You want to be Green, and drink tap water – but how good is your tap water?
I had a great comment yesterday about how bad the water was in a particular part of the USA. There have been several reports over the last few years which list the best – and the worst – areas.
One much-publicised 2009 report listed the Top Ten Best and Worst cities for tap water.
Now – in just the last week - a new report has been issued which lists details of bottled water too.
OK, let’s look at tap water first.
The cities with the BEST tap water are: (population > 250,000)
- Arlington, TX
- Providence, RI
- Fort Worth, TX
- Charleston, SC
- Boston, MA
- Honolulu, HI
- Austin, TX
- Fairfax County, VA
- St. Louis, MO
- Minneapolis, MN
And the cities with the WORST tap water are:
- Pensacola, FL
- Riverside, CA
- Las Vegas, NV
- Riverside County, CA
- Reno, NV
- Houston, TX
- Omaha, NE
- North Las Vegas, NV
- San Diego, CA
- Jacksonville, FL
If your city isn’t in the top or bottom 10, see the full listing.
(Remember of course that this is all relative. America has excellent tap water in general. Some states are better than others, but the base is good).
So, suppose your city isn’t one of the top cities for the best tap water. Should you avoid drinking the tap water?
But you might want to consider a quick, small action first – just to be absolutely safe.
Experts still agree that drinking tap water is better than buying bottled water. Bottled water is hugely more expensive, it’s not as well regulated as tap water, and it’s bad for the environment because of the vast quantities of plastic involved.
The New York Times calculated the cost of your 8 glasses of water per day, for a year. If you buy bottled water, it will cost an average of $1,400 per year. Using tap water? A mere 49 cents.
So, what can you do, if you’re worried about your tap water?
Two simple steps:
First, find out what’s in your specific tap water. As with most things, knowledge is important. And it’s easy if you live in the US! Simply go to the Environmental Working Group’s listing of Water Content for all major cities.
Then, once you know what you need to get rid of, choose a filter that removes precisely those things – again, it’s easy – just go to this review site which compares water filters.
Yes, your water filter will cost money. But probably less than buying bottled water for the next several years. Not to mention the savings to the environment.
In my next blog I’ll discuss bottled water.
To end, here is a quote from the New York Times: “The more the wealthy opt out of drinking tap water, the less political support there will be for investing in maintaining America’s public water supply. That would be a serious loss. Access to cheap, clean water is basic to the nation’s health“.