There are three potential contamination sources in the cycle of our water supply, and understanding the health of the water in your area requires knowledge of all three.
The first is pollution in the water source itself, such as lakes, rivers, and groundwater. The more concentrated the pollutants at the source, the greater difficulty in ensuring adequate filtration.
The second is at the treatment plant itself. Old or poorly maintained plants are understandably more likely to produce unsafe water. Some water systems in the US are almost 100 years old, and the cost to maintain and update them is tremendous. (6)
Finally, the third source of potential contamination is in the pipes that transport water to businesses and homes. These pipes can be a source of lead or other compounds that can pollute the water after it has left the treatment plant.
There is no easy answer for how you can determine your water’s safety, but a good place to start would be to check your local Consumer Confidence Report to find out how the water system in your area scored on its last quality check. If you want to go the extra mile, you can have your water tested by a state-certified lab to confirm the quality of the water coming out of your faucet.