What’s The Healthiest Water To Drink?
For the past few years, there’s been a lot of buzz about “alkaline” water—which supposedly can reduce your likelihood of chronic disease and even treat cancer. Celebrities like Tom Brady swear by it, but is it all hype? The science isn’t settled yet one way or another. And given that alkaline water costs up to $4/gallon,6 it might be best to avoid this fad for now.
So, we consulted the water quality experts over at the Environmental Working Group (EWG).7 EWG has a database of 28 million records and more than 700 public water systems. The group used this database to rank the best and worst drinking water in every state and DC. They took into account where contaminants were found, how common they are, and the health risks posed by those chemicals.
Who has the best water in the US?
The best water in the US is found in—ready for this?—Kauai, Hawaii. Eight of the 10 top-ranked public water systems are on Kauai.
97% of people with a public water system on their island drink from a system that meets all federal health standards 100% of the time. This is according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).8 Some utilities may have small amounts of contaminants below levels set by EPA guidelines, but they don’t pose a risk to human health.
That said, there’s not much reason to move to Kauai or any other remote island if you want healthy drinking water. The next three states with the cleanest drinking water are, followed by and. The majority of the least safe drinking water is found in the southern US.
What water is good for you?
Indeed, most public water systems in the US do not have dangerous levels of lead or other contaminants. However, many cities with older infrastructure still have lead service lines delivering drinking water to homes. Millions of American children are exposed to high levels of lead every day, putting them at risk for developmental delays and learning disabilities.
If your home was built before 1986, it may also contain lead plumbing inside. High blood lead levels can cause jaundice, kidney failure, seizures, coma, even death in extreme cases. For this reason, EWG recommends that young children drink only filtered tap water. Adults should avoid drinking hot or warm tap water due to the presence of cancer-causing chemicals called trihalomethanes if any part of their service pipes is made of lead.
Cities with the cleanest and dirtiest drinking water:
The 10 cities with the best tap water:
1. Kauai, HI
2. Clallam County, WA
3. Santa Cruz, CA
4. San Luis Obispo County, CA
5. Maui County, HI
6. Mono County, CA
7. Contra Costa Water District, Antioch & Brentwood, CA
9. San Bernardino Co., Big Bear City, Running Springs & Yucaipa
10 . New York
The 10 cities with the worst tap water:
1. Corpus Christi, TX
2. Riverside City, CA
3. San Juan-Carolina-Caguas Metro Area, PR
4. New Orleans, LA
5. Auberry & Madera Water Districts, Madera County, CA
6 . Las Vegas, NV
7 . Louisville/Jefferson Co., KY
8 . Jacksonville
9 . Baton Rouge, LA
10 . Tallahassee
While most locations are on either end of the spectrum (with very few in the middle), there were a few surprises along the way—like how Irvine and Chino Hills in California rank high while neighboring Los Angeles ranks low despite having more than twice as many people served by public water systems.
What is the cleanest water in the world?
The cleanest water in the world is found in Tromso, Norway. That’s where 100% of residents are served by systems that meet all federal standards 100% of the time.
If you’re looking for an American city with very safe drinking water, your best bet is Buffalo, NY. Out of 57 public water utilities in this small upstate New York city, only one failed to meet environmental health standards 100% of the time—and that utility serves just 667 people out of a population of 256,096. This means 99.4% compliance overall!
Is Zamzam water the purest water?
Zamzam water is believed to be the purest naturally occurring water on Earth. It comes from a well in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and it’s said to date back at least 1,400 years — possibly longer. Millions of pilgrims visit the Zamzam Well every year during the Hajj season (when millions of Muslims travel to Mecca).
The WHO has deemed this tap water safe for drinking across the board. However, it isn’t 100% pure; there are minuscule amounts of arsenic, nitrate, aluminum, lead, nitrogen, sulfate, and mercury found here. This is not unusual though since all groundwaters contain some trace elements.