How dirty is tap water? The answer to that question can vary depending on where you live. In some areas of the country, the water is relatively clean and safe to drink. However, in other locations, there are all sorts of contaminants present in the tap water, from lead and arsenic to parasites and bacteria.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the various contaminants that can be found in tap water in various locations around the US, and why a whole-home filtration system is the best option for ensuring that your family drinks clean, healthy water.
Water Safety Statistics
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over 90% of the nation’s drinking water comes from public water systems. In 2015, there were approximately 155,700 public water systems serving 320 million people in the United States.
Out of all of these public water systems, the EPA estimates that about 15% are experiencing violations of one or more federal drinking water regulations.
What this means is that while 85% of US tap water is in compliance with federal regulations, 15% is not. That may not seem like a lot, but when you consider that there are over 50 million Americans using water from these non-compliant systems, it’s a significant problem.
Common Tap Water Contaminants
So, what contaminants are being found in these non-compliant water systems? Lead and arsenic are two of the most common, and both can have serious health effects. Lead can cause developmental problems in children and has been linked to learning difficulties, behavioral problems, and even IQ deficits. Arsenic, a known poison, has been linked to cancer, skin damage, and other health issues.
Other contaminants that have been found in US tap water include parasites like Giardia and Cryptosporidium, as well as bacteria like E. coli. These contaminants can cause gastrointestinal illness, diarrhea, vomiting, and even death in some cases.
What Areas Have the Worst Tap Water?
There are certain areas of the US where the water is more likely to be contaminated than others. For example, in Flint, Michigan, lead contamination became a major problem after the city switched its water source in 2014. As a result of the switch, Flint’s tap water became contaminated with lead, and residents were not notified of the problem until 2015.
While Flint became a landmark case of contamination, similar crises continue to emerge. Just in 2021, Benton Harbor became the second city in Michigan to face a serious water crisis due to contamination.
Other cities across America may be facing their own issues with contamination. For instance, in Newark, New Jersey, elevated levels of lead have been found in the tap water, and the city is currently working to address the problem.
These are just a few examples of cities with contaminated water, but there are many others — some of which likely haven’t been identified yet. For residents in these areas, it can be difficult to tell whether water is safe to use, especially for tasks like drinking or bathing.
Does Tap Water Get Dirtier During a Disaster?
To complicate matters further, the quality of your tap water can be affected by various outside variables, from a sewer leak to runoff from pesticides.
One of the biggest concerns for water quality is natural disasters. Unfortunately, floods and other disasters can contaminate water sources with all sorts of bacteria and parasites. This was the case in Hurricane Katrina, when the floodwaters led to an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness.
In Hurricane Harvey, which struck Texas in 2017, there were reports of water contamination due to flooding, but the extent of the problem is still not fully known. It’s possible that some areas affected by the hurricane are still dealing with contaminated water.
How Can You Find Out About Water Quality in Your Area?
If you’re concerned about the quality of your tap water, there are a few ways to find out more information. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a searchable database of water systems that includes information on violations and contaminants.
Your local water utility may also have information on the quality of your tap water. In some cases, they may even provide regular updates on water quality.
Finally, you can always have your water tested by a professional. Some experts may even offer free water tests. This is the best way to get an accurate picture of what’s in your water and whether it’s safe to drink.
How Can You Enjoy Cleaner Tap Water?
Clearly, there are a lot of potential dangers lurking in US tap water. So what’s the best way to protect yourself and your family?
Some households rely on bottled water for cleanliness and purity, but this is not a sustainable or affordable option for most people. Not only do disposable water bottles present a serious environmental issue by putting plastic back into our environment and landfills, but they can take a significant bite out of your budget.
For a better, greener, and more cost-effective answer to your clean water needs, consider a whole-home filtration system.
A whole-home filtration system will remove all of the contaminants mentioned above, as well as any other impurities in your water supply. This will give you the peace of mind of knowing that your family is drinking clean, safe water. It’s the best way to ensure that your tap water is truly safe to drink.
Protect Your Water Supply with Whole-Home Filtration
It can be difficult to tell if there’s water contamination in your area, but clean water could mean the difference between good health and a serious medical problem.
At The Science of Water, we assess and install water filtration systems to meet your unique needs. Using filtration technology backed by NASA and the EPA, our advanced water systems purify your water supply to the highest standard. So you can enjoy safer, clearer, and more delicious water through every tap and appliance in your home.
Don’t wait to find out about contamination when it’s already too late. Proactively protect your household with pure, delicious water that can be relied on. For more information about The Science of Water or to book your free water test, just get in touch with our team today!