Is Tap Water Safe to Drink? Find Out in 3 Simple Steps
Do you worry about the quality of water coming out of your tap?
Tap water is monitored and tested regularly by local, state, and federal agencies to make sure it’s safe for drinking.
But are their standards high enough?
Knowing that the source of your drinking water is clean and free from contaminants can give you peace of mind.
We understand how important being able to trust the safety standards when it comes to drinking water – which is why I feel this post is so important to make.
So, Is Tap Water Safe to Drink?
Let’s find out together.
Why Ask “Is Tap Water Safe to Drink”
‘Is tap water safe to drink?’ is a question worth considering, especially with the threat of pollutants and contaminants entering our water supply.
The Drinking Water System overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates public access to drinking water sources and initiatives to protect these resources from toxic contaminants and other hazardous matter.
Numerous ongoing studies are conducted regularly to make sure that the water we consume remains clean and safe for all.
According to specific standards.
But are those standards really what’s best for our health, and is the disinfection process safe?
Are those standards enough to answer the burning question, “is tap water safe to drink?”
Reasons You Need to Know “Is Tap Water Safe to Drink”
With an increasing number of chemicals and pollutants entering the water supply, it is more important than ever to ask, “Is tap water safe to drink?”
The answer likely depends on where you live and how the local authorities manage their drinking water quality.
Bottled water is not always a guarantee for safe, clean drinking water since it is often sourced from the same place as your city’s tap water.
For truly pure drinking water, home filtration systems are becoming the go-to choice for those who want to be certain they’re not consuming harmful contaminants.
With a few simple tests in your own home, you can take charge of your family’s health and make sure the drinking water they have every day is as safe as possible, and answer that question we keep repeating, “is tap water safe to drink?”
Step-By-Step Instructions to Check Your Tap Water
If you want to know for sure whether your tap water is safe for drinking, follow this simple step-by-step guide.
By taking the initiative to check the safety of your tap water supply, you can be positive that your drinking quality water meets and exceeds the federal standards set by the Safe Drinking Water Act.
To truly answer the question we’ve been asking, “is tap water safe to drink”? I suggest doing some variation of the following 3 steps depending on your personal situation.
- Find the source of your tap water
- Take a sample of the water and test it
- Consider proper filtration
Whether you are looking to make sure your tap water is safe or just curious about potential issues with your running water, these steps will help you figure out whatever it is you’re after.
1- Find the Source
Finding the source of your tap water is a huge step when answering the question, “is tap water safe to drink?” for once and for all.
Understanding a little about potable water (Water that is safe to drink, cook with, and bathe in) is an important part of responsible drinking water use as well.
Hopefully, as a homeowner, you already know whether your tap water is from the city or well water.
If your water is city-supplied, your local water treatment center should be able to help you find the information you need about the process used during sanitation, as well as the number of disinfection byproducts (DBPs).
Know that regardless of the nuances, if you just go out and ask that question “is tap water safe to drink?” they will undoubtedly answer yes,
If that was enough for you to be sure, then you probably wouldn’t t be reading this blog post.
If you have a well, then you need to consider how old its pipes are – considering that most private wells have no sanitization processes in place unless you’ve put one in place.
Knowing your pipe’s age can help you to decide if more testing is worth it in order to discover any potential pipe deterioration.
Regardless of which route you take, finding out about your source is a must if you don’t already know!
If well water, you’ll want to test: total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels.
These tests could include testing for lead, arsenic, mercury, radium, atrazine, and other pesticides, which are becoming major issues from leeching into the ground on farms.
These tests will help you decide is tap water safe to drink.
The answers may surprise you.
You should check with your local health or environmental department to find out if any of these contaminants are a regular problem in your region, regardless of whether you have well or city water.
Some places have the information available online, so a quick google search will be well worth the effort.
3- Filter It
The unfortunate reality is that our water supply can be contaminated with all kinds of pollutants, from sediment and plastic waste to heavy metals and microscopic organisms.
The good news is that you don’t have to just accept whatever you find in your water, you can take steps to filter out these impurities.
Thankfully, in the previous step, you know just what you are up against.
Even if your city water passes the question “is tap water safe to drink?” with flying colors, you may still need to filter it depending on the material and condition of the water pipes in your house.
Homes built before the 1990s as many homes were, and havn’t been replaced since, your pipes could be made out of cast iron, galvanized steel, or Polybutylene, all which are less than ideal options.
Even if they are newer pipes, they could have rust coming off into your water, as pipes tend to rust inside out.
The next step is selecting the right kind of filter for the job.
Special carbon filters can remove chlorine and lead while reverse-osmosis systems are most effective at reducing bacteria levels.
Finally, it’s essential to keep up with regular maintenance of both your filter system and your testing supplies, as this will ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.
With this three-step process, you can ensure your families question “is tap water safe to drink?” is answered!
Key Considerations for Knowing “Is Tap Water Safe to Drink at Your House”
Tap water can come from surface water (lakes, rivers, or reservoirs) or ground water drawn from underground aquifers.
The quality of your tap water will be different depending on which source it comes from.
Each source, surface, and ground water, needs to be tested regularly in order to ensure their safety.
Fortunately, most public water system test often and protect against unsafe levels of contaminants such as Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs), to some degree.
Is tap water safe to drink if there are any DBPs in it though?
Oftentimes though, the levels of DBPs considered safe are actually too high for your health.
It’s important to note that hard water isn’t inherently unsafe to drink — it’s just unpleasant tasting to some people — and it won’t negatively impact your health.
This allows us to rest easy knowing that our tap water is usually safe to drink at home!
Important Note: How to Make Sure Fluoride Isn’t in Your Water
Is tap water safe to drink when fluoride has been added?
Ensuring that fluoride isn’t in your water is an important step in keeping yourself safe, healthy, and happy.
Fluoride can impact human health in a variety of ways, including gastrointestinal issues and neurological problems.
Since it interferes with the way your body absorbs vital minerals into your bloodstream, it is important to be able to control how much fluoride you are putting into your body.
The easiest way to do this is by ensuring that there is no fluoride added to the city water or the water you drink at home, and if it is, to filter it out.
Fluoride is not naturally occurring in most water sources and therefore needs to be added with intention.
Checking the label of any bottled water you buy and making sure it does not contain fluoride is a great additional way to keep your family protected from the complications that it brings.
Also, know that the average water filter does not filter out fluoride, so if that’s a goal you have, be intentional about your filtering decisions.
Why is fluoride added to water at all?
Now that’s a different blog post entirely.
Alternatives Ways to Know is Tap Water Safe to Drink
When it comes to drinking clean, safe water, there are plenty of ways to make sure your tap water is safe.
One of the most sustainable and low-maintenance solutions is a home water filter.
These clever filters can be installed at the point where your main water line enters your home, so they can remove chlorine, sediment, metals, and other contaminants before it comes out of every faucet in your home.
If you’re wanting something that’s more renter-friendly, smaller personal filters like a pitcher or faucet attachment style filter are lightweight and provide a quick, convenient way to filter out impurities without adding extra clutter.
Despite what you may have been told before, boiling your water before drinking can cause more problems, as it leaves a higher concentration of a lot of contaminants.
With all these alternative ways to filter tap water readily available today, you can confidently enjoy clean and safe drinking water every day regardless of what Mother Nature (or city water sources) throws at you!
Final Thoughts on “Is Tap Water Safe to Drink?”
With the Flint Michigan water crisis coming to light in 2014, many have questions about the safety of their own tap water, especially if their state lacks important regulations.
A variety of contaminants ranging from heavy metals to bacteria and chemicals threaten health risks to people who trust their water source.
While many regulations, like the Safe Drinking Water Act and Consumer Confidence Reports, have been put in place to monitor tap water for problems, these regulations vary widely from state to state.
Though there is rarely a 100% guarantee that taps water is safe to drink from certain areas due to environmental issues or aging infrastructure, we can take solace in knowing that there are ways of protecting ourselves against threats posed by pollutants.
Each individual should use caution when drinking tap water and should be diligent in educating themselves on their local water quality standards.
So, Is Tap Water Safe to Drink?
I’ll let you be the judge.
If you want to skip some of these steps and just filter your water to be on the safe side, that’s an okay plan too!