best tap water in the us

Recent years have seen a lot of significant headlines around water contamination in America, from Flint and Benton Harbor to Camp Lejeune. As a result, there is a lot of debate about local water safety and where residents can find the best tap water in the United States.

But what defines tap water as good? Is it its cleanliness? Taste? Many considerations go into determining which state has the best tap water, with issues of purity, flavor, and contamination all factoring into water quality. In this blog post, we will explore these factors, look at which states have the best and worst tap water, and give tips on how to make your home tap water better — no matter where you live.

What Determines Good Tap Water?


Cleanliness is the primary criterion for determining the quality of tap water. Water can be impacted by a wide range of local issues, such as the presence of industrial runoff, agricultural fertilizer, and even naturally occurring minerals that are still considered hazardous at high levels. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets standards for safe drinking water in the US, outlining how much of certain compounds can be present in public supplies before they become dangerous. To be considered clean, a state’s tap water must meet all EPA guidelines.

Municipal water supplies are subject to filtration, treatment, and quality assurance processes that can remove many contaminants. In addition, some states have adopted their own water regulations over and above what the EPA requires to protect their citizens. This is why it’s essential to research your area’s local tap water quality and contact your water supplier for more information if you have any questions.


Taste also plays a vital role in evaluating tap water quality. Tap water can have unpleasant flavors due to chlorine or other chemicals used to treat it or because of decaying organic matter in pipes or reservoirs. It can also contain minerals such as iron and calcium that leave behind deposits and give the water an odd taste. Some areas in the US may also experience a sulfurous, rotten-egg smell to tap water due to the presence of hydrogen sulfide.


Finally, tap water can become contaminated with microorganisms such as bacteria or viruses that make it unsafe to drink. Even if the tap water meets all cleanliness standards, these contaminants can still cause illness, so it is important to check for potential sources of contamination before drinking from a public supply.

Common contaminants include:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Fungi
  • Parasites
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Heavy metals

Which States Have the Best Tap Water?

Some states are widely considered to have some of the best tap water in America due to their strict regulations and testing standards. California and Washington consistently rank high for having the safest drinking water in the US, with New Jersey and North Carolina often coming close behind. These states have all implemented stringent water quality laws designed to protect their populations from health risks due to contaminated supplies.

Which States Have the Worst Tap Water?

Conversely, some states have consistently ranked lower for having poorer tap water quality. The Tap Water Database put out by the Environmental Working Group lists Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma as having some of the poorest tap water in America. These states have fewer regulations and testing standards in place, which can lead to unsafe levels of contaminants or unpleasant flavors in public supplies.

Furthermore, certain states are at greater risk of contamination due to incidents like flooding or major storms. For example, Florida is prone to dangerous flood waters during hurricanes, leading to problems like sewer overflow and contaminated groundwater. Florida has also experienced a significant blue-green algae outbreak in its water supply recently. These algae can produce toxins that make tap water unsafe to drink, leading to warnings from the CDC and other health organizations.

How to Make Your Home Tap Water Better

Though you may not be able to control how your state manages its public water supply, you can still take steps to ensure that your drinking water is safe and tastes good right at home. A home filtration system such as a reverse osmosis filter is one of the most effective ways to remove contaminants from tap water and significantly improve its taste. These filters are designed to trap sediment, bacteria, and other pollutants before they enter your home’s plumbing system for a consistent level of cleanliness in every glass.

Other Benefits of Water Filtration

In addition to improving the quality of your tap water, home filtration also offers other benefits. If you rely on bottled water for satisfying drinking water, these systems can dramatically reduce your costs and plastic waste by providing a cheaper and more environmentally-friendly alternative. Additionally, they can help protect against scale buildup in your pipes and appliances caused by hard water, which can cause damage and reduce efficiency. Filtered water can even be better for your skin, hair, and clothes, which can all be damaged if you have hard, mineral-heavy water coming through your taps.

Enjoy Better Tap Water with The Science of Water

Whether you live in one of the states with the best tap water or one with the worst, ensuring your drinking water is safe and tastes great is essential to maintaining good health. Fortunately, by taking advantage of home filtration systems, you can ensure that your tap water is clean and delicious every time.

We assess and install water filtration systems at The Science of Water 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. Whatever you’re looking for in a water filtration system, we can help you enjoy tap water in your home that’s clear of contaminants and safe to drink.

We even offer free water quality testing and consultations. When you need answers about the safety of your local water supply, our technicians can assess your situation for waterborne threats and recommend the perfect filtration system to suit your needs and budget.

Don’t settle for dirty tap water that tastes terrible and risks your health. Get your water tested today to protect your household with pure, clean 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!