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What's in Tap Water Anyway?

By Jeff Wise June 28, 2022

Ever wonder what's in tap water anyway?

Over 4 billion people drink water that is unsafe. Billions of people do not have access to safe and running water. Some people do have access to running water, but it is unsafe.

Knowing what's in tap water is important. Drinking from the faucet could lead to chemicals and pollutants in the water. Staying safe while drinking water is a global concern. Water filters can help with one glass of water at a time.

If you are concerned about your drinking water, you are in the right place. Keep reading this article to find out what might be in your drinking water and how you can have safe water at home.

What's in Tap Water Anyway?

What's in Tap Water?

Is tap water safe? Is it safe to drink tap water? These are both great questions that need answers. In the majority of the United States, the simple answer is yes. Drinking water from the faucet is okay due to properly functioning filters or wells.

However, you still need to know what's inside the water. Even if your water is safe, you should have knowledge on what could be in your water. Broken pipes and other issues could happen at any moment which leads to chemicals in the water.

If you are concerned like our family, getting the perfect water filter is easy. These filters will ensure that your water is safe 100% of the time. All you need to do is assemble your Berkey system and start filtering!

Chlorine and Chloramine

These two disinfectants are in drinking water to kill bacteria. Although it is surprising to learn these are in the water, every city in America pumps these chems right in.

These two disinfectants combined with other chemicals cause byproducts such as chloroform, Bromodichloromethane and other toxic substances.

The potential health effect of prolonged usage according to the Environmental Working Group is cancer.


Fluoride is another additive that you might be surprised about. In the United States, fluoride is in tap water to supposedly increase teeth strength.

Fluoride in water has been studied 64 times and has shown to be linked with reduced IQ in children. 

Like arsenic, fluoride has been used in pesticides and rodenticides (to kill rats, insects, etc).


There are several contaminants found in tap water. In some cases, large amounts of these contaminants can be very bad. If smaller traces are in your drinking water, you don't really want to drink that either.

Tiny amounts of contaminants such as sediment and soil are not harmful. If you have drunk water from a faucet at some time in your life, odds are you have come across a microscopic amount of soil.

There are some contaminants removed from the water supply by your city but the disinfectants they use create new contaminants such as chloroform.

Several Minerals

There are some unhealthy and some healthy minerals. Without the healthy minerals in our bodies, you could be prone to infection and sickness. Some of these healthy minerals are naturally present and a Berkey filter will keep those in.

Drinking water has so many benefits. But did you know some of those benefits include getting needed minerals? Drinking Berkey water will provide sodium, copper, magnesium, and calcium.

Tap water also includes zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and iron. Some of these minerals may change the taste of water based on the ratio of each mineral.

Unsafe Tap Water

What Makes Your Drinking Water Unsafe?

If you have doubts that your drinking water may be unsafe, take a quiz. This quiz can help you understand what might be in your water and what you can do to safely drink water.

Although there are good things in your drinking water, there could potentially be bad ones as well. Here is a list of potentially dangerous things in your water.

Segmented Radioactive Components

If the word ends in "ium" and isn't calcium or magnesium, you might have unsafe drinking water. Radioactive elements such as plutonium, cesium, and uranium have have been in tap water. These components can bring radiation into your blood and attack cells.

In extreme cases, this type of ionizing radiation can cause cancer.

Unwanted Chemicals

Naturally occurring and man-made chemicals can find their way into your drinking water. These chemicals can be harmful to your entire body. These chemicals include bacterial toxins and bleach.

In most cases, chemicals are filtered before they get to your facet. However, there have been cases where people drink dangerous amounts of these unwanted chemicals.


Lead, mercury, and arsenic have been found in tap water. If you have extremely old pipes under your home, you could be more prone to ingesting these toxic metals. 

These metals can be linked to several illnesses. Drinking these metals can lead to liver, kidney, and intestinal damage and cancer.

Unhealthy Bacteria

Parasitic and bacterial microorganisms can be found in your water. These bacteria will make you sick almost immediately after you drink them. These dangerous bacterias are uncommon.

In uncommon cases, water can run through sewage. If it does, it can pick up nasty bacteria such as E. coli.

How Can You Tell if Drinking Water is Unsafe?

Knowing the safety of your drinking water is a priority. You can ask your local water supplier to conduct tests. They will then send reports of the status of your drinking water.

You will not be able to tell the difference between bad and good drinking water just by looking at it. In most cases, the tiny micro-bacteria are too small for the human eyes to see.

However, you could notice a strange taste or discoloring. These noticeable differences could mean your water has been contaminated. 

What Happens If I Boil the Water?

Boiling your water is a good idea. By boiling your water before you drink it, you are killing unwanted bacteria and parasites. In extreme cases, this can become a region-wide mandate.

If you do boil your water, you need to let it sit. Let your drinking water come to a boil for just over a minute before you let it cool. Once it is at the temperature of your liking, you may drink it.

Safely Filtering Tap Water With Berkey

Drink Your Water Safely

If you have never questioned the safety of your water, you are lucky. For billions of people, clean water is not easy to come by. However, you too need to ensure your water is safe to drink.

If you are still questioning "Is tap water safe to drink?" take our water quiz or conduct professional tests yourself.

Knowing what's in tap water is essential. Becoming sick or obtaining an illness from drinking water can occur without you ever knowing.

Worried about your tap water? Contact us today and stop all of your worries about your tap water.


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