Is your city water safe to drink?

Drinking water is a concern for everyone. The concern is quadrupled with little ones at home. Is my child receiving the best water? Is the water arsenic free? What if there is lead in the drinking water? All kinds of questions to worry about. My dentist said that the city water is good because it has fluoride in it. How about the harmful items? Sadly, this post will not give answers to any of the questions parents may have. This post will rather provide more items to think about.

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Chlorine smell in city water

When we first moved to El Paso, Texas a few years ago, we could smell the strong smell of Chlorine in the tap water. The smell was so strong that we could not directly drink water out of the tap. We used a Brita Water Filter to treat the tap water for drinking. It helped a lot with reducing the Chorine smell.

Over the years I (Dear Mom) grew tired of the pitcher. It was bulky. We had to wait for the water to get filtered if we want to pour it safely, otherwise all the water on the top part would spill. Besides, the plastic pitcher didn’t look as good.

So, when the time came that we needed to buy more filters for the Brita pitcher, I started looking for other options. After a lot of searching I found this interesting water filter. The design is quite unique. It is manufactured by Kor and called Water Fall. Instead of a pitcher, the system uses decanters. The quality of the filtered water is just as good as the water filtered by a Brita. The overall structure can be a bit wobbly. And the glass decanters are scary to Dear Husband because he thinks someday Dear Son is going to break those decanters and get horrible cuts. Other than that, I really like the look and feel of these decanters.




We also have a water line and water filter attached to the refrigerator. We can get our drinking water from the refrigerator as well, but we rarely do that. For no particular reason, we mostly use the refrigerator water system for ice-cubes.

Is it safe to drink El Paso city water?

Ever since we moved to El Paso we noticed that many of our colleagues, friends, and neighbors have in-home water filtration systems with big water dispensers. I was always curious why everyone would have one of these giant systems in their kitchen corner. (Probably because they throw big parties all the times. Or, there could be some other reasons.) For some reason, I haven’t asked anyone why they choose these systems over the tap water. So, today I was searching for any data related to El Paso water, just to make sure the water we have been drinking for the past couple of years is really safe to drink. Here is the link to EP water data: http://www.epwu.org/water/pdf/dwr_2016.pdf.
Is drinking city water safe?

The table above is copied from the second page of the original document. It has all the measures of the water quality for the year 2016. The MCLG column is the ideal amount of any mineral or other products in water. I was sad to see that the average Arsenic level is 4.9 where the goal (MCLG) is to have zero Arsenic in water. It was also alarming to see that there are traces of Lead in the drinking water. The table does indicate that 90% of the lead data were at or below the levels shown. A possible reason for lead poisoning could be corrosion of household plumbing systems.

Many of the elements of the table are unknown to me. I will spend some more time on water data to figure out if we need to make the switch from tap water to any kind of sophisticated water filtration system.

Until then, we would love to you hear from you. Do you have any thoughts on drinking water?

Settle in El Paso team
Prompt: Partner



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Comments

87 thoughts on “Is your city water safe to drink?

    1. Haha … πŸ™‚ the “Waterfall” looks beautiful. I am very happy to know that the capital of Netherlands is maintaining a great water supply. Thank you for sharing the information. Have a wonderful weekend head.
    1. Haha πŸ˜‚ that probably means it is safe because otherwise you would have heard something on the local news. Thank you for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful weekend.
    2. Lol! Why don’t you try, am sure you can come up with something to say. In my country tap water isn’t that safe for drinking.
    1. I not sure if that specific brand is available in the USA. I am sure there are alternative. The main concern is if filtration is enough to prevent arsenic and lead poisoning. Thank you for sharing this. Have a wonderful weekend.
  1. I also sadly have no clue about what that table means… it’s all a mystery to me same as to you, haha πŸ˜€ but yeah. I agree with your thoughts about the importance of doing some research whether the tap water is good to drink or not.

    I know that certain countries and areas have huge problems with the water being contaminated.

    We are pretty lucky because our tap water is really high quality so we never had any real issues. However, we still use the Brita Filter that you’ve linked. Ours is a bit different though and in dark blue color. We use that just to make the water EXTRA safe and you can put different filters that add magnesium into it.

    1. I am so glad to know that your city water is safe to drink. Yes, Brita Filters are great in filtering drinking water. I appreciate your comment. Have a wonderful weekend.
  2. These are all good questions. I don’t live in Flint, but I live about 20 minutes from there and so there has been great concern about the drinking water. Even though we personally have well water and aren’t using city water, we still filter it. I’m clicking over to Amazon right now to check out Water Fall. πŸ™‚
    1. Yes, the water situation at Flint, Michigan is so upsetting. I was just talking about it with hubby. Hope the situation there will get better soon. I am happy to know that your place has safe drinking water. I appreciate the visit and the comment. Have a wonderful weekend.
  3. Are you going to start using a filtration system? I don’t but as you say we need to be aware of arsenic levels. Another important topic you have spotlighted here. Sharing on my social networks now πŸ™‚
    1. Probably, I will use one, especially due to the arsenic level. I need to further check if there is really a filtration system that will lower arsenic as well as lead levels down. Thank you for visiting and sharing the post on the social media.
  4. When I first moved into town I couldn’t get over the smell of chlorine in the tap water. I bought a Brita filter for my sink and it seems to have helped. I think the water is safe to drink for me and my family.
    1. Yes, Brita filter removes the chlorine smell well. Thank you for sharing your experience. Have a wonderful week.
  5. Actually, the answer is no, we do have the chlorine as well, besides that the PH is too high and in some places, there were found some bacteria. I prefer to buy water from the store even if I don’t know how healthy it is. Some people who don’t want to spend too much money on the water they prefer to boil the city water and drink it!
  6. Yes we always see reports that show how great our water is and then I look at the list and my mind boggles. “Arsenic” “Miniature pony feet” “Spam” So maybe those aren’t actual contaminants (although I would argue that they are but just not listed), but we have opted for a water softener / filtration system. The water is stinky without it. Not my favorite. But I did like the post! πŸ™‚
    1. Glad to know that you liked the post. Yes, it is better to be safe before trusting the stats. Also stats come from past years. πŸ˜€ thanks for visiting and commenting.
  7. We moved to the southern part of Colorado Springs shortly after there was a major city water scare. Apparently, something about one of the local military bases doing something or another which then polluted some unpronounceable chemical into the drinking water. Our conspiracy theorist neighbor insisted there was no way we should drink the local water. The water company reported that everything had been cleaned up, the incident didn’t actually affect our local water table, etc. What do you believe? I do know, as someone who has lived in many different locations around the world and only ever drinks water, that the water does not taste very good to me. It just has an odd taste. We currently use a Brita water pitcher and it helps with the taste, but we occasionally still buy bottled water.
    1. I read about the Colorado Springs city water contamination, I think last year. That was so horrible. I think around eighty thousand people were affected by this contamination. I am glad to know that your water is now safe. Yes, Brita removes odd tastes a lot. Bottled water is safer for many towns. Thank you for sharing your experience. Have a wonderful rest of the week.
  8. yea,water in my country is purify by the purifying company called Water pub.So we get to drink at least germ free water.But I don’t like the taste of chloride so I diffuse my purifier into the water to get the taste off.Good to know about yours.
    1. I am so sorry to hear that.

      Sometimes boiling the city water makes it safer, if bottled or filtered water is not around.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting.

      1. It’s not that unfortunate though, I don’t know why we ended up laughing while heading straight to the local clinic. I guess we just have to be extra careful and sure about how clean our source of water is.
  9. Hello!, im new to this blog, i find this ford informative. I hope cities have safe tap water to drink but it is not the case. We have to filter and distill our water for us and our children to drink safe and clean water. Its a big project if the city government make this happen.
    1. Thank you for subscribing to our blog. I wish too there were sources of safe drinking water everywhere. I appreciate that you have shared your experience. Thanks again.
  10. I wish everyone on the planet had as much drinking water as we do. It’s still good here where I live, but some houses have really bad water due to poor installations. I hope you get better news soon!
    1. I am happy to know that you have a great water supply. I wish too that everyone had great water. Thank you for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful evening.
  11. We always bought our drinking water to a mineral water station. Because on the faucets it contains chlorine and we can smell it, so instead of drinking in it. We buy our own and it’s not too expensive.
    1. Yes, it is a good idea. The chlorine smell is sometimes horrible. I heard that it is still safe to drink the water with the chlorine-smell unless there are some other harmful things.
  12. We’re only using water from the faucet in washing the dishes and when we do the laundry. We are buying mineral water for drinking just to be safe. Especillay here in the Philippines when it rains the water that comes out from the faucet is not too clean since you can actually see the dark color abd yiu can feel the dirt on yiur hands.
    1. Thank you for sharing your experience on drinking water in the Philippines. I wish everyone in the world had clear water to drink.

      Have a wonderful weekend ahead.

  13. Here we Brazil we don’t drink directly from the faucet. The risk of contracting hepatitis A it’s huge. There are two available possibilities. You could buy a filter and install directly to your faucet. And the most common, buy a galon of mineral water, suitable for consumption.
    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. This reminds me that many towns in the USA now-a-days do not have good drinking water too. I wish your country as well as all countries in the world had safe drinking water supply.

      Have a wonderful weekend.

  14. I am in Denmark right now and the tap water here is safe to drink. No weird smell or whatsoever.
    Back in my home country on the other hand – Philippines, most (not all) buy water to drink because of the chlorine smell of the water and in some places, it is a little murky so it’s not really safe to drink it. A lot of inexpensive water refilling station is all over the place though so buying drinking water is not that much of a hassle.
    1. Thank you for sharing your experience regarding safe drinking water in Denmark and in the Philippines. It is great that there are affordable refilling stations in the Philippines. That makes life a little easier. Thank you for visiting and commenting.
  15. We always use RO purified water for drinking purpose. I am not sure, whether the water is safe or not. But, Arsenic in drinking water is definitely a bad thing.

    Excessive flouride content in water can leads to ‘fluorosis’, which is an irreversible disorder of teeth. We have to be very careful in the terms of drinking water, which has a huge impact on our health.

    1. Thank you for the information regarding fluorosis. I did not know about it. I completely agree with you that we must be very careful about our drinking water.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful weekend.

  16. I agree with you onlineblogger here in the philippines there are inexpensive water refilling-station all over the city. Though not much on rural part. Anyways we use mineral water instead of tap water for drinking we just felt that mineral water is much safe to drink.
    1. I am so glad to learn about the Philippines through the comments. I can imagine that rural areas will have lesser facilities. Boiling water and then cooling it to normal temperature is always a good option when there is no mineral water.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting.

  17. The water here is safe to drink. A few times a year we’ll have a boil notice because they’re working on the pipes, but other than that, it’s perfectly safe. We have a Pur water pitcher with a filter that we use at home, but the main reason I bought it was to filter water for the Keurig (since the instructions say to use filtered water). So we drink filtered water sometimes, and tap water sometimes. I always use tap water to make ice cubes and to fill my water bottle in the morning before I go to work, and I don’t notice much difference in flavor.

    That said, I know many people who insist that the town water is awful and will only drink filtered water. Quite a few people have refrigerators with built-in water filtration, or have a water cooler and get water delivered in 5-gallon jugs.

    1. Thank you for sharing your daily experience regarding drinking water. I find it so amazing that people from so many countries have shared their experiences on this post. I appreciate your time on reading this post and writing such a descriptive comment explaining your experience. Have a wonderful week.
  18. Yes. Our city water is safe to drink. In fact, that’s our everyday drinking water and we’ve never got any problems or encounter any illness when drinking on a tap water. The taste is good too. It doesn’t have any funny taste or something. We’re getting what we paid for.
  19. Where I live, the drinking water is not safe to drink. People can drink tap water but it is not recommended. There is most probability that you will fall sick. Most people use water filters at home to purify the water. Water filters are not that expensive and easy to maintain. We change the filter cartridge 2 times a year. Some people boil the water and store it in containers.

    Tourists usually buy bottles of mineral water to be safe. There is need to setup water purification plants here so that we can consume the normal tap water.

    1. Thank you for sharing the drinking waters safety strategies used in your area. I hope the water purification plant are built soon. Have a wonderful time.
  20. The water over here in London is pretty good and definitely safe to drink. We actually had a bit of a chlorine problem around 6 months ago but the water company fixed that. They came over here, did a few tests and a few days later there was no chlorine at all in our tap water. It doesn’t taste weird and it’s pretty clean to drink without having to do anything to it.
  21. We don’t have a lot of issues with water in my area. I say this because the city council in charge of the distribution and management of water usually works hard to fix everything, including making sure the water is always clean and safe for drinking. Most of the time, pollution caused by broken pipes and poor drainage system are the major issues they handle.
    1. I am glad to hear that you have safe drinking water you your city. Thank you for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful day.
  22. Water here in our country, Philippines is very safe and as far as I know, there no issues or news that people got a disease in drinking water. The water management here always try there best to improve their services.
  23. Thanks for that information. Well in my country the water supply is at least germ free even though most people dig their own bore holes for water supply while others own dispensers and the rest just buy cartons of bottled water.
    1. It is great that water of you country is germ-free. Private well sounds exciting.

      In the US, I think many cities will not allow digging wells now-a-days. I am not sure though.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful evening.

    2. Borehole water is not safe enough to drink. There are always cases of contamination. It’s wiser to have the source of the borehole water analyzed by experts first.
    3. Great review. That sounds like my country. Correct me if am wrong, but I believe you’re from Nigeria.

      A vast majority of water supply here is via borehole which like you said is mostly germ free…a minimum 40ft is considered a standard borehole in Nigeria. I try not to drink it and even if I need too, I boil first. It’s a personal choice. So yes! I think it’s okay to say my country’s water is safe for drinking.

  24. Our city water here in my place is not anymore safe to drink as it is but you can still drink it if you boil it for long hours because of bacterias and impurities to be sterilized. We have to buy mineral water here from water distilling stations.
  25. Here in my country, majority of the people buy drinking water from stores because those coming from faucets are not very safe to drink. Other than the taste being awful because I have once drank it accidentally, many had diarrhea when they tried doing so. Good thing though that I didn’t. Since I live in a third world country, the tubes where the water passes is never cleaned, changed or with a really good quality , which of course in the long term, could have holes or other problems that would introduce dirt and bacteria in the water Others would attach a purifying system but buying them from water refiling station makes more sense because of is practicality.
    1. I am so sorry to hear that you do not get clean city water. Some towns in the USA too have contaminated town water. Always keeping it in mind that the water may not be safe for drinking is a hassle. I wish everyone everywhere in the world had safe drinking water. Thank you for sharing your experience regarding drinking-water.
      1. I watched last time in CNN that one town, I think in Texas, that their water had very high arsenic concentration making it dangerous to drink. I do hope too that all of us in the world will have access in safe and potable drinking water. Water is a necessity and everyone of us has the right for it, and all governments has to make that one of their priorities.
  26. Everytime I read about a piece on basics of life and how it’s handled in the western part of the world, I feel pity for countries like mine. It’s good to know your water over the is safe to drink, but can’t say that about here.

    In Nigeria where I come from, 70% of residents barely have access to water not to talk of clean enough water for drinking. I wish we had a better system like that of El Paso.

  27. For me weather its safe or not we must be cautious! Cautious not to take the risk especially if kids will be drinking from it. I am not saying that all residential water is unsafe but my point is that lets not wait for one to get sick before we take some precautions. It’s either we filter the water or simply boil it before drinking. In this way we have a lesser chances of being exposed to bacteria in drinking. I still believe that there is nothing more safer than being cautious at all times.
  28. I was an employee in our local water district back in the year 2015, and based in my own experience, there is a percentage amount of chlorine allowable for the water to still be potable.
    What we are anticipating are the chemicals used by farmers whose farms are located higher than the local water source. It is because our water source is located on the foot of a mountain and the farms are located on higher ground. There is a law which states that farms using insecticides and man-made fertilizers should be located 1 km away from the local water source. That is not a problem because farms here maintain a distance of 1 km from the water source. The real problem is, when those chemicals hit the soil and the sun comes up, it stays there. When the rain starts to pour, since it is liquid, it flows down to a lower surface as it hit the ground. Dragging the dried up chemicals closer to the water source. This process does not happen in an instant, but 2-3 years of counting until the chemicals reaches the water source. Still it is contaminating. So we prevented the farmers from using fertilizers and insecticides containing certain kinds of chemicals, but we still need to anticipate the possible effects of the chemicals used in the past few years.
  29. In our city yes, as I have tried that before and there’s nothing happened to me that time but because I was raised to drink filtered water or boiled water I prefer not to drink tap water. I’ve heard some of my friends drink tap water and they suffered from diarrhea so, I do not want to wait to get me sick or confident. Maybe I’m just lucky during those time or my immune system was too high that can fight any harmful pathogens. So, I had to install water filtration at home and buy purified water just to make it sure that the water I’m drinking will cause no harm. However, it will also add up to our budget but it’s for our health anyway.
    The filtration in tap water is so minimal and the faucets can accumulate bacteria since it’s open from any dirt which can cause any disease. I envy people who live in a town or in other countries that their water is safe to drink because for sure their environment is clean, my friend lives in Singapore and majority of the people there are drinking tap water she said.
    1. That’s fine. Just to share what I know is that when a young kid exposed himself on a dirty environment overtime he develops tolerance and the immune system is much stronger compared to stay at home kids.
  30. I think that how safe a drinking water should have to be the work of the government through the water agencies that they’ve set up, but sadly most of the agencies set up by the government do not bother about the risk involved in sending water that is not well treated into the water pipeline to homes to drink. Drinking water, in my opinion, should not be treated by individuals for it is the work of the government, but they have neglected this duty.

    Our city is worse off here in Nigeria, for we do not even have tap water that runs through our home and that always makes us looking for alternatives such as bottled water, sachet water and buying a tank water to be treated before final consumption. We have complained, but since our government over here is one insensitive of the feelings of the common man, there is nothing they did about it.

    1. I am so sorry to hear that the city water is not good enough to drink. I wish every country had great drinking water supply. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful day.
  31. Here in my country, Our water here is not safe. We usually buy water to purified water station. But in my fathers place tapwater is safe. You can even drink directly to the waterfalls or rivers in the upper mountain.
  32. I am now working as a staff in a water-purifying station here in the Philippines and part-time online job freelancer. The city water or what we call tap water is not safe anymore to drink. They use chlorine to make the water clean but the level of it is dangerous when taken big amount of tap water. That is why water station is so successful here in our place.
  33. The water here in Philippines used to be safe to drink. We only drink water coming from faucets. Drinking water was free back then. Come year 2002, the drinking water is not free anymore. We buy it. Water refilling stations started to boom. Gone are the days when we can drink free water from the faucets. You will have an upset stomach if you do so. We now get our regular water supply from nearby water stations or from stores that sell bottled drinking water.
  34. Actually no, our water cannot be drunk is not for home use, we are using this water only to wash our clothes, for bath or for washing dishes, and all the rest. For drinking, we are buying water from the supermarket.
    Even in the small villages, the water from the fountains is not good to drink anymore, I guess the land is full of chemicals and pesticides and the water got contaminated.
  35. The civic water supply in my town is not safe to drink. If you drink water directly from the tap, it is very likely that you will catch water-borne diseases such as diarrhea, typhoid, jaundice etc. Drinking water without any treatment or filtration is very risky. Instead of relying on civic water supply for drinking water, which needs to be treated before we can drink, we buy water in jars, which is very safe.
    1. Thank you for sharing your experience on safe water. Many cities struggle to keep their tap water safe, that I realize now from so many comments. I wish all had safe city water for drinking.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting.

  36. Me and my 6 months old baby is currently having a short vacation here in the city. Just a few hours ago, I was about to drink water from a delivered water jug when my boyfriend noticed that something so tiny is moving. I was horrified. I don’t even know if that was just the first time or how many times was I drinking water with a tiny insect swimming in it. From now on, I decided to filter, then boil water then filter again before I or anyone drink it.
    1. That is an awful experience. It is great that you have planned to boil the water before drinking it. If there is no access to bottled water, boiling the water and cooling it is a must in such a case, especially for a baby.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful vacation.

  37. We don’t drink water directly from our faucet because we lived nearby mountains. Water runs here is coming from various hills which turns brown whenever its raining. My family is safe in drinking water because we have a special delivery coming from nearby water filling station and it is filtered 100%. Most of my neighbors are doing it as well, they had a dedicated supplier who consistently supplies water at their home. I do recommend also not to drink water from faucet though its clear, we can never tell if its safe inside our body.
    1. It is amazing that different locations of the globe have different ways to get safe drinking water. Thank you for sharing the info on how you get safe drinking water in your place.

      Based on the discussions so far on this post, many places do not have safe water. Home water filters and boiling the water are good options when there is no access to good drinking water.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful day.

  38. Going to details is quite hard especially sometimes when your really thirsty you now. But in general, the water source should be check time and time again. drinking from bottles might not good for our health as well in the long run given that they were contained in plastic bottle containers. These plastics have BPA that is totally a slow killer. This cannot directly kill you but can contribute to future illness.
  39. Scientifically water is life and our body itself is composed of water. We need water to hydrate ourselves and it cleanses our internal body system. Some places here in the Philippines are contaminated with bacteria that’s why I’m not recommending everyone here to drink water which is coming directly from faucet. Health is very important and it will makes our lives longer, hence, water for me is everything and should be taken care of all.
  40. Nowadays using water filter is commonly used especially at household purposes, drinking and cooking primarily. If you are indoubt of your water source, better install a purifier some purifiers are even in water pitcher look where straight from tap water to your pither purifier and it does the job from there. If your budget is right you can have either mineral or distilled water at home for drinking.

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