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Who has the Worst Tap Water?

worst tap water in America

Note: this post will focus on tap water in America.

Lots of people think they know who has good tap water and who doesn’t. We’ve often heard that New York City has the best tap water. Some even profess that New York City has the best tap water in the world. But where are these statements coming from and is there any truth to them?

It’s actually relatively easy to find reliable information on tap water quality. You can in fact, test your own tap water in addition to being able to find accurate statistics regarding contaminant levels on the internet.

In this post, we will take a look at some of the extremes on the bad end of the tap water spectrum.

The undisputed king of awful tap water is Pensacola, Florida. You will find this city in the #1 spot for bad tap water on many different lists, including this one from MSNBC. In this city, 45 of 101 chemicals were found in unhealthy amounts. Let that sink in for a moment. What’s worse is that among the chemicals found were benzine, lead, cyanide and chloroform. Yikes.

Several cities and counties in California and Nevada follow soon after. These would include the cities of Riverside and in Nevada, Las Vegas. In the case of Las Vegas, the water supply really suffers from the many miles of piping that it needs to travel through. Here’s one more reason not to build a city ringed with golf courses in the desert. Riverside has particularly poor tap water owing to the unusual and alarming presence of chemicals like bromoform and uranium.

For the rest of the list, have a look at this image from the Environmental Working Group:

Your city may not be on this list. You may not be in the presence of an extremely unhealthy tap water supply. But even if you are in the top ten for the best tap water, you should still consider filtering and purifying your water. The fact that it is inexpensive and convenient should make the decision easier. The fact is, it is difficult to completely trust municipal water facilities to produce water that is truly pure and free of contaminants. It may come close in some instances, but why not take a few extra steps to get all the way there?

If you are new to the site or if you happen to need more reasons to purify your tap water, please see this post. You can also take a look at this post, which explains all of the options for your home. Finally, if you want an easy place to get started, we have written several posts that look at pitcher filters.

As always, if you have any feedback, especially if it relates to tap water quality, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo credit: flickr user dibytes

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