A women looking at a glass of water, questioning the quality

Clean and safe drinking water is essential for our health and well-being. However, it's not always guaranteed that the water flowing from our taps is of the highest quality. Tap water can contain various contaminants, such as chemicals, bacteria, or heavy metals, which may have adverse effects on our health. That's why it's crucial to regularly test the quality of your tap water to ensure it meets the required standards. By knowing the quality of your tap water, you’ll also have a better understanding of the level of filtration that is needed in your home. If you water is particularly bad, we recommend a reverse osmosis water filter system. On the other hand, if the water quality in your home is good, a undersink carbon filter or a whole house filter may be sufficient. In this article, we will explore different methods to test the quality of your tap water and empower you to make informed decisions about the water you consume. Let's dive in and learn how to test the quality of your tap water effectively.


  1. Water Quality Reports: 

This is a great starting point when wanting to get details about your source water. It’s fast and free!  Public water suppliers are required to provide annual Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR) or Water Quality Reports. These reports offer valuable information about the quality of the water supplied to your area, including its source, treatment methods, and any detected contaminants. One reliable resource for accessing water quality reports is the Environmental Working Group's website, ewg.org.

Here's how you can access water quality reports through ewg.org:

  1. Visit ewg.org:
    1. Go to ewg.org, the official website of the Environmental Working Group.
  2. Find the Tap Water Database:
    1. Navigate to the "Tap Water Database" section on the website. This database provides access to water quality reports for different areas across the United States.
  3. Enter Your Location:
    1. Use the search function to enter your location, such as your city, ZIP code, or the name of your water utility.
    2. The website will display the available water quality reports related to your area.
  4. Explore the Water Quality Report:
    1. Click on the specific report relevant to your location to access detailed information about your tap water quality.
    2. Review the report to understand the source of your water, treatment processes, and any contaminants detected.

By utilizing the resources provided by ewg.org, you can easily access and comprehend the water quality reports for your area. These reports help you stay informed about the safety and quality of your tap water, enabling you to make informed decisions and take any necessary actions to ensure the well-being of your household.

Note: Apart from ewg.org, you can also check the website of your local water utility or contact them directly to obtain the Consumer Confidence Reports or Water Quality Reports specific to your area.


  1. At-Home Water Testing Kits

Water Testing Kits: One of the easiest and most convenient ways to test the quality of your tap water is by using an at-home water testing kits. These kits are designed to provide quick and reliable results in the comfort of your own home. They typically include a range of tests to detect common contaminants and provide valuable insights into your water's composition.

Here are a few highly recommended water testing kits:

  • Watersafe Drinking Water Test Kit: Tests for contaminants such as lead, bacteria, pesticides, chlorine, and more.
    1. Available at Amazon


3. Laboratory Testing: 

While at-home water testing kits can provide valuable insights into your tap water quality, for a more comprehensive analysis, you may consider utilizing the services of a certified laboratory. Professional laboratory testing offers accurate and detailed results, especially for a wide range of contaminants that may not be included in standard water testing kits.

Here are some trusted lab test options for home consumers:

  1. My Tap Score
    • They offer an easy to use testing kits, which allows you to take a sample of your home water and mail it in for a complete test. They offers a variety of water testing packages, which allows you to test any source water, including city water, well water, rain water and even spring water. The core test, which costs $160 will test for 47 different fertilizers, heavy metals and inorganic compounds. The extended test, which costs $675, tests an incredible 118 different contaminants, even including radioactive particles. 
    • To lean more, visit their website: My Tap Score

When opting for laboratory testing, you will typically need to collect a water sample as per the provided instructions. The sample will then be sent to the laboratory for analysis. The laboratory will provide a detailed report outlining the presence and concentration of various contaminants in your tap water.

Laboratory testing offers a thorough assessment of your water quality and can be particularly beneficial if you have specific concerns or suspect the presence of certain contaminants. It provides peace of mind and helps you make informed decisions about the necessary steps to ensure the safety of your tap water.


4. Local Health Departments

ocal Health Department: Another valuable resource for testing the quality of your tap water is your local health department. These departments play a vital role in ensuring public health and often offer water testing services or can direct you to certified laboratories in your area.

Here's how you can benefit from your local health department's water testing services:

  1. Contacting the Local Health Department:
    1. Look up the contact information for your local health department. This information can typically be found on their official website or by contacting your city or county government office.
    2. Reach out to the health department via phone or email and inquire about their water testing programs or services.
  2. Water Testing Programs:
    1. Many local health departments organize water testing programs periodically to assess the quality of tap water within their jurisdiction.
    2. Inquire if they offer any such programs and learn about the specific contaminants they test for.
    3. Follow their instructions on how to collect and submit a water sample for testing.
  3. Certified Laboratory Referrals:
    1. If the local health department doesn't provide direct testing services, they can often refer you to certified laboratories in your area.
    2. Request information on recommended laboratories and ask for any specific instructions or requirements for water sample collection and submission.

Utilizing the resources provided by your local health department ensures that you receive accurate and reliable information about your tap water quality. They have the expertise and knowledge to guide you through the process and address any concerns you may have.

Remember, ensuring the safety of your tap water is crucial for the health and well-being of you and your family. By exploring the services offered by your local health department, you can take proactive steps to assess and maintain the quality of the water you consume.

  1. State or Environmental Agencies: 

In addition to the resources mentioned earlier, state or environmental agencies play a vital role in monitoring and regulating water quality. These agencies often provide valuable information and resources to help consumers understand the quality of their tap water.

Here's how you can access state-specific water quality information:

  1. State Environmental Agency Websites:
    • Visit the official website of your state's environmental agency.
    • Look for sections or resources related to water quality, drinking water, or public health.
  2. Water Quality Information:
    • Explore the provided resources to access water quality information relevant to your state.
    • Look for details on water sources, treatment processes, and any known contaminants in your area.
  3. Additional Guidance:
    • Many state environmental agencies offer guidance on water testing, treatment options, and steps to address specific water quality concerns.
    • Take advantage of these resources to gain further insights and support in ensuring the safety of your tap water.

By accessing state-specific water quality information through environmental agency websites, you can stay informed about any specific concerns or issues related to your area's water supply. These agencies work diligently to monitor water quality and provide guidance to promote public health and safety.


 Testing the quality of your tap water is an essential step towards ensuring the safety of your drinking water. In this article, we have explored various methods to test tap water quality, including water testing kits, laboratory testing, local health departments, water quality reports, and state or environmental agency resources. By utilizing these resources and understanding the information they provide, you can make informed decisions about the water you consume.

Remember, the quality of tap water can vary, and it is crucial to stay proactive in monitoring and addressing any potential issues. Regular testing, whether through convenient at-home kits or certified laboratory services, helps identify contaminants and allows you to take appropriate measures to protect your health.

Additionally, take advantage of the resources provided by local health departments, water quality reports from public water suppliers, and state or environmental agencies. These sources of information offer valuable insights into the specific quality of your tap water and guide you in making informed choices.

By prioritizing the testing and monitoring of your tap water, you contribute to the well-being of yourself and your family. Stay vigilant, stay informed, and ensure the quality and safety of the water you consume every day.