Septic System Contaminants Found in Drinking Water
Septic systems in the United States regularly discharge potentially hazardous chemicals that have been linked to conditions like thyroid disease, developmental disorders, infertility, and cancer.
These chemicals—including medicationsand consumer-care and cleaning products—can end up in our groundwater and drinking water, according to an analysis published in Environmental Science & Technology. They are often detected in rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and other bodies of water. Health officials refer to them as “contaminants of emerging concern,” buttheir levels are not monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency.
About 20 percent of U.S. households use septic systems to process wastewater. According to researchers at the Silent Spring Institute in Newton, Massachusetts, septic systems filter some chemicals but are less effective at removing others.