How to Test Your Tap Water
It’s important to know your local results to decide whether you need to filter your water
How safe is your tap water? Finding out can take some time, effort, and money, but it’s worth doing.
Most people on municipal water who pay their own bill should receive an annual water quality report called a CCR, or Consumer Confidence Report. If you don’t receive yours, call your local water supplier. And if you rent, contact your landlord.
Systems with 100,000 or more people must also post reports online. You can find them on the Environmental Protection Agency website.
In the report, look for a summary that shows whether any contaminants were found above government cutoffs and, if so, what the potential health risks are, what is being done to fix the problem, and what you should do in the meantime. For questions, call your local supplier or the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.
What’s in Your Water?
Do you have bad-tasting water? Consumer Reports experts Perry Santanachote and James Dickerson explain how to find out about water testing and the best filtration systems.
Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the November 2019 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.