If you have ever asked yourself, “Is it safe to drink water straight from the tap?” then this is the guide for you. Water quality in a given area can vary based on certain factors.
Understanding the difference between well water and municipal water will help you gauge whether the tap water in your home is safe to drink. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at what can make tap water safe or unsafe to drink.
Common Elements Found in Tap Water
You might already know that the water from your tap isn’t 100 percent pure. There are chemicals in tap water deemed safe to drink by the government. For instance, fluoride is added to the water supply to help promote oral hygiene among the populace.
Most tap water in the United States is safe for drinking, but there are certain areas where the water supply is contaminated. For example, heavy metals such as lead and arsenic can appear in tap water from lead pipes. Flint, Michigan is a well-known area where water quality remains a pressing issue.
Safety Concerns Related to Tap Water
Contaminants are the greatest safety concern related to tap water, but the United States has one of the safest public water systems worldwide. This is thanks to the Safe Drinking Water Act that Congress passed in 1974.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the federal water authority, but they don’t monitor water quality from private wells.
Therefore, it’s up to the owner of a well to maintain it and ensure that the water is safe. Contaminants such as bacteria are dangerous and can penetrate any water supply, but they are rare in public water systems.
Alternative to Tap Water
If your tap water smells or tastes strange, chances are it’s contaminated. You can boil tap water to kill germs or use alternatives to tap water, such as bottled water and water filters. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water, but you don’t have much choice if you live in an area with a health advisory on tap water.
Overall, tap water is safe to drink, but there are still a few concerns you should beware of if you are traveling. Now that you know more about this topic, you won’t have to ask yourself, “Is it safe to drink water straight from the tap?” ever again.