Cities With The Best And Safest Drinking Water In America

People don't usually think about tap water – it's a necessity of life that is easily available. But it's anything but basic. Drinking water not just hydrogen and oxygen; it has minerals and chemicals, some of which can be very harmful.[slideshow:88070]

Many people opt  for bottled water, but it is not as heavily regulated or tested as tap water. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set standards for drinking water quality and oversees the states, localities, and water suppliers who implement those standards.

The U.S. has one of the safest water supplies in the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are 286 million Americans who get their water from a community water system. About 8 percent of them provide water to 82 percent of the population.

The water varies from place to place, depending on the condition of the source water from which it is drawn and the treatment – which can include chlorine or ozone – it receives.

The cities on the following list are based on the winners of the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, nicknamed the "Academy Awards of Water," which is the largest water tasting competition in the world. A study evaluating drinking water in major cities, conducted by the University of Cincinnati, has also been taken into consideration.

New York, for example, has been known as the city with some of the best tap water, which comes from the Catskill Mountains. But the study says more needs to be done. Also, the water can get contaminated once it moves into the pipes that supply homes, according to reports. An investigation revealed that the water towers sitting atop tens of thousands of buildings are laden with bacteria like E. coli and coliform.

Click here to see the 15 Cities with the Best and Safest Drinking Water in America

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