Tap Water Facts - There’s A Lot That People Don’t Know About Tap Water

There’s a lot that people don’t know about tap water. Facts like how much bacteria is in most water supplies and what types of chemicals are added to the water in the interest of public health.

Or, exactly what contaminants may be present that conventional treatment methods fail to eliminate. These are examples of things that not everybody is aware of.


When it comes to tap water, facts about how much is used and how much is actually wasted may shock you. A typical American household uses about 69.3 gallons of tap water daily. Approximately 1% of that amount is actually used for drinking and the rest is used for other purposes such as bathing, flushing toilets and washing clothes and laundry.

However, an average of about 9.5 gallons per day is wasted due to leaking. The most common cause of leaking is faulty faucets that don’t shut off properly, usually due to worn out washers in the taps. It’s a common problem that’s easy and inexpensive to fix, and can conserve a huge amount of water.

Chemical contaminants:

One of the most disturbing tap water facts is the amount of chemical contaminants that find their way into water supplies. Many of these substances are known to cause deadly diseases like cancer, and standard water treatment methods don’t necessarily remove them.

Over 100 years ago, most pipes used to carry water were made out of lead. Unfortunately, a lot of this lead pipe still exists, and people are unaware of the fact that their ‘clean’ drinking water may be reaching their home by traveling through these pipes.

Automotive fluids drip onto the ground from leaky engines, transmissions and radiators, and rainwater washes them back into the earth, where they eventually find their way into water supplies. A few drops may not seem like much, but when you multiply those few drops by billions of cars, it can add up to an astonishing amount.

Other harmful substances that are commonly found in tap water include prescription drugs, radon, arsenic, aluminum, mercury and asbestos. Fluoride, which is intentionally added to drinking water in some areas, has been linked to cancer and also infertility.

Bacterial Contaminants:

Another of the more unsettling tap water facts is the amount of bacteria that’s actually present in most tap water. Nearly all tap water contains some level of bacterial contamination. We trust water treatment facilities to eliminate bacteria and make water safe to drink, but treatment methods are actually somewhat limited.

According to the Centres for Disease Control , 50% of America’s water treatment systems sometimes allow Cryptosporidium past their purification methods. Giardia is often present in tap water, but in low concentrations that are unlikely to cause illness in healthy people. Coliforms are used as standard system of measurement to indicate when other, more deadly microorganisms are present.

Keep in mind however, that even though your tap water may contain all sorts of foreign substances, switching to bottled water is not a viable solution. Much bottled water has been tested and found to be no better than ordinary tap water. It’s best to invest your money in a good water purification system instead.

To read more about tap water, please follow these links:

What Is In Tap Water?

Should You Filter Tap Water?

What Bacteria Is In Tap Water?

What Are The Benefits Of Tap Water?

Bottled Water vs Tap Water