Water conditions and quality vary... enormously.
From place to place, and over time.
When you are trying to decide what kind of water filtration (or other technologies) to specify or purchase, a good place to start is with the water quality report issued by your local water provider. This is public information, usually updated annually, and we draw our summaries precisely from the reports issued.
Over time, we will include more and more reports (there are a lot out there!) We are starting with the largest population centers and working our way down, in order to present information relevant to the most people as quickly as possible. We continue to add municipalities, so if you don't see your location included, please check back. Or tell us which one you’d like to see.
To make your selection, first select your state, then your city or town, and finally - if there is more than one water authority - your local supplier (or closest match) from the available choices.
From the published reports, we single out the factors of greatest concern. We extract the data for these key factors, and display using the gradient bars with benchmarks (defined below) for context.
Read your local water analysis.
Please keep in mind:
1. Water authorities are required to provide an annual report, but they do not all report out the same factors - not even close. If you find a factor reported by one authority but not by another, it means that the provider in the latter case did not report a value for the factor - or may have omitted the factor altogether. The absence of a factor should not be interpreted as meaning that the level of that contaminant is not significant – the information is simply not given.
2. Just because a contaminant doesn’t exceed an enforceable limit doesn’t mean we want to drink it. The point of filtration is not just to reduce excessive contaminants but to reduce to near undetectable levels contaminants found at any level.
3. The reports show only the quality of water as it leaves the source. What it’s like by the time it travels through miles of pipe and gets to your tap is another question. (It probably hasn’t improved.)
At the bottom of each page we evaluate your water filtration choices among the BETTER WATERS TOP FOUR. If water conditions are such that you should consider another or additional technologies, we tell you that, too.
Next page: Definitions
Primary: The maximum contaminant level (MCL) expresses the highest level of the contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. These MCLs are enforceable standards.
Secondary: MCLs are non-enforceable guidelines regulating contaminants that may cause cosmetic effects (such as skin or tooth discoloration) or aesthetic effects (such as taste, odor or color) in drinking water. Individual states may choose to adopt them as enforceable standards.
Units Expressed in parts per million (ppm), = mg/L, or parts per billion (ppb)
Ideal Value In most cases 0 (absent) is ideal. But for some factors other values are preferred: Balanced pH is 7, bottled mineral waters have significant levels of total dissolved solids (TDS) – even Poland Spring has a level of about 50, and very soft water as you will find in New York City has a “hardness” measuring about 25 (1.5 grains).
Sample Result The actual result(s) from the applicable water analysis. In most cases reported values represent an average from multiple samples. When the reported value expressed is the highest value, it is noted.
EPA MCL Environmental Protection Agency's determined Maximum Contaminant Level.
Local MCL Some localities establish their own MCL that may be different from the EPA (National) level.
Read your local water analysis.
Learn about having your own water analyzed.