American Cities With The Best And Worst Tap Water


How healthy is our tap water? Well, that is not a very easy question to answer, and the reason is that the answer depends on the city or state in which one resides. It definitely should not be this way, but it is. Between 2004 and 2009 states such as New York, California, and Missouri test for more than 250 contaminants, while states such as Kentucky, Connecticut, and South Dakota test for only 90 contaminants in their cities water supplies, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) an independent environmental research organization. Over 300 contaminants have been found in U.S. Tap Water, said the EWG.

One can see here then that people in some states are at a greater risk for drinking contaminated water while people in others are less likely. Shouldn’t our water testing process be comprehensive across the board requiring all states to follow the same rules in regards to water testing? Absolutely! Well then why isn’t it the way it should be? This is one of the questions that we will try to answer.

According to the EWG, testing by water utilities has found 316 pollutants in the tap water Americans drink, since 2004. The EWG has analyzed over 20 million records obtained from state water officials in order to come up with such data. Contaminants such as disinfection byproducts, nitrate, and arsenic are some of the common contaminants found in U.S. tap water.

It is up to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to force states to test for 300 plus contaminants in water supplies. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for our tap water testing. Then why isn’t the EPA doing more to force all states to comply with testing water supplies for 300 contaminants? The EPA is probably limited as to how far it can go in forcing states to comply with particular water testing standards or the EPA’s standard for testing water supplies is lower than 90 contaminants. Whatever the reason, it would make good sense to increase the testing on as many contaminants as possible. If over 300 contaminants are known to be present in tap water supplies, then testing should be done to uncover all of them.

Many people are very leery about drinking tap water. So, they resort to bottled water, thinking that it is much healthier. The truth is that bottled water is not necessarily better. It actually does more harm than good. The bottled water process has increased plastic in our solid waste stream, further polluting our planet. Another fact is that most bottled water is nothing more than tap water tainted with the same contaminants poured in a bottle. We must therefore drink bottled water with caution.

So, now that our confidence with bottled water has been shattered, we must search the globe for places with the healthiest tap water supplies. The EWG has already done so for us. The Group has developed a list of cities known to have the healthiest and unhealthiest tap water.

Cities With the Best Tap Water:

1. Arlington, TX

2. Providence, RI

3. Fort Worth, TX

4. Charleston, SC

5. Boston, MA

6. Honolulu, HI

7. Austin, TX

8. Fairfax County, VA

9. St. Louis, MO

10. Minneapolis, MN

Cities With the Worst Tap Water:

1. Pensacola, FL

2. Riverside, CA

3. Las Vegas, NV

4. Riverside County, CA

5. Reno, NV

6. Houston, TX

7. Omaha, NE

8. North Las Vegas, NV