In spite of what most Americans may believe, tap water in the US is not always safe to drink directly. To understand why that is indeed the situation and what we can do to prevent getting infected by waterborne disease, or be stricken down by heavy metal poisoning, let’s go through some of the important facts next.
Is US Tap Water Unsafe?
To say that tap water is unsafe in the United States would be wrong and inaccurate. The nation does have some of the most reliable filtration systems in place to purify public drinking water, so it all depends on where you are and the specific situation we are discussing. For example, back in late 2016, the entire water supply in Flint, Michigan became unsafe to drink and stayed that way for three whole years. Even though city officials have declared the local water as safe since last year, most of the locals already have portable filtration devices and home water filtration systems of their own. Others only trust bottled water now. Also, the old lead pipes of Flint are still in the process of being replaced.
It was Not an Isolated and Rare Incident
Similar to what happened in Flint, it was later found in 2018 that Detroit’s public schools also had high water contaminant levels, with copper and lead being too high in the test results to not take the matter seriously. Then there is Newark, where the public water supply still has high lead concentrations, along with carcinogenic haloacetic acids in it. Texan cities are afraid of finding radioactive radium in their tap water, while the capital itself has suffered from high lead in tap water for over two decades now.
The list would be too long if all incidents and places where contaminated tap water was found were to be mentioned in here. Consider the fact that we are discussing main cities of the United States here, and not remote, rural towns and villages where water pollution levels are hardly even monitored properly.
Don’t Take the Gamble with Drinking Water
From permanent damage to a child’s development and fatal waterborne diarrhea to deadly parasitic fevers, the risks are far too high to gamble with. Rely only on your personal water filtration system for safe drinking water, but do ensure that the filter has been tested and approved by the Water Quality Association first.
The filter should be certified as being capable of eliminating all types of water contaminants, as mentioned below.
- Bacteria, virus, protozoans, and parasitic cysts such as cryptosporidium and giardia
- Heavy metals, which include excess iron and ferric oxide, lead, copper, etc.
- Chemicals such as ammonia, chlorine, chloramines, fluoride, and inorganic arsenic in excess amounts
Tap water in the US is safer than it is in a lot of other nations, but there is no doubt about the fact that hundreds of thousands get infected in the country every year from water contaminants, simply by drinking tap water. If staying healthy is your goal, it just makes no sense to take that risk and find out how safe your tap water is the hard way.