Tap Water Database

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has developed an online tool called “EWG Tap Water Database” to help Americans easily access information about their drinking water. The website allows you to put in your zip code to find the surrounding tap water systems in your area. When you click on your tap water system, you can find out information such as the amount of contaminations detected above health guidelines, what the contaminants are, and how these contaminants can affect your health.

This website is beneficial because many people may not know about the possibility of contaminants in their drinking water. The database provides not only information about the health effects that can occur from drinking the water, but also compares this data on a national scale by providing EPA guidelines. This website relates to our hydrosphere unit as well as climate change because as pollutants continue to plague our waters it is important to know whether the water we are drinking is truly safe. As we have seen in presentations given in our class, water quality is an issue that is plaguing not only the U.S. but the entire world. Websites that provide useful information such as this would be beneficial to monitoring these contamination levels and promoting awareness for those who may not know about water contamination.

4 thoughts on “Tap Water Database

  1. This website was really intriguing. It seems useful, and also a little scary, because we tend to assume that the drinking water publicly provided to us will be safe. I was interested by the fact that drinking water facilities could have contaminant levels that the website judged to be above what is recommended but that did not place them in violation of federal guidelines. For example, the water provider for my home county has eight contaminants listed above healthy levels, which includes seven carcinogenic contaminants, yet it is listed in compliance with federal water guidelines. I wonder whether there’s any significant action that could be taken to improve water quality, given that the presence of contaminants seems to be a widespread problem even for water providers that are complying with federal standards.

  2. This website seems super useful. I was surprised to find contaminants in the drinking water in my area. The website could be used to hold local level health/safety standard entities accountable. It would be cool if you could visualize number of contaminants across time or space on a map or if you could choose two localities to compare.

  3. I’m really happy to know that this resource is out there for the public. It is really important for consumers to be able to hold their service providers accountable, and this tool can be used by the average person to do this. This is also a way for the government to monitor areas with a spatial reference, and look for patterns of contamination of water and those who have been exposed to pollutants.

  4. This is a really neat website! I think that not only the information it provides is interesting, but it is also really well laid-out. I liked that it gave the water source for each city as well as a list of contaminants and how they might be harmful.

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