Is Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Is Tap Water Safe to Drink?
The Safe Water Drinking Act (SWDA) that was passed by Congress in 1974 to establish federal standards for drinking water has helped ensure that the United States has one of the safest drinking water supplies in the world. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 92 percent of the population supplied by community water systems receives drinking water that meets all health-based standards all of the time.

Of course when it comes to your home’s drinking water, you don’t want to be in the eight percent that has known issues. Not to mention, just because your water meets the safety standards, it doesn’t mean it’s the cleanest, healthiest water that it can be.

The only way to truly know what contaminants might be lurking in your water is to test it, so you can treat any possible issues with the appropriate water filtration solution.

Tier1® Rapid Water Lab Test Analysis

Testing your tap water + water quality reports

If you get your water from a municipal water supply, you should receive a yearly Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), an annual drinking water quality report.

If you have not received your report, you can either call your local water supplier or find your report at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

While the CCR summarizes your risks of contamination, potential health effects, and an accounting of the municipal treatment system’s actions to restore safe drinking water, only you can verify what the state of the water is when it enters your own home.

A typical water test may look for:

  • Chlorine
    • Used by municipal water supplies to keep your water disease-free. The taste and smell of bleach may still present by the time it reaches your tap, and unhealthy if above the EPA maximum of 4 ppm.
  • Hardness
    • Hard water typically makes itself known with white scale residue on your fixtures. A level above 3 ppm is considered hard and can benefit from water softener treatment.
  • Copper/Lead
    • High levels of metals in your water can affect your health. Any level of lead in your water is of concern, and copper above 1.3 ppm.
  • Nitrates/Nitrites
    • Compounds that are often naturally occurring, but can be dangerous at high levels. EPA maximum safe levels of Nitrates 10 ppm, Nitrates 1 ppm.
  • Total Dissolved Solids
    • The measure of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) represents all of the substances dissolved in your water. This can include minerals, salts, and metals. A high TDS isn’t a health hazard, but may affect the taste and leave mineral residue. A TDS higher than 500 ppm may be of concern.

Tier1® Rapid Water Lab Test Analysis

Solving your contamination issue

Once you’ve tested your water and identified the type and source of your water issues, you can choose the most effective filtration solution for your needs.

Depending on the issue, you can treat the water at the tap, at the point it enters your home, or at specific points of use. Below are some typical issues and recommended solution options.

Issue affects drinking water only

Some contaminants are only of concern if you drink them, and are typically only treated at the kitchen sink. Examples: Nitrates/nitrates, sulfates, copper, lead, TDS. Note: You may want to verify the contaminant you want to treat is listed for the product you choose before purchasing.

Treatment options:

Issue affects all the water in the home

Some water issues affect you and your home wherever it is used - plumbing, bathing, laundry, appliances.
Example: Hard water

Treatment options:

Issue affects water at the point of use

Some water issues are only noticeable at the tap where the water comes out. In this case, you can treat the water right where you use it.
Example: Chlorine taste and odor

Treatment options:

Note: Depending on the severity of the issue, chlorine taste and odor or chloramines can also be treated at the point of entry to the home to treat all of the water in your home.

Treatment options:

How to maintain clean and safe water

When you invest in the proper treatment options for your home you can ensure that you have the cleanest, healthiest water possible. While you can look to your CCR for the yearly water quality analysis from your municipal water treatment facility, the surest route to peace of mind is to test your water and treat it yourself. When you take responsibility for your water’s safety into your own hands, it’s possible to have great water at every tap in your home.