Can you drink tap water in Atlanta, Georgia?

Can you drink tap water in Atlanta, Georgia?

Tap water in Atlanta is safe and its water treatment plants are in compliance with standards mandated by the Safe Drinking Water Act and EPA guidelines. However, there are still reasons to be concerned such as poor taste, potential lead leaching, by-products from chlorine and microplastics. Therefore an affordable point of use filter such as TAPP might be a good safety measure.

Where does Atlanta tap water come from?

The water supply for Atlanta comes from the Chattahoochee River including two lakes of which Lake Lanier is the main source and Lake Allatoona the second. Both have been severely affected by droughts in recent years. The Metro Water District relies almost entirely on surface water to meet the needs of the region. Access to groundwater is negligible, so the larger Atlanta Metro area relies on small rivers and streams for water supply and capture and store rainfall in reservoirs to provide relief in times of drought.

What is in Atlanta tap water and who regulates it?

According to measurements and standards of EPA and CDC the tap water in Atlanta is safe to drink. However, some contaminants such as microplastics are not regulated and others such as lead and disinfection by-products can often be found locally in the household. EWG (Environmental Working Group) highlighted these issues in its 2017 report. Lead specifically enters into tap water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (such as recently happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water and can reach toxic levels. According to water research by OrbMedia microplastics were found in 94% of all tap water in the United States. Although these samples did not include Georgia it’s likely that the local water contains microplastics. To be on the safe side and for better tasting water an affordable faucet water filter such as TAPP can be a good idea. Make sure that the filter is tested to remove lead, microplastics and chlorine by-products.

Drinking water in public places and restaurants

Unfortunately, there is no law requiring restaurants to serve their customers tap water for free, most do it as a courtesy. In some very rare cases, servers have been reported to refuse serving tap water, but this shouldn’t worry you. Almost any restaurant you go to will ask as a default if you want sparkling water, bottled water or tap. As for bars, you can also get free water, just remember you’ll still need to tip even if you don’t order any other food/drinks. Moreover, when you are on the go, you can use the MyTAPP app (iOS and Android) to find refill stations around you.

Bottled water

Unfortunately, there is no evidence that bottled water is healthier or safer. Recently research by Orbs Media and WHO found microplastics in 92% of all bottled water. To make it worse the majority of plastic bottles are never recycled and instead end up in landfills where it breaks down and causes even more microplastics. For water on the go buy a refillable water bottle and bring it with you wherever you go. Using a filter like TAPP, you will never need to use any plastic linked with your water consumption. When it’s time to change the filter, dispose of its biodegradable cartridge in the compost or with organic waste.


  • Safe to drink according to government tap water standards
  • Most like contains microplastics and may also contain lead, disinfection by-products and other less regulated substances
  • Install an affordable faucet water filter such as TAPP for better tasting water and as a good safety measure to prevent contaminants
  • Avoid bottled water if you can and use a refillable water bottle instead
Do you drink tap water in Atlanta? We want your feedback and opinion. Agree or disagree? Tell us! Sources:
Back to blog