The EWG Tap Water Database Lets You See What’s In Your Water
Most of us realize that tap water isn’t always that great, which is likely one of the leading causes behind the billions of gallons of bottled water sold in the United States each year. In fact, in 2016, Americans drank an average of 39.3 gallons of bottled water per year, or about 3 gallons more than soda. That’s a big deal when tap water is often sold as drinkable, but also very often isn’t. If you’ve considered water testing for your tap water or avoid tap water because you just don’t know, there is now a solution. The EWG Tap Water Database.
What is the EWG Tap Water Database?
The EWG Tap Water Database is an initiative put together by the Environmental Working Group after a survey of over 50,000 public water utilities in the 50 states and the District of Colombia. This data was compiled against the Environmental Protection Agency’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) database, and used to create a map and database of water utilities across the United States and outlying territories.
The database checks for water safety violations, chemicals and pollutants, possible sources of pollutants, and more.
More importantly, this test is completely free, and you can use it to check all water utilities in your area to determine which is the best solution for your needs.
How Does It Work?
If you want to check the quality of your tap water, the test takes less than a few minutes. Simply go to EWG.org/tapwater. Choose your state, find your utility, and check for violations or contaminants. You can also search by zip code, which will bring up your city or possible cities. Then, you can click on the city or utility to see what pollutants affect your tap water, where it is likely from, and how to filter those contaminants out of your drinking water.
What Does Water Pollution Mean For You?
While many people are aware of instances of water poisoning like Flint, Michigan, Reuters shows that there are over 3,000 cities with lead poisoning worse than Flint. This means that the water is unsafe to drink, and can cause health deterioration, especially in children. The CDC backs this data up, showing that over 4 million children are exposed to high levels of lead contamination in water.
If your water is contaminated, you likely do need a solution before you drink it. However, bottled water isn’t always the right solution, as it costs more, can contain contamination, and contributes to trash and c02 production. Instead, you may want to consider purchasing a quality water filter, which can filter out pollutants such as heavy metals like lead, so that your tap water is safer to drink.
While the EWG database is a very useful tool that can allow you to check to see what is in your water, that’s all it can do. The database is compiled based on historic data, and if utilities that are currently safe exceed safe levels of chemicals in the future, the database will not update until another survey is conducted. Therefore, filtering water before drinking it is often a good idea if you live in an area where water contamination is close to the maximum safety level or there are a large number of chemicals at a safe level in your drinking water.