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Tap water…where does it come from?

Updated: Sep 13, 2022

Millions of people fill their glasses every day with tap water from their faucet. Have you ever thought about where exactly it comes from?

For many, the source of your drinking water may or may not enter your mind on a daily basis. However, for me, I think about it often. I know I spend crazy money for bottled mineral water because it is good for you as well as using water from my tap. But what about those of us who don’t think about where it comes from? Let’s take a look at a typical county and where the water comes from.

What is the original source of our tap water?

Most of our freshwater supply comes from rain and snow which runs into rivers, lakes, and streams. These surface water sources may come from many miles away, even over 100 miles in some cases. The rest of it comes from groundwater that has seeped into the soil. It is stored naturally in aquifers which are natural formations of soil, rock, and sand beneath

the ground. We access this groundwater by pumping it out of the natural underground springs with a well.

The water collected from these natural resources is pumped to a treatment plant where it is screened, cleaned, filtered, and disinfected. It is then pumped to local storage tanks or towers across the county where it is distributed by flowing through service pipes to homes and businesses.

Although tap water is deemed safe by the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Standards when it leaves the treatment center, it can become contaminated by old pipes. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to filter your water before drinking if possible. There are many ways to filter water these days and you will need to research what is best for your personal situation. You may want to consider having your water tested by a private water testing service to understand your particular water cleanliness and what it contains.

What if I have a private well as my water source?

Personally, I have drank well water most of my life. I

love the fresh taste. However, there are other things

that we must consider when drinking well water or groundwater.

We must take into consideration what is near our wells? Livestock, crops, and septic systems can have an indirect effect on our well water. Things we can’t see that seep into

the soils like pesticides and fertilizers may be in the same aquifer that my well is using. I would suggest having well water on a regular basis as well as adding water filtration system to your home.


For a more detailed explanation check out "Where does our drinking water actually come from?" Written by Abby Quillen in partnership with Waterlogic and Ghergich & Co.

Want to learn more about this topic? Check out “10 Things You Need To Know About Land.” An excellent resource to add to your real estate, home, or office library... or just carry as a pocket guide!


Cheryl L. Sain has been in the real estate industry for over 20 years and has executed thousands of land transactions with investors, developers, national builders, and individuals.


This information is provided as-is and does not in any way make or imply any guarantees as to an outcome. You will need to evaluate the information herein and consult appropriate professionals such as surveyors, attorneys, tax accountants, or any other professional agencies or broker-in-charge to acquire the information and guidance you need to help you make the decision that is best for you.


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