Bottled water is a scam for most Americans — but a new report reveals some surprising places where it’s dangerous to drink the tap
Bottled water is a scam for most Americans — but a new report reveals some surprising places where it’s dangerous to drink the tap.
People living near private wells do not enjoy the same rigorous testing as those whose water comes from public sources.
Typically, tap water is tested regularly for quality and contamination in accordance with laws from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In its new report, the NRDC documents more than 80,000 violations of the law by community water systems in 2015 alone.
"These violations included exceeding health-based standards, failing to properly test water for contaminants, and failing to report contamination to state authorities or the public."
But in 2015, this law was violated nearly 8,000 times by community water systems serving more than 14 million people, according to the report.
Formal enforcement action, or reporting the problem to the level where the EPA required the community water system to respond to a complaint, was taken in just 10% of cases.
Here’s a map from the report showing the number of people served by community water systems with at least one reported violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act in 2015.
Populations are shaded at the county level to show the number of residents served by systems with violations that occurred that year.
Research suggests that the water from many of these wells is not safe to drink.