Back to Blog

The ‘Dirty’ Facts About Tap Water

February 18, 2016

The Dirty Facts About Tap Water

Treated tap water has to be clean, right? In fact, Utah has some of the cleanest water in the nation. According to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, over 90% of Utah’s public water systems meet Utah’s water supply quality rating. However, that doesn’t mean the water is completely safe. While it’s true that there are laws in place set to regulate the quality of tap water, that doesn’t mean that all contaminants are removed from your drinking water.

The truth about tap water is that multiple treatments and municipal water systems don’t make our water 100% safe for drinking. Kind of a scary thought, isn’t it?

The Real Truth About Tap Water

The real truth is that tap water is dirty. How do we know for sure? Well, it’s one of the main environmental health concerns in our nation as dirty tap water has been linked to cases of cancer and asthma. This is because treatment facilities add chemicals to our tap water in order to ‘clean’ it. Some chemicals are harmless, while others are not. Another interesting fact? The government doesn’t require that the EPA set contaminant levels at zero, which means that some of those chemicals are allowed to stay in our drinking water! Sounds dangerous, doesn’t it?

What’s in Your Water?

Most treatment plants add chlorine into your water to kill certain bacteria. While the amount added will not necessarily harm you, it does make your water taste worse.

Although, that’s not all that’s in your water. Some of the most common type of contaminants found in US drinking water include:


Arsenic is an extremely toxic chemical to humans. It can cause multiple types of cancers, cause major skin problems, and in a large enough quantity can completely disrupt your cardiovascular system. While the EPA does regulate arsenic, there may or may not be trace amounts in your water.


Nitrates enter the water through livestock and other organic means. While nitrates don’t affect most people, nitrates found in water can cause a condition known as “blue baby syndrome” in infants under 6 months old.


In the past, lead was a popular metal used in paint, dishes, and other common household items. However, lead is an extremely toxic metal that can cause damage to the brain, kidneys, bone marrow, red blood cells, and the nervous system.


While giardia is less likely to be found in our tap water, the giardia parasite is often found in streams around Utah. Giardia causes diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and nausea.


Cryptosporidium is a parasite found in water that causes a disease commonly called “Crypto.” Much like giardia, it causes diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and nausea.

What Can You Do?

While you can’t necessarily control where your water is coming from, there are some things you can do to prevent some of these chemicals from entering your water. If you want clean water in your community, do your part to keep your water clean. Check out our post on different ways to keep your community’s water clean to give you some ideas!

If you want the best control over your water, invest in a water purifier. Purified water is always the safer (and more delicious) route to take on the journey to pure water. At Superior Water and Air, we now carry a full range of health and comfort systems designed to help you get the most out of life at a reasonable price. Contact us today!