Pharmaceuticals In The Water Supply: How To Protect Yourself And Prevent Contamination

Pharmaceuticals In The Water Supply: How To Protect Yourself And Prevent Contamination

According to the Water Quality Association, pharmaceuticals are a contaminant of “emerging concern” in our water supply. Entering ground and surface water through various means, pharmaceuticals have been detected at small levels in the tap water supply of major metropolitan areas. While this has been an area of worry since the dawn of pharmaceuticals and no health effects have yet been attributed to these contaminants at their current low levels, it is a growing area of concern as concentrations rise.

Pharmaceuticals enter the water supply in a few different ways:

  • When they are eliminated from the body
  • When unused pharmaceuticals are flushed
  • When discarded pharmaceuticals are leached from landfills, or
  • When pharmaceuticals are rinsed from hands and bodies during washing

Tests of tap water supplies have detected small levels of all kinds of pharmaceuticals from beta-blockers to anticonvulsants. And while there is no research to support that these contaminants have directly caused health issues, there also isn’t research to support that they’re harmless. In addition, the water that we drink is also the water that our food sources drink and swim in and that our food plants are watered with. We may be exposed to pharmaceuticals in more ways than we expect.

Advanced wastewater treatment technologies – where available – are being ramped up to deal with pharmaceutical contaminants. However, this isn’t always available, particularly in more rural and remote areas, and there are currently no regulations regarding pharmaceutical contaminant levels in the drinking water supply.

As science works to catch up to this growing issue, in-home water filtration systems, such as those provided by King Water Filtration, can help ease concern by ensuring any pharmaceutical contaminants are eliminated from water throughout the entire home. For more information on what an in-home water system can provide, please visit