A new database can give you an idea of whether or not your tap water is safe. But even if your water gets a passing grade, it may be worth your time and money to filter it anyway.
If you’ve ever wondered how safe your tap water really is, you can now find out. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its updated Tap Water Database on Wednesday, which allows people to discover which contaminants are in their local tap water and how it may affect their health.
In the database, people can search by ZIP code or state to find their local utility, then can click on the individual contaminants detected in their water to find out more about them and their health risks.
The Tap Water Database contains data from nearly 50,000 local utilities in 50 states and features water quality tests conducted by water systems from 2012 to 2017. Also included are a total of nearly 32 million test results for 525 chemicals — 284 of which were detected in U.S. drinking water, according to the EWG.
“People take clean water for granted,” Tasha Stoiber, Ph.D., a senior scientist at the EWG, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Most of the systems in the U.S. do pass federal drinking water standards, but that doesn’t mean it’s entirely safe, especially for more susceptible groups, which could include pregnant women, children or those with compromised health states. Even low levels of contamination could cause harm to your health. Water quality could be much better.”
Having good quality drinking water is essential. What you put in your body matters and so many people don’t know just how poor of quality their drinking water is. So many municipalities add fluoride to your drinking water even though the evidence that it’s bad for you continues to pile up.
Fluoride is also among a group of contaminants that is difficult to remove. Most water filters do not remove fluoride. In fact, most water filters, especially the name brand water pitchers, only remove a handful of contaminants. But the good news is that you CAN filter out most of the contaminates and the fluoride that municipalities add to your drinking water. For under $20, you can purchase a decent filter that will help at least somewhat. If you have a little more wiggle room in your budget, you could go ahead and invest in a permanent under sink filter set up to remove as many contaminants as possible.
A reverse osmosis (RO) and carbon water filter system is the best to remove fluoride. A carbon filter alone won’t get all of the fluoride out, however, if you also have a RO system, your water will be even less toxic.
Consider taking the cleanliness of your water into your own hands. If you need to, test your water so you know exactly what you’re up against. Then research the right filter for your situation. Make sure you check the database too. It’ll give you a starting point for your research into the contaminates listed in your water.
Click here to go to the Environmental Working Group’s Tap Water Database.
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We have public RO water that has world class purity. While that might sound good but its also corrosive because water wants to re-mineralize and eats copper and steel piping. All homes have been re plumbed with plastic pipe and public water mains have been replaced. What they do bad is chlorinate it way heavy. We have charcoal filters under sinks used for drinking use.
This IS important, for people on well water and city water. Buy a water test kit on Amazon for around $30 and do the tests at home yourself—you don’t need the state to come in and test the water for you these days and the test kits are easy to use.
For example, when we bought a house with a well, we knew it was on ‘us’ as the buyers to have the water tested. A neighbor said that his well was “good for the last 40 years” but I don’t believe he had it tested. When we tested our well, it showed positive results for LEAD, COPPER, and BACTERIA.
You don’t need to know the species of bacteria—if the test comes up positive, unfiltered water is not safe to drink. You can get Britta or Pur filters really cheap at WalMart and they make do in a pinch if you don’t have the funds to install an under-the-sink filtration system.
You can also use your state’s geological survey maps, which are usually available for free, online, to determine what types of soils you property has that could possibly leech into your water supply. Knowing in advance that lead, iron, or other heavy metals are already in the area will help back-up test results.
Although most city water supplies state that a low level of lead is safe to drink, I don’t believe that; water needs to be lead-free in order for it to be safe. Yeah, a small amount of lead probably won’t kill you, but you’ll develop stomach problems, joint aches or headaches now and then and be more lethargic if there is lead in the water you’re drinking.
People using their water to mix baby formula should be especially careful—the first five years of growth are so important for brain development and you DO NOT want heavy metals interfereing.
Beware of decades old chemical dump sites both known and unknown. Before 1970 (Clean Water Act) disposal was state law governed and therefore likely not governed at all. Chemical companies paid outside concerns and the waste just disappeared quite likely into a swamp some miles away, sometimes quite close. I trapped muskrats as a kid in the early 70s and many of them had tumors. Some of these chemicals were very stable and could leech down into wells without chemically breaking down over decades. This often made it highly effective. The termite pesticide Chlordane, banned in the 70s was one of them. Some of these chemicals are accumulative over time in small concentration that may not be picked up by normal means.
Hi! Can someone explain to me the difference between a BERKEY WATER SYSTEM VS. ALEXAPRO PURE..
EVERYTHING goes through the Berkey at my house except shower, washing machine and toilet water. They just bust some cartel people with enough fentanyl to kill everyone in the state. Dont know if the filter would help, but its worth a try.
I love the berkey, dont know about Alexpure, but berkey filters out 99.9% of cysts, viruses, etc. And, I use the fluoride filters too. Berkey black filters last years if cleaned properly on a consistent basis….my two cents worth.