You hear it every day, the more water you drink the healthier you’ll be. Well it turns out that this might not be the case, at least not for people who drink tap water on a regular basis. Something many people are unaware of is that a number of U.S. cities have drinking water with an unhealthy level of chemical and contaminants. Here are the top 8 worst offending cities with the most contaminated drinking water.
North Las Vegas, Nevada
Getting their water supply primarily from groundwater and the Colorado River, this water doesn’t actually contain chemicals that surpass the legal limits. Unfortunately for them, this water supply does contain 11 chemicals that surpass health guidelines that were set by federal and state health agencies. In North Las Vegas, the total contaminants found in their water is 26. Specifically, this water contained a very high level of uranium, which is a radioactive element.
The water supply in Omaha comes from the Missouri and Platte Rivers, as well as from groundwater. After being tested for close to 150 chemicals, approximately 40 were detected in some amount, 20 of which were greater than health guidelines and four of those were found in illegal amounts. These contaminants included atrazine, trihalomethanes, nitrate and nitrite, and manganese.
Reigning in at number six is one of the largest cities in the United States. With water sources from the Trinity River, the San Jacinto Rivers and Lake Houston, you can imagine how much there was to test in this water. After conducting over 20,000 water quality tests over the course of three years, almost 20 chemicals were found that surpassed federal and state health guidelines. In total, 46 pollutants were detected, which is much greater than the national average of eight. Houston citizens beware, your city water contains illegal levels of alpha particles which is a form of radiation!
With their water coming primarily from the Truckee River, this city’s water supply had 21 chemicals discovered, eight of which were detected in levels above EPA health guidelines and three which were found in illegal amounts. These chemicals included manganese, tetrachloroethylene and arsenic. For those who don’t already know, arsenic is a byproduct of herbicides and pesticides and is proven to be extremely dangerous if consumed by humans.
Riverside County, California
Riverside County gets their water supply from the Bay Delta, north of this city. The water was found to contain 13 chemicals that exceeded recommended health guidelines over the four tested years, and tetrachloroethyleme, which exceeded legal limits.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Known as the city of sin, Las Vegas gets its water from the Colorado River through intake pipes. Because of this, its water is full of a wide range of pollutants, with 12 chemicals found in levels that exceed EPA health guidelines. These chemicals included radium-226, radium-228, arsenic and lead.
The 300,000 populated city of Riverside gets the majority of their drinking water from groundwater. With 30 chemicals found during their testing, 15 chemicals exceeded health guidelines and one exceeded legal standards. In the past nine years, the Riverside water supply has been contaminated with alpha particle activity, traces of bromoform and uranium, which all contribute to a disgustingly unhealthy public water supply.
Coming in at number one on our list is Florida’s westernmost major city. Out of over 100 chemicals that were tested, 45 were discovered in Pensacola’s water supply. Wondering which chemicals were the worst? Radium-228, trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, alpha particles, benzine and lead were all found to be in the water. These chemicals combined with one another is what makes this city’s water supply the worst in America.
Before drinking water out of the tap, think first about what could be in your water supply. With public records available at your fingertips, make sure to check out your city’s water rankings to see what you’re drinking.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Author Byline: Mary Richardson is a freelance writer who is constantly making changes to her lifestyle to improve her overall health. Her most recent initiative was installing a Filtration system in her drinking water supply in her home so that she always has access to clean, fresh water!