Last time, we ran an article supporting the tap water over bottled water movement. But earlier that month, we had also brought up concerns about possible contaminants and other dangers in municipal tap water sources. In central Texas, in particular, hard water and high levels of chlorine and its resulting by-products are common problems. So if bottled water isn’t an option, is home filtration the only way to enjoy clean, sustainable water?
Not all tap water is created equal. Almost all drinking water in the U.S. meets the EPA’s standards for Safe Drinking Water, but some cities exceed expectations better than others. As it turns out, where you live can dramatically change the quality of tap water available to you, and this article will go over the top 5 U.S. cities in terms of tap water quality. Whether you’re thinking of moving and drinking water quality is a priority for you, or whether you’re just plain curious, keep reading!
Lowest Haloacetic Acid levels: Tucson, Ariz., Lincoln, Neb., and San Antonio, Texas
The above 3 cities earned the honor of having the lowest levels of haloacetic acid, a chlorine disinfection byproduct that weighs heavily on this list because of its EPA-found link to increased risks of cancer. As a previous blog post talked about, adding high levels of chlorine to disinfect contaminated water can result in some seriously harmful byproducts. These cities, therefore, are blessed with the luxury of not needing to add too much chlorine to their water. Good for them!
Lowest Concentrations of Lead: Jackson, Miss., San Diego, Calif., and Mobile, Ala.
Unfortunately for many of us, lead used to be a common material used to build plumbing systems, and lots of older systems still contain high quantities of this dangerous element. Since lead can be corroded and leeched into drinking water, it can be consumed by children, causing developmental delays. The above 3 cities have a significant health advantage by scoring lowest in this metric.
Lowest Turbidity Levels: Billings, Mont.
This city earned top marks for its low turbidity, or cloudiness in the water. Turbidity results from colloidal particles that are too small and light to settle out of the water. While no one would argue that cloudy water is ever appetizing, it can even be dangerous as these suspended particles can be harmful chemicals or even bacteria. The less turbidity, the better.
Lowest Bacteria Levels: Tucson, Ariz.
Once again, Tucson, Arizona makes our list. Perhaps because its water is pumped from the Colorado river and naturally filtered through its aquafer, this desert city’s water supply passes with flying colors in multiple areas. Well done, Tucson!
Best Overall: Des Moines, Iowa; Austin, Texas; and Sioux Falls, S.D.
Taking all of the above variables into account, these cities have some of the overall safest drinking water in the U.S. Low levels of lead, turbidity, and chlorine byproducts mean that people in these cities enjoy some great water right out of the tap. Maybe that’s why Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the country!
For those of us living in San Marcos and the Central Texas area, however, our water doesn’t always exceed expectations. Luckily, home water softening and filtration systems are widely available to improve your drinking water quality no matter where you live. Give us a call and see what you can do for your own water!