Microbes in tap water may be responsible for up to 30% of gastrointestinal illnesses in the United States, and credible estimates suggest that only 50% of waterborne disease outbreaks in community water systems are detected, investigated, or reported1. But with modern water treatment technology, why are people getting sick from drinking their tap water? To answer that question, let’s take a step back to examine the issue at large.
If you're like most Utahans, you probably don’t worry about drinking water straight from your tap. You may think that because a lot of Utah's water originates from mountain sources that it is some of the purest water on earth. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and much of our nation's water is full of potentially dangerous contaminants that may harm you and your family.You might be asking yourself, "How it is possible that my water could be contaminated?" and "Doesn't the EPA regulate water safety?" We address these questions below.
What’s in my water? Aren't water contaminants regulated?
Throughout the U.S., municipalities get water from a variety of sources. Water is typically pulled from wells, lakes, reservoirs, and rivers and is tested at water treatment plants. The EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act sets guidelines for determining if water is safe enough for public consumption. If the water does not meet these standards, then it must be treated until it comes into compliance. Bear in mind that government standards merely represent minimum standards and are not necessarily ideal water quality levels.