top of page

Is Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

Currently, the Internet is booming with public queries ranging from “Is tap water good for you?”, “Is it safe to drink?”, “Does boiling tap water purify it”, “Can I get sick from drinking tap water?”, and the list goes on...

When it comes to drinking water, ideally there must be no question of its quality. Although, the USA's drinking water is said to be strictly monitored by the United States Environmental protection agency

(US-EPA). But the public concerns are unnerving regarding the tap water quality!

Wait, hold on! In this blog post, I’ll answer all of your concerns backed up by solid scientific evidence.

Now let’s get started!

What's really in tap water?

Our tap water contains a mixture of organic and inorganic chemicals. Some of the most familiar ones are heavy metals, pesticides, chlorine, and bacteria.

Although, chlorine is added to our drinking water for disinfection purposes, as per the EPA’s guidelines. Surprisingly, chlorine in tap water can also be a problem due to its degradation into by-products.

A recent study suggests that chlorine products can cause bladder and reproductive dysfunctions. There is a need for more research on chlorine side-effects in tap water to further prove the validity of this concern.

The cloudiness in your tap water can be an indication of chemicals. Therefore, it's a good idea to check for the impurities in your tap water yourself! But how? Well, you just need to bring a TDS meter at home. It’ll tell you the number of impurities your water contains.

Can you get sick from drinking tap water?

If your tap water is not properly regulated, you can get health problems with it. People with weak immune systems due to Cancer and HIV-aids are more at risk of getting sick through tap water consumption. Similarly, pregnant women, infants, and elderly individuals should avoid drinking tap water without additional water purifying options.

The most commonly reported water-borne diseases by EPA are digestive issues including diarrhea, cholera, and dysentery, etc. They are caused by bacteria in drinking water. Other serious conditions include hepatitis, liver failure, and heavy-metal poisoning.

Why drinking tap water is bad for you?

It’s not a good idea to rely on tap water 24/7. Besides, there is no harm in using tap water now and then. Your tap water safety is largely dependable whether you’re living in cities or rural areas. Many scientific surveys prove that the EPA’s guidelines subject to the Safe water drinking act (SDWA) are not fully met in the rural areas.

It's important to note that unregulated tap water can potentially contain many harmful chemicals, bacteria, viruses, and infectious agents.

tap water

Does boiling purify it?

The right answer to this question will require thorough monitoring of your tap water. It is the contents of your tap water that determine if you can drink it freely. For instance, If your tap water contains bacteria and other germs. Boiling tap water can kill the germs it contains.

But boiling tap water cannot remove heavy metals, pesticides, and other toxic chemicals. Boiling tap water doesn’t completely purify it from potential chemicals. Therefore, it's not a safe option if the water contains toxic heat-resistant chemicals.

Is drinking tap water good?

For tap water to be considered as a good option largely relies on your city’s municipal water quality. Remember to check the annual reports published by the USEPA about your state’s drinking water quality to get an accurate idea.

Many researchers consider tap water as an unsafe drinking option because of the poorly maintained plumbing lines. Your water can incorporate many metals, and impurities until it reaches your faucet. That’s the reason the majority of Americans don’t trust their tap water and rather prefer filtered water tap or bottled water.

drink water

Is the USA's tap water safe to drink?

The USA’s tap water is monitored and regulated before it gets into your households, offices, and schools. But recent research conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS) reported a geologically spread exposure to pollutants in the United States via tap water.

The survey monitored 11 USA states at multiple sub-locations. Surprisingly, 23 tap water samples had lead in them. Other pollutants included pesticides, Uranium, disinfection by-products, pharmaceuticals, etc. Although these chemicals were found in considerably low quantities, long-term use of tap water containing impurities can degrade your health.

The major reason for heavy-metals in your tap water lies in the old water distribution infrastructure. Certain metals like lead, arsenic, chromium, and copper have been found commonly in tap water samples at households. This indicates that the USA’s tap water is not safe to drink without additional filtering systems.

What’s the solution?

When it comes to purification of tap water, you’ll find multiple filtering options to purify your tap water. Reverse osmosis, distillation, and carbon filtration are the most commonly used methods to filter tap water. Reverse osmosis tap filters and distillation are effective but they’ll cost hundreds of dollars to you. Water filter pitchers, on the other hand, can provide an easy, cost-efficient, and reliable solution to your tap water filtration. 

Most of the filters used in pitchers are capable of removing high amounts of organic(pesticides, hydrocarbons, some bacteria) and inorganic pollutants (including lead, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and copper). This makes them the safest option available. Besides that, water filter pitchers can considerably lower the chlorine, and cloudiness in your tap water.

Next time someone asks you whether the USA’s tap water is safe to drink, tell them it’s safe as far as you’re filtering it!

bottom of page