How pure is your tap water?

Altoona, Blair County, Pa. - A national environmental group released a report this week on the quality of the nation's drinking water. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) put together data from almost 50,000 public water systems. The EWG calls its Tap Water Database the most complete source available on the quality of U.S. drinking water.
 
By entering your zip code or the name of your water company, you can find all of the contaminants detected and reported to federal and state regulators. For example, the data show that  during some testing periods, water from Altoona, Johnstown, and State College contained contaminants linked to cancer.
 
The Water Treatment Operations Supervisor for the Altoona Water Authority says all quality concerns are quickly addressed and publicly reported.
 
"Those 8 detects, it could be a big deal, if they were at very, very high levels, but we are required to report that we had a detect to the public and that's what we did," Tobias Nagle says.
 
He adds that the contaminants noted in the EWG report  are associated with the disinfection process for public water supplies.  
 
The supervisor says the most recent tests for lead and copper showed no lead and very little copper.
 
"In spite of our system being as old as some of the other larger cities in America that are experiencing lead issues , in spite of the age issue, we're doing better than we've ever been when it comes to lead and copper," Nagle explained.
 
The EWG report also finds no problem with lead or copper in the Altoona area water supply and Nagle notes that the group's report is compiled from the water authority's data.
 
Nagle says the water system has been in compliance year after year with federal and state water quality standards. The authority has posted its latest water quality report online.
 

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