Can you drink Newark tap water? Until recently the official response was a definite yes.
The challenge with tap water is that the source of the water and what leaves the water plant can be safe but the water coming out of your tap isn’t. Much of the US water pipe network is old and lags in terms of maintenance and therefore ends up contaminating the water. If lead remains anywhere in the network including your building the pipes can leach lead, it will end up in your drinking water. This is what recently happened in Newark and could happen practically anywhere.
Furthermore microplastics have also been found in all samples of tap and bottled water across the US.
Where does Newark tap water come from?
The water source is reservoirs located in West Millford, NJ. It’s about 40 miles northwest of the city. Thanks to the great quality many breweries sprung up along the way. Among others, Anheuser-Busch has a brewery using water from this supply.
New Jersey Water Supply Authority provides water to 1.2 million homes whereof mostly from Spruce Run and Round Valley Reservoirs and the Manasquan Reservoir. Read more on NJWSA.
What is in Newark and New Jersey tap water and who regulates it?
Tap water is regulated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), while bottled water which is a packaged good, is regulated by the FDA. Although both the EPA and FDA have similar quality standards, FDA standards are looser in terms of how often bottled water needs to be tested and they do not require companies to share their test results with consumers.
If you want to know the exact composition of your water then tap water is generally safer.
The challenge in Newark and other places across New Jersey is that the local water supplier and EPA monitors the water coming out of the water plant. They don’t monitor the quality of tap water coming out of each tap. Therefore the only way to know if your water is safe is to test it. However, not even this is sufficient as corrosion and leaching from old pipes can come and off. So while the water is indicated as lead-free one day, there might be high amounts the next.
Another challenge is that not all contaminants are regulated yet. Recent research by OrbMedia found microplastics in 93% of all tap water and 94% of all bottled water in the United States. Now EPA and other organisations are starting to look into it.
In summary, tap water in Newark and most of New Jersey’s public water supply is legally safe to drink when it leaves the plant but many pipes have been found to leach lead. To be on the safe side, use a quality active carbon filter such as TAPP.
What about Bottled water
Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Fiji, Mountain Valley, Pure Life, and Smartwater are some of the most popular bottled waters in New Jersey. But don’t be fooled, the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) concluded that an estimated 25 percent or more of bottled water is just filtered water from public supplies, at a premium price. What’s worse is that due to lack of regulation most bottled water has been found to contain microplastics.
Not only is bottled water a waste of money, it also contributes to the general pollution of our planet.
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.
- Water in Newark and New Jersey is generally safe to drink but due to old pipes there is no guarantee.
- To reduce risk and improve taste get a high-quality water filter such as TAPP.
- Buy a refillable bottle and always keep it filled up with fresh tap water.
- Bottled water is not necessarily safer than tap water. Usually it’s just a waste of money and our nature.
Do you drink tap water in New Jersey? We want your feedback and opinion. Agree or disagree? Tell us!
- New Jersey Water System Authority Website
- Lead reported in Newark water
- Newark Watershed reservoirs
- It could cost billions to fix Newarks water problem
- Newark Water shows high levels of lead
- Lead may be making Newark water poisonous