Just as how residential water supplies can be easily contaminated, the water used in farms, factories, and manufacturing plants is just as likely to contain harmful microbes and chemicals. Indeed, a four-year study conducted by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) that started in 1997 discovered that 26 of the country’s 103 most recognized water bottle brands contained toxins in varying amounts.
Though water quality regulations have since become stricter, the need for reliable commercial reverse osmosis systems remains the same. Even with tighter standards in place, the NRDC reports that certain water bottle brands are reported to contain traces of arsenic and nitrate, carcinogens that are particularly dangerous to infants.
Agricultural water supplies fare even worse. Since 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been receiving reports of residential water supplies being contaminated by runoffs from farms. Many of these cases are linked to overgrazing, excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers, poor animal feeding practices, or a combination thereof.
The lack of proper farm management practices has led to numerous instances of E.coli, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, and norovirus contamination—contaminants which, by themselves, are enough to cause digestive problems, respiratory ailments, and other diseases in humans. Other waterborne contaminants like Staphylococcus are known to cause health problems or even death to livestock, thereby having a negative impact on the country’s agriculture.