How do People In United States of America Rate The Tap Water?
Travellers and residents of United States of America have rated the water quality and pollution as follows, according to subjective survey data. A score of 100% is considered very high, and a score of 0% is very low. Please be cautious that "moderate to very high" water pollution is bad and the higher the rate of water quality the better.
Tap water ratings
- Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 27% Low
- Water Pollution 43% Moderate
- Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 73% High
- Water Quality 57% Moderate
Can you drink the tap water in United States of America?
The US Center for Disease Control’s travel advisory confirms the safety of the tap water in United States of America (source). However, it would be best if you take special precautions toward the unregulated water sources in some areas. Like all countries though, water accessibility, sanitation, and treatment vary widely from location to location, so we encourage looking for specific city information.
American restaurants serve soft drinks with a liberal supply of ice to keep them cold (and fill the glass). Asking for little or no ice in your drink is perfectly acceptable, and the drink will still probably be fairly cool. If you ask for water, it will usually be chilled and served with ice, unless you request otherwise. Unlike most other countries, if you ask for "water," it will be still unless you specifically ask for "carbonated" or "sparkling" water. At bars and restaurants, water is served from the tap and is, therefore, almost always free of charge. Like most other beverages, water will be served with ice unless you request otherwise. In many (if not most) restaurants, soft drinks, tea, and coffee will be refilled for you at no extra charge, but you should ask if this is not explicitly stated.
Tap water is generally chlorinated and may also include fluorine. Nevertheless, some Americans use filter pitchers (common brands for both include Brita and Pur). Although tap water is not dangerous, some Americans prefer to filter (and sometimes boil) tap water before drinking. It has more to do with taste than actual safety.
While tap water in most urban and suburban areas is safe to drink, many Americans are more comfortable drinking either filtered or bottled water. This should not be seen as a sign that the water is unsafe, rather that some prefer to always have portable bottled water on hand. You can carry a reusable water bottle (heavy plastic or metal) and refill with water from public drinking fountains, some of which are even now filtered for taste, or have a vertical spout to make dispensing water directly into a bottle easier.
In hot states such as Arizona and New Mexico, all businesses must provide tap water upon request.
Always take extra precautions, the water may be safe to drink when it leaves the sewage treatment plant but it may pick up pollutants during its way to your tap. We advise that you ask locals or hotel staff about the water quality. Also, note that different cities have different water mineral contents.
Sources and Resources
Check tap water safety for other popular destinations
Check tap water safety for other countries in North America
- Antigua and Barbuda
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Sint Eustatius
- Sint Maarten
- Turks And Caicos Islands
- US Virgin Islands
Check tap water safety of states in the United States of America
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia