Food Safety: Is Tap water In The US Safe For Consumption?

The answer is yes. However, there are some caveats. Most of the tap water provided by local municipalities in the United States complies with the high international standard and is thus healthy and safe to consume; however, in rural areas and households equipped with their own private wells, there are several challenges. Furthermore, places like Michigan and Newark have many local issues, including well-publicized problems with lead. In this article, we explore some of these issues so you can decide whether there is a need to invest in a cheap water filter.

By Cookist

Is tap water in the US safe to drink?

The answer is yes for 85% of the US population. Still, according to a recent report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), over 70 million people may be affected by health-related contamination, including lead, copper, arsenic, and other contaminants.

According to the NRDC report, 15% of United States citizens may have dangerously contaminated tap water. It also states that all 50 states have water systems that have in one way or the other, violates the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Act, with the most at-risk being those in small rural areas.


Those who supply water have an obligation to frequently test and provide an annual water quality report to consumers, complete with measures and guidelines by EPA.

How to know if my local tap water in the US is safe to drink?

Environmental Working Group (EWG) provides a thorough report focused on contaminants in the local tap water per zip code however, understanding these reports can be a little challenging and may cause those who read it more worry.

Also, it is vital to note that the guidelines are more cautionary at best. The EWG uses the lowest available recommendation as a “health guideline.” For example, Chromium is less than 1/1000 in their guidelines as compared to reports from the EPA or WHO.

TAPP Water is another organization that provides information for many US cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Atlanta, Boston, San Diego, Newark, and much more.


What is the best water filter to use in the US?

This is largely dependent on your circumstances. 90% of households in the US can use a high-quality faucet water filter as it is simple and affordable. We urge you to read more about how water filters operate before selecting which one will work best for your case.

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