Is your tap water safe to drink? Here are steps to take to ensure that it is

Posted at 6:00 AM, Aug 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-24 17:19:53-04

(WXYZ) — Many people across metro Detroit may be asking themselves—is my tap water safe to drink?

This question comes following a string of boil water advisories and a chemical spill in metro Detroit this summer.

First, it was a chemical spill in Wixom that forced people to avoid swimming, fishing, or drinking water from the Huron river. Less than two weeks later, there was a water main break in Lake Huron that put nearly one million metro Detroiters under a boil water advisory.

It has since been lifted and it should be safe to sip what’s flowing from your tap, but for some residents like Annie Lawrence trusting the drinking water is safe is not enough.

“How can we trust this system? How can we," she questions.

For peace of mind, she's sticking to bottled water, but experts say there are ways to ensure your tap is safe.

"There is some really good technology out there,” Allen Burton with the School of Environment and Sustanability at the University of Michigan said.

He says under the sink reverse osmosis or RO water filter can help strip toxic pathagens, chemicals, and PFAs. But, installing one isn’t cheap.

“It will probably be close to $500 for the first year,” Burton said.

With additional maintenance costs annually, some people assume a cheaper option would be Brita filters, but Burton says pitchers are designed to improve taste not remove toxins.

“It’s really a four-step process,” Burton said.

Jerald Tiernan with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says the state recommends people to first, identify their water source. Then, get their water tested or look up a water sampling report. Buy filters that address areas of concern and then replace those filters accordingly.

The state also says there are resources available for people who would like a filter and can not afford one.