Where to Find the Best and Worst Tap Water in the US
Good ol’ tap water is something many of us take for granted. We turn on our faucet and expect there to be clean drinking water to follow. Sadly, that’s not the case everywhere in the world and clean water is definitely a luxury many Americans under-appreciate. The Environmental Protection Agency along with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) governs the standards by witch our drinking water is determined to be safe or unsafe. Over the years, the standard has become increasingly stringent. This is largely due to the implementation of the safe drinking water act in 1974. This federal act was implemented to ensure safe drinking water for all American citizens. The act includes a myriad of regulations that address maximum allowable amounts of microorganisms, disinfectants, byproducts, organic and inorganic chemicals and more. One would think that with all of these regulations in place that the US would rank at the top of the list of safest drinking water in the world. The fact is, it doesn’t come close. The US doesn’t even rank in the top 20 globally!
On the bright side, there are many areas in the US that have some pretty great tap water systems. These systems are rated by the EPA as well as the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Competition, nicknamed the “Academy Awards of Water.” If you’re lucky enough to live in one of these cities, bottoms up to a great cup o’tap!
Best Water in the US
5- Independence, Missouri
Independence supplies water to about 250,000 people. They receive water from the Missouri River Alluvial Aquifer which is classified as a ground water source. With extensive filtering, disinfecting and softening, this water has high marks and exceeds federal regulation guidelines. We love overachievers!
4- Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Metropolitan operates five water treatment plants that service SoCal and surrounding areas. On an ongoing basis, Metropolitan tests its water for nearly 400 constituents and performs about 250,000 water quality tests per year. Metropolitan also manages water demands by investing in conservation and water use efficiency projects. They are also working on a desalination process, which is a process that removes some amount of salt and other minerals from saline water (salt water).
3- Hamilton, Ohio
Hamilton has dropped down to the number three position of the best tasting water in the US from it’s number one position back in 2015. But you know what? Number three ain’t bad! The city previously won the 2010 Gold Medal for Best Tasting Tap Water in the World and the 2009 Silver Medal as the Second Best Tasting Tap Water in the World.
2- Emporia Kansas
Emporia can attribute it’s awesome water to the fact that it made some serious upgrades to it’s treatment facilities back in 1996. That may sound like a long time ago but these new filters receive constant care. Emporia also received an award in 2013 for best municipal H2O.
1- Montpelier, Ohio
This city takes the top spot for best drinking water in the US. Over the last several years, Montpelier has remained pretty steady holding various top 5 spots in the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting list of winners. It’s no surprise it now shows up as number one in 2017. Kudos to Ohio for taking up two spots on this awesome list!
Worst Water in the US
5- Haworth Borough, New Jersey
Don’t let it’s quaint exterior fool you. This small town in New Jersey is guilty of allowing twenty-two contaminants to fall through the water filtration cracks. Some of the contaminants found exceed health guidelines and include chemicals like chloroform, copper, and arsenic. Thirsty? No thanks.
4- Reno, Nevada
Reno water testers have detected 8 contaminants in it’s water supply. That may not sound like a lot considering there are hundreds of thousands of contaminants that are tested for. The issue is that of the contaminants at have been found in Reno’s water, all of them are in illegal amounts! Some of the contaminants you can expect to sip on are arsenic, manganese, and tetrachloroethylene. Exposure to tetrachloroethylene over an extended period of time could cause cause liver problems, contribute to Parkinson’s disease and lead to cancer.
3- Houston Texas
In Houston, some of the chemicals you can find in the water are arsenic, lead, chloroform, and benzene. You’ll also find haloacetic acids (HAAs), gross beta particle activity (from radioactive mineral deposits and/or nuclear testing), and mining waste-related pollutants. All exceed EPA and federal limits.
2- Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha water has become a real concern for it’s residents. Some people are even turning to testing the water safety on their own to make sure the water is safe to consume. Omaha water is tainted with arsenic, lead, and 18 other contaminants which are far beyond the legal limits. You can also find atrazine, nitrate and nitrite, manganese, and total trihalomethanes which are linked to cancer, infant mortality, neurological damage and more.
1- Frenzo California
Frenzo is plagued by much more than tainted water. Frenzo lies in the central valley of California, which has long struggled with pollution of all sorts. Most notably air pollution and animal farming waste. Frenzo can now add having the nations worst water to their growing list of environmental grievances. A total of 19 contaminants were reported to be in violation of federal and EPA limits, ranging from manganese to arsenic. Some of the more serious contaminants include ethylene dibromide (EDB), manganese, nitrate, uranium, aluminum, DBCP, trichloroethylene, various types of mining waste.