Speaking yesterday at the NAACP National Convention in Los Angeles, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson called water the top environmental issue for most Americans. "About 92 percent of Americans have water that meets federal standards," she said. "That means 8 percent of Americans in this day and age do not. That’s way too high."
Jackson went on to say that potentially unsafe water zones are concentrated on Indian land, along the Mexican border, and in rural parts of the country where officials struggle to meet federal standards. In Consumer Reports' latest report on water filters, we found that most health-based violations do occur in smaller systems, which may not have the staff or funding to keep facilities up to speed. However, our analysis of consumer confidence reports (CCRs) from major cities nationwide found few that were entirely free of water-quality violations. In New York City, for example, some samples had lead levels several times the federal limit.
If you pay a water bill, you should receive an annual CCR detailing where your water comes from and what contaminants were found in it during the last year. To know what’s actually coming out of your tap, or if your water comes from a private well, have your water tested. Call the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791) or go to www.epa.gov/safewater/labs to find a state-certified testing lab.
Consumer Reports' water filter Ratings cover the five main types: carafe, faucet-mounted, countertop, undersink, and reverse-osmosis. There are pros and cons to each in terms of installation, convenience, flow rate, and overall cost. But we found models in all categories that will do the job of eliminating contaminants from your drinking water, while also improving its taste.
Los Angeles Times