants and animals. It can be further released into the environment through natural activities such as volcanic action, erosion of rocks and forest fires, or through human actions. Approximately 90 percent of industrial arsenic in the U.S. is currently used as a wood preservative, but arsenic is also used in paints, dyes, metals, drugs, soaps and semi-conductors. High arsenic levels can also come from certain fertilizers and animal feeding operations. Industry practices such as copper smelting, mining and coal burning also contribute to arsenic in our environment.

Non-cancer effects can include thickening and discoloration of the skin, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting; diarrhea; numbness in hands and feet; partial paralysis; and blindness. Arsenic has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver, and prostate. Known carcinogen, based on sufficient evidence from human data. An increase in lung cancer mortality was observed in multiple human populations exposed primarily through inhalation. Also, increased mortality from multiple internal organ cancers (liver, kidney, lung, and bladder) and an increased incidence of skin cancer were observed in populations consuming drinking water high in inorganic arsenic.

Noncancerous effects to blood cells, heart function, blood vessels, and nervous system. High levels can lead to sore throat and irritated lungs.

On January 22, 2001 EPA adopted a new standard for arsenic in drinking water at 10 parts per billion (ppb), replacing the old standard of 50 ppb. The rule became effective on February 22, 2002. The date by which systems must comply with the new 10 ppb standard is January 23, 2006. EPA has set the arsenic standard for drinking water at .010 parts per million (10 parts per billion) to protect consumers served by public water systems from the effects of long-term, chronic exposure to arsenic. Water systems must comply with this standard by January 23, 2006, providing additional protection to an estimated 13 million Americans.

Fluoride in your drinking water?

Fluoride occurs naturally in bedrock and is commonly added to municipal water supplies. As such, it is frequently present in water samples taken from bedrock (artesian, drilled) wells. Fluoride has no taste, color or odor and thus the only way to determine its concentration is by laboratory analysis. In dug wells that are excavated into sand and gravel, the fluoride level is generally low (<0.2 mg/L) and would not be expected to exceed 2 mg/L.

Health Affects:

The biggest fluoride side effect you can expect here is the threat of fluorosis. This is a condition wherein the enamel of the tooth changes drastically because of the abundance of fluoride in the body. You won’t notice it on the teeth that are already present in your mouth. It affects the teeth that are about to grow. That is why fluorosis is considered as a medical condition that affects children.

With fluorosis, the developing teeth come out discolored, with irremovable stains of yellow and brown. No matter how many times you brush, the stains are still there. So if you’re looking for reasons to make fluoride bad for you, this is one of them.

If you just intake fluoride from toothpaste, the dangers of fluoride don’t enter your bloodstream. This sets to rest any fears of people asking, “Is fluoride toxic?” if they just get it through toothpaste. It just stays on your teeth after you spit it out. That’s where it’s supposed to be.

If you let it enter your bloodstream, your body has very little use for it and you become susceptible to fluoride side effects. Think of it as consuming pimple cream with phosphate fluoride. It’s meant for your face and not your stomach. Fortunately, your kidneys work to get rid of the fluoride danger stuck in your body. But there’s a limit to what they can do. It can get rid of about half the amount you ingest after a few days. But if you consume more fluoride than what your kidneys can take care of, that’s when the risk of fluorosis enters. There is even evidence that it can affect our thyroid gland.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) (conjugate base perfluorooctanoate)

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) (conjugate base perfluorooctanoate), also known as C8, is a synthetic perfluorinated carboxylic acid and fluorosurfactant. One industrial application is as a surfactant in the emulsion polymerization of fluoropolymers. It has been used in the manufacture of such prominent consumer goods aspolytetrafluoroethylene (commercially known as Teflon). PFOA has been manufactured since the 1940s in industrial quantities.[6] It is also formed by the degradation of precursors such as some fluorotelomers.

Health Affects:

PFOA is a carcinogen, a liver toxicant, a developmental toxicant, and an immune system toxicant, and also exerts hormonal effects including alteration of thyroid hormone levels. Water contaminated with PFOA, blood levels are approximately 100 times higher than drinking water levels.

On May 25, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established drinking water health advisories for PFOA and PFOS. The lifetime health advisories and health effects support documents to to assist federal, state, tribal, and local officials and managers of drinking water systems in protecting public health when these chemicals are present in drinking water. The levels of PFOS and PFOA concentrations under which adverse health effects are not anticipated to occur over a lifetime of exposure are 0.07 parts per billion (70 parts per trillion)


Uranium is a naturally occurring element in groundwater and is more common in some of the mountain areas of the state. However, there is little information on where uranium may be found. Uranium gets into drinking water when groundwater dissolves minerals that contain uranium. The amount of uranium in well water will vary depending upon its concentration in bedrock. However, even within areas that have bedrock types containing uranium, there is a large degree of variation within relatively small areas. Levels of naturally occurring radiation in water are not likely to be high in shallow wells. The potential exists for deep bedrock wells to have uranium, although most will be very low. High levels of uranium indicate the potential for radon and radium also to be present

Health Affects:

Naturally occurring uranium has very low levels of radioactivity. The most common ways for uranium to enter your body are through your food and drinking water. Uranium exposure can damage your kidneys. Kidneys help you stay healthy by:

  • Removing waste from your blood,
  • Making red blood cells,
  • Controlling your blood pressure, and
  • Keeping your bones healthy. Over time, damage to your kidneys can lead to organ failure, which can be dangerous, even life-threatening.

What’s In My Water?