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Can you drink Philadelphia water? Philadelphia is a big city and you’ll be pleased to know that they have water that is general safe to drink. As with most cities, there are still contaminants in the water, though Philadelphia has lower amounts than many other cities. To remove those contaminants and improve your water, you can use a water filter. Philadelphians may not enjoy the taste of Philadelphia tap water, unfortunately. This is because of the chloramine that is added to treat the water. So, is Philadelphia tap water safe to drink? Yes, but it will be much safer with the added precaution of a water filter. Keep reading to learn more about Philadelphia water quality in the sections below.
Where Does Philadelphia Drinking Water Come From?
The water that makes up Philadelphia tap water comes from three places and more specifically, from two rivers. Philadelphia drinking water starts in either the Schuylkill River or the Delaware River. The water from the Schuylkill comes from either East Falls and the Queen Lane Plant or Wynnefield and the Belmont Plant. Water from the Delaware comes from Torresdale and the Baxter Plant.
While Philadelphia tap water is cleaner than ever, as is the source water, water samples still show that there is room for improvement. The taste of your water is impacted, for example, because of the amount of chlorine and ammonia needed to treat the water. That said, a water filter also has the ability to make your water taste better, too.
Can you Drink Philadelphia Tap Water from the Faucet?
You should be fine if you drink or cook with Philadelphia tap water. Of course, for ultimate protection and to improve the taste of your water, you should consider adding a water filter to your home. A water filter will reduce and even remove many of the residual contaminants that are still found in your water after it has been treated. This ensures that you have crisp, clear water that tastes good and is free of contaminants. It’s the safest way to consume and enjoy Philadelphia tap water.
What’s in the Water: Is Philadelphia Tap Water Safe to Drink?
Philadelphia drinking water is safer than many cities, but it still has some contaminants that you should be familiar with. There are 18 contaminants present in Philadelphia tap water. While nine of these contaminants show up in minor amounts, the rest are present in higher than the recommended health guidelines suggest.
Starting with the nine contaminants, which are available in higher amounts, six of them are known carcinogens. Those contaminants include:
- Chromium (hexavalent)
- Radiological contaminants
- Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
The other three pollutants in larger amounts are:
- Atrazine – This herbicide has the ability to harm the development of a fetus
- Chlorate – Formed as a byproduct of disinfection, this contaminant can impair proper thyroid functioning
- Hormones – Hormones come from human or animal wastewater mixing with Philadelphia drinking water. Detectable hormones include Testosterone, Ethinyl estradiol, and 4-Androstene-3,17-dione
The other nine contaminants in Philadelphia drinking water include:
- 1,4-Dioxane – This solvent can cause cancer and is typically due to industrial wastewater discharge
- Barium – A mineral that while harmless in small doses, can up the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in larger doses.
- Chromium (total) – Not to be confused with other Chromium types. Chromium (total) is usually found in water due to industrial usage.
- Fluoride – Can occur naturally, though Fluoride is often added to drinking water, as well
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – These acids are formed when water is treated with disinfectants.
- Molybdenum – A natural metal that in large amounts can cause gout-like symptoms
- Nitrate – This chemical in fertilizer can cause cancer. It also causes oxygen deprivation in infants.
- Strontium – This metal gathers in your bones and can increase the odds of bone cancer and other cancers.
Water Filter Recommendations
Philadelphia tap water is going to be best with a water filter. The purpose of a water filter is to remove contaminants that still exist in your water. A water filter will also improve the taste of your water. Buying a water filter is simple once you know what you’re looking for. If you have a big house, you might want to have a whole house water filter, as that will cover all of the faucets in your home. If you have less space or don’t want to spend as much money, there are affordable options for faucet water filters or you can opt for water filter pitchers or countertop water filters. Some models we like include:
- Whole House Filter – Dupont water filter
- Faucet Water Filter – Culligan FM-15A
- Water Filter Pitcher – Brita Everyday
- Countertop Filter – CleanWater4Less
If you’re concerned with the poor taste due to chorine, you can get a water filter that specializes in Chlorine removal. Other water filters are available that remove Lead and other specific contaminants.
We started this article asking, is Philadelphia tap water safe to drink. While not the most appetizing in taste, it’s safe to drink. Of course, for the most protection possible you should consider a water filter. If you have questions about Philadelphia drinking water, feel free to ask us in the comments.
Ph.D. graduate working as a water quality consultant for many government agencies helping them find solutions to the ever-growing problem of polluted water. Loves a good coffee!