Is Tap Water Safe? Revealing The Truth Behind The Lies

By Will Brendza | Updated: 06/03/2024

Is Tap Water Safe To DrinkToday, I’ve got something really important to share…

A Complete Analysis Of How Trustworthy Your Tap Water Is (Or Isn’t)

Because there’s one chemical that can be thanked entirely for life on Earth: Water.

Without water, every life form on this planet would shrivel and die a very thirsty death.

And the most convenient way to quench your thirst is by turning on the tap.

  • But is your tap water safe to drink?
  • Should it be trusted?

This thirst has forced us to develop clever methods for distributing water.

We’ve accomplished this monumental task via a complicated array of pipelines and plumbing.

We’ve also devised ingenious ways to recycle our gray water to mitigate unnecessary losses.

But that spirit of ingenuity may be causing us more problems than expected.

Otherwise known as the law of unintended consequences.

When a complex system like water distribution becomes widespread, serious obstacles inevitably arise…

When you turn on your tap, there is a good chance you’re pouring yourself a toxic pharmaceutical cocktail.

TOPICS IN THIS GUIDE…    ↓(click to jump)
Last Resort Water eBook Cover - a faucet dripping

Want a free last resort water checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist. No purchase necessary.

How Water Gets From Source To Tap

Maintaining high water quality standards may be engineers’ most challenging problem.

And the safety of your tap water depends upon its success.

↓ Human Water Cycle: Wastewater

Water travels from the source (i.e., lake, river, reservoir) to a filtration treatment plant.

Once treated, it is routed through miles of pipelines before running out your tap.

And between the water source and your glass, there’s a lot of room for contamination from eroding pipes, chemical additives, and inadequate treatments.

The consequences of consuming tainted water vary.

The type of toxins ingested causes different illnesses.

But elevated levels of any toxins in your water will cause health problems.

From nausea, loss of consciousness, and even death in severe cases.

orange colored tap water running down sink drain

So Is Tap Water Safe To Drink?

There are a lot of competing answers to that simple question.

Local municipalities claim it’s safe and nothing to worry about.

But that’s like asking a politician if they’ve ever lied…

They claim to be trustworthy and would notify you immediately if anything was ever amiss.

But as we’ll discuss shortly, being highly skeptical is in your best interests.

Those more independent-minded and skeptical refute their “safe” assertion.

Instead, we believe filtering tap water before consumption is in everyone’s best interest.

Otherwise, we risk our health by putting our faith in an imperfect system.

So this article aims to answer the question: Is tap water safe to drink?

Using historical examples, facts, modern context, and scientific evidence.

↓ Study finds chemicals in drinking water in 43 states.


It was perhaps the greatest empire of all time.

At its height, Rome blanketed Europe, parts of Africa, and the Middle East.

Romans were well known for their art, fabulous architecture, brilliant military, and rich culture.

They philosophized, politicized, sexualized, and influenced the history of humanity.

Then Rome fell.

It broke into a thousand pieces after half a millennia of unhampered progress and prosperity.

Why? Water quality, chiefly.

There are many reasons why this once great monument to human refinement collapsed like a circus tent.

However, it is widely believed severe water contamination had much to do with it.

At the time, the Romans had a very advanced water distribution system.

They built out extensive lead-lined aqueducts and lead piping for dispersal and distribution.

↓ How did Roman Aqueducts work?

And in case you missed it in grade school chemistry, Lead consumption is very bad for humans.

In fact, it’s dreadfully poisonous.

It can kill quickly if regularly consumed (even in small doses).

The Romans knew this.

They were well aware of lead’s poisonous qualities.

They even had terracotta piping they could have used as an alternative, but they did not.

Instead, they kept their lead aquifers and plumbing because lead was powerful and masculine.

A metal closely associated with the Roman God, Saturn.

Today, Rome is no longer an empire.

↓ How Lead (Maybe?) Caused the Downfall of the Romain Empire

This is important to us for two reasons:

  1. First, it illustrates how essential maintaining a high water purity level is.
  2. Second, it proves even the most well-established societies can be brought to their knees by contaminated water.

Polluted River Runs Orange

A Water Crisis In America

Undoubtedly, America is currently one of the greatest nations on Earth.

Like the Romans, we are a prosperous society supporting millions of citizens.

So, by necessity, we also have an extensive water distribution system.

We are powerful, wealthy, and well-established.

But we are not without our water problems.

Some were every bit as serious as those the Romans had.


America requires a lot of energy, and we have an extensive reservoir of natural gas energy trapped beneath our feet.

Fracking is new drilling practice that yields huge quantities of natural gas.

Fracking often releases natural gas that’s completely inaccessible using conventional extraction methods.

However, the fracking has drawbacks.

Many communities located near fracking operations complain of contaminated water.

The concern is the gas released by fracking activity ends up in the groundwater.

This groundwater is the source for local communities.

Then, this contaminated groundwater eventually comes out of the taps in their homes.

The severity of this pollution varies. But in many instances, people can light their tap water on fire. 

This is due to the highly flammable nature of natural gas.

↓ Water On Fire from Fracking Gas Drilling

Needless to say, such water would be harmful to consume.

Mountaintop Removal

A surface mining method, popular on the East Coast of America, involves literally blasting the tops off mountains in the Appalachians to access the coal beneath.

Like fracking, this method of resource extraction is renowned for contaminating nearby water sources.

High levels of mine-derived chemical constituents have been found in many community water sources.

This has led to increased numbers of adult hospitalizations for varying health issues.

Complications include pulmonary disorders, lung cancer, and chronic lung, heart, and kidney disease.

Their health has been at the expense of this devastating mining method.

↓ Mountaintop Removal: An American Tragedy

Colorado’s Animas River

This year in Colorado, a mine near Durango sprung a violent leak.

The leak was so toxic it stained an entire river with a nasty, glowing shade of orange.

The spill was deemed unintentional and unstoppable (although not unpreventable).

Thousands of gallons of water contaminated with extremely dangerous cadmium, manganese, lead, copper, and arsenic were blasted from the side of a hill and mixed with the once-freshwater of the Animas River.

This catastrophe choked off water downstream.

Poisoning and drinking water supplies for several towns and the entire Navajo Nation.

And this crisis is still far from over…

↓ Why Did The Animas River Turn Orange?

Flint, Michigan.

It will go down in history as one of the biggest and most devastating instances of drinking water pollution in the United States ever.

The city decided to switch water sources to save $100 per month! 

After all, the cheaper, the better – right?

Shortly after the switch, complaints started pouring in.

People were concerned about their funny-tasting, weird-smelling, and strange-looking water.

Soon, those complaints turned into cases of developing rashes and unnatural hair loss.

And before the city council could say “Oops,” President Obama declared Flint, Michigan, a State of Emergency.

It will cost them roughly 1.5 billion dollars to resolve this problem.

Which, on a $100 per month payment plan, the city could resolve in 1,250,000 years.

But what will it cost the families of Flint, Michigan?

They are paying for this government betrayal with their deteriorating health.

↓ The City With A Polluted Water Supply

Prepper Checklist eBook Cover - with gas mask on a SHTF scenery background

Want a free 78 item prepper checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

Garbage and Plastic Bottle In Polluted River

What Is In Tap Water? Even More Tap Water Contaminants

While these cases are frightening, you may think they are rare and isolated.

However, I assure you that drinking water contamination comes in all shapes and sizes.

The abovementioned instances illustrated some real worst-case scenarios and how state officials and private businesses’ ” blunders ” can seriously affect one’s health.

But the full list of contaminants that’s been turning up in American drinking water is far more frightening.

Not just because of how extensive the list is but also how widespread it is.

We’ve got drugs!

If you live with chronic pain, your doctor might prescribe you hydrocodone.

They might tell you to take ranitidine if you’ve got acid reflux.

And if you are experiencing congestive heart failure, you will probably get some hydrochlorothiazide.

But you might not realize getting a prescription to fill these medications is not always necessary.

According to a national study, drugs are detectable in our water in higher doses than previously imagined.

These meds are released into our water systems through human urination, poor disposal practices, and accidental loss.

Because most water we consume is recycled, there is a good chance that when you turn on your tap, you pour yourself a diluted pharmaceutical cocktail.

These medications have been researched comprehensively and are known to affect animals and aquatic life.

↓ Drinking water contaminated by excreted drugs

Nitrates or nitrites?

Both, actually. These chemical compounds occur naturally in food and water.

But can react with other additives to form cancer-causing substances.

Nitrates and nitrites are used as fertilizers for non-organic farming and are introduced to water systems through natural runoff.

These chemicals are known to be especially toxic to children (including the unborn).

Consumption by minors can result in what is commonly known as “Blue Baby Syndrome” (when a child unexpectedly stops breathing).

These symptoms are shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of consciousness, and even death.

↓ The Nitrate Dilemma: Major Cause Of Water Pollution

US Water Floride Statistics Chart


This chemical is intentionally added to many water sources in the US.

It’s added to “decrease the number of cavities in American children.”

This chemical is also found in both toothpaste and mouthwash.


Because it’s great for scrubbing enamel and getting rid of pesky plaque, but it is not meant for ingestion.

Fluoride is helpful when applied to teeth, not when run through a human being’s digestive system.

The government adds this chemical to our water consistently and without our consent.

On top of this, numerous studies have proved fluoride added to water is ineffective.

It’s not clear that it prevents tooth decay as intended.

Animal studies have shown that fluoride consumption is linked to brain damage.

In total, there have now been over 100 animal experiments showing that fluoride can damage the brain and impact learning and behavior. – By Paul Connett

New filters are available that can purify your tap water from this additive.

↓ Fluoride in Our Water | 2 Alarming New Studies

Fecal Coliform.

Coli has made appearances in the news regularly for the last several years.

Outbreaks often contaminate a type of food but can also be extremely dangerous to human health if ingested through water consumption.

E. coli is a frighteningly common type of bacteria that often causes acute diarrhea, nausea, and cramps.

↓ E. Coli found in water sample

Alpha radioactivity.

Although you may not consider radioactive water a likely problem with your drinking water, it could devastate your health.

The EPA reports roughly 200 people a year get cancer from consuming this toxic water.

Sometimes, the source of pollution is man-made.

However, water can also become radioactive by contacting naturally occurring minerals like radium, radon, and uranium.

So, if your house is near a large uranium mine, you may want to invest in a good water filtration system.

↓ Radioactivity in some water supplies


These disinfectant solutions are used in water treatment plants to purify the water.

But when chlorine reacts with naturally occurring organic drinking material, it can cause rectal, bladder, or pancreatic cancer and birth defects if ingested (such as spinal and neural disorders).

↓ Trihalomethanes in Irish drinking water


Atrazine is an agricultural pesticide for corn and soybeans.

It is frequently found in American drinking water and is known to give animals cancer in their mammary glands.

And because human beings are, in fact, animals, this is a major cause for concern.

↓ Atrazine In My Drinking Water?


The EPA has ruled that “there is no safe level of exposure to lead.”

The heavy metal interferes with red blood cell chemistry and delays normal physical and mental development.

In the US, 20% of total lead exposure comes from drinking water, which is significant

Lead in our drinking water comes from the atmosphere, the soil, or piping and plumbing (as was the case in Rome and Flint, Michigan).

↓ Poisoning America: The US’ Lead Pipe Problem

Treatment technique violations involve the possibility of inadequately treated water.

As a society, we recycle wastewater, freshwater, rainwater, and just about any other water we can manage to get our thirsty hands on.

But because we reuse so much of it, the chances of some still-contaminated water getting through is likely.

The consequences of such an occurrence are unpredictable since no one knows exactly what the persistent pollution is or where it came from.

Prepper Checklist eBook Cover - with gas mask on a SHTF scenery background

Want a free 78 item prepper checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

My Answer To Your Question: Is Tap Water Safe To Drink?

If you skimmed this article and missed all our supporting evidence, the answer to the question is MAYBE.

Your tap water may be safe, or it may not be safe.

You may never know for certain unless you continuously test your tap water.

So, while I cannot say your tap water is currently unsafe to drink, I also can’t say it is 100% safe at all times.

Life happens, mistakes occur, and tap water can become hazardous overnight.

Is Tap Water Safe To Drink?

No, it’s NOT safe enough for MY family!

So What Can We Do?

It is an important question, no doubt, as it affects us all.

While the American water collection, treatment, and distribution system is much more advanced than the Romans.

We can rest easy knowing federal and private employees are doing their best to protect the purity of our tap water, right?


If you really want to ensure that your tap water is safe to drink and will not cause you illness, discomfort, or death, you need to take matters into your own hands.

The US water system is well-funded and highly equipped to manage water treatment and dispersal.

But they can’t keep every molecule of pollution out of the water.

The job is just too big.

If you are keen on protecting your health and your family’s health (and you should), you will have to do something about it yourself.

There are many modern filtration systems available, some of which are highly technical and wildly expensive.

Many flat-out don’t work well enough to protect you.

Fortunately, a few extremely efficient and affordable water filters are on the market today.

The Alexa Pro Gravity Water Purifier is one I’ve researched at length and has proven highly effective.

Our Top Recommended Tap Water Filtration System
AlexaPure Countertop Gravity Water Filter

This water filter can withstand years of daily use with only occasional filter changes.

It provides convenience and protection at the flip of a spigot! The Alexa Pure has even become a staple in homes with modern kitchens.

These gravity filters consist of stacked stainless steel reservoirs and high-quality ceramic filters.

But with a sleek stainless steel container, it looks great sitting on your countertops.

Check AlexaPure's Price
We earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

This is an essential item for every American home.

It has been proven time and again to not only produce the clearest and most purified water but also to improve the taste by reducing the additives and pollutants almost entirely.

cuts contamination by 99.99% and is known as the “most cutting-edge water filter” of its class.

I recommend you drink clean, safe water at home.

Some people recommend buying bottled water as an alternative.

But the problem here is bottled water is tampered with and recycled just as much as tap water.

It often contains fluoride, chlorine, and other chemicals you might think you are avoiding but actually are not.

It is much safer to purify the water available through your tap with a quality, functional water purifier.

That way, YOU control the quality of YOUR water just before consumption.

Remove all doubts (and chemicals) hiding in your tap water.

Why Trust Skilled Survival...

Go here now to review a full breakdown of:

  • Who We Are
  • Our Credentials
  • Our Mission
  • & Product Recommendations...

Here are a few highlights of our teams credentials & certifications:

  • Certified Member of a Mountain Search & Rescue Organization
  • Plant Emergency & Safety Leader for a Major Food Manufacturer
  • Member of the 10TH Mountain Division Hut Association
  • Certifications: Avalanche 1, WFR, CPR
  • Official Gear Tester for Numerous Outdoor Gear Companies
  • Countless Multiday Backpacking trips into Remote Wilderness
  • Bachelor's Degree In Mechanical Engineering 
  • Bachelor's Degree In Civil Engineering
  • Bachelor's Degree In Biomedical Engineering

"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it." - Warren Buffett

We're fully aware that trust is NOT something you GET but is EARNED.

And we'll continue to earn YOUR trust through our forthright and honest approach with each new Blog Post, Guide & Product we create...

Will Brendza

Will Brendza

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Member of The 10th Mountain Division Hut Association
  • Certifications: Avalanche 1, WFR (expired), CPR (expired)
  • 8+ Years Researching, Writing, About Survival and Preparedness
  • Awards from Society of Professional Journalists
  • Winner of Camp Cold’s “Happy Camper” award in 2020
  • P.s. Do You Live In A 'Danger Zone' County?

    Find out now using my Danger Zone County List & Special Report it’s absolutely FREE.

    In minutes you’ll know EXACTLY where you stand and if you should be worried or not..

    Cooking over a rocket stove
    Get My 10 Steps To Basic Preparedness Video For FREE.
    Plus daily survival tips (unsubscribe anytime).