Water for drinking, for food, for washing. Every day, he takes all the living beings on earth. And never this good life was not always so become a major challenge. An investigation that began in our faucet … With us, water flowing when you open what could be more banal? And yet, do we know what lies behind this extraordinary ordinary gesture?

Water threatened by new pollution: pesticides, insecticides, heavy light metal, randon, nitrates, hydrocarbons … Drugs! In France, we are champions of their consumption and unknowingly we trigger chain reactions … How these molecules are found within our own waters and with what edifying effects on the environment?

When we drink tap water, that risk is known for our health?

Residues of Veterinary Drugs

Drugs are indeed biologically active molecules that are characterized by a great diversity of chemical structure. Whether antibiotics, synthetic hormones, painkillers, antidepressants, beta-blockers or contraceptive … these substances are released daily in aquatic environments as residues when they are not completely degraded in the body. Present in feces and urine in their original form or metabolites, they end up in doses more or less concentrated in sewage stations, according to scientists, are not a significant barrier.


Were so invariably end up in drinking water systems where management agencies do not look in their analyzes, to not frighten people. These residues are yet believed to be caused not only significant reductions in aquatic fauna and feminization of certain populations of animal species but also to human health disorders. If scientific community has long been working on the issue of health risks, and NOTAM degradability, accumulation in the body, the persistence or conjugated molecules of these residual effects, it can not precisely quantify the impact of this form of pollution the human species.

Herbicides, pesticides and insecticides

Needless to reconsider the risks posed by these photo-sanitary products, more and more present in our water distribution networks.

Heavy metals

Cadmium, mercury and lead are the main heavy metals pollution returns to water, and the entire food chain focuses increasingly to end up being absorbed by humans!


Tar, oils, greases, industrial waste or produced by our vehicles … hydrocarbons are everywhere, and inevitably end up in the water can be added Benzene and all solvents.


This heavier radioactive gas that occurs naturally air, which does not detract from its impact on health. isotope The radio is the most common symbol Rn radon 222. The gas from the decay of uranium-238 and radium-226 present in the earth’s crust especially in granitic and volcanic basement. Radon decays itself “descendants” solid short-lived alpha emitters: polonium-218, lead-214, bismuth-214, polonium-214, stable lead 206. Thus we may find all these elements in drinking water. Since 1987, it is classified as a carcinogen.


It is the European Directive 91/676/EEC of 12 December 1991 which is the main regulatory instrument to fight against pollution related to nitrogen from agricultural sources. It concerns all combined sources: chemical fertilizers, manure livestock, food effluents. Transposed in France, it is reflected in particular by defining priority areas vulnerable to organize the fight against water pollution by nitrates from agricultural sources.