Public in Peril: Do You Know What’s In Your Tap Water?

We take it for granted each day. We turn on the kitchen faucet, the bathroom sink, or the shower and expect water to come flowing out at the temperature of our liking. However, such convenience requires processes and partnerships. Recently, the town of Flint, Michigan suffered hardships involving its drinking water. We drink and clean ourselves with tap water, hardly considering whether it’s safe or not. Is the public in peril or are such thoughts drowned in paranoia? Read the following information related to common contaminants and what you can do to protect yourself and family members.

Basic Knowledge

The public drinking water systems are overseen by the EPA. This water is delivered to about 90% of Americans. The system is composed of pipes and structures and is either publicly or privately owned. The US is home to over 150,000 public water systems. The systems are categorized based on how many people are supplied, the source, and whether the water is delivered throughout the year or on a partial basis.


The EPA recognizes three types of water systems. The CWS (Community Water System) supplies water to the same residents all year. The NTNCWS (Non-Transient Non-Community Water System) supplies water to (at least) 25 people for (at least) six months per year. Examples include schools, factories, and hospitals. The TNCWS (Transient Non-Community Water System) provides water to gas stations or campgrounds, where people do not stay in place for long periods of time.

Flint, Michigan

Ironically, Flint resides about 70 miles from the Great Lakes, one of the largest masses of fresh water in the entire world. In recent years, Flint began drawing water from the Flint River rather than Lake Huron. The town has long been in financial ruin, and the move was meant to be temporary due to a recent financial crisis. Soon after, residents started complaining of “dirty water” coming from the drain. The brown tint was not dirt but iron, 19 times the amount as compared to the water formerly drawn from Lake Huron.

A class-action lawsuit ensued. Apparently the state Department of Environmental Quality wasn’t treating the water with an anti-corrosive agent. The water was eating away at the iron water mains, which resulted in the water featuring a brownish color. However, the matter was more dire. Half of the lines coming into Flint homes are made of lead. And because the water was not treated, lead was making its way into the supply mixed with the iron.

Further Implications

What happened in Flint seems to be an isolated incident, yet every town resident can’t help but wonder about their own water supply and their personal health. People wonder as to what is in their pipes, faucets, and local water supply. Those who are concerned have turned to reviews by Best Products Pro or similar sites, to try and find water softeners and filters. And who can blame them.

Most Americans can drink water from the tap without worry and some decide to get a water softener that they discovered through websites similar to Suppliers are required (by law) to maintain particular levels of quality. However, as with Flint, ‘accidents’ and violations happen. Pregnant women and small children have a higher risk of being affected by contaminants.

Lead is the most notorious of the contaminants, potentially leaking from pipes and fixtures. Lead causes neurological and behavioral issues in children. Additionally, Perchlorate is a toxic chemical and has been detected in 26 states’ water supplies.

Pesticides have traces of altrazine, and the chemical has been found in drinking water within the midwestern and southern states in the US. Moreover, bacteria, viruses, and illness-causing parasites find way into water supplies. Prescription drugs find way into water when patients flush unused medication down the toilet or sink.

Lastly, chlorine is used in the water disinfection process, and arsenic was detected in at least 25 states’ drinking water supplies.


Water filters purify tap water (even untreated water from lakes and streams). Certain filters remove bacteria, viruses, chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, fluoride, and other contaminants. Read about the Berkey water filter and purifier systems.

Consumers may elect to use a tap-water filter that is certified by NSF International, or switch to buying bottled water, though some believe it is no safer than tap water. Consumers can get more active in their communities and be aware of where the town’s water is coming from. If you are interested in getting a water filter, then there are loads of companies that can help you out. For example, Waterfilterways offers this. You can See their site for more information here.

Obviously, the above information is startling, and after the ordeal in Flint, more Americans are concerned about their own drinking supplies. Residents can check the Consumer Confidence Report (published by water suppliers). It covers what contaminants have been found in the water. One can also have the water coming into their pipes tested by calling the Safe Drinking Water Hotline.

Walter J Mcdaniel has worked in importing Home and Garden product business for over 7 years. He has a B.S. in business from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He has worked in Asia and Europe before he established his own company.

About Heather Jones

I'm just a wife and mom of two boys trying to find her place in this world. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, and RV camping with my family.

Heartfully Heather


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Heather Jones

I'm just a wife and mom of two boys trying to find her place in this world. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, and RV camping with my family.

6 thoughts on “Public in Peril: Do You Know What’s In Your Tap Water?

  1. I don’t know if I would classify this as an accident, but nonetheless it’s tragic for all of the residents of Flint. Those concerned about their water can pickup a drinking water testing kit. I use filters and have bottled water for emergencies, but I too am skeptical of bottled water.

  2. Im sure we probably have things in our water we dont know about. With this fracking thing and all its crazy. Even bottled water isnt always spring water either , just tap water.
    thanks for the informations

  3. My heart goes out to the residents of Flint, MI It reminds me of the Erin Brockivich story! We pay water bills to help keep our water clean. It is scary that the government/organizations know a lot of things that we don’t & they choose to keep mum about it!! I wonder what they drink??

  4. Tap water definitely scares me, especially since there is really no way to know what’s in it. I haven’t drank it in years.

  5. A friend of mine worked for the water company here in our town. We had at the time 3 John Deere plants. They pay well, and are a huge income generator. She tested the water they were releasing and told the city it was unsafe. Because of the economic impact of the potential loss of the company they effectively shut her up- they threatened to fire her. She was a highly trained and poorly paid city worker. I dont know if it was ever resolved.

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