Is your tap water safe to drink?


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A new report claims to find cancer-causing contaminants in tap water across the country.

According to the report, which was recently released by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG), Richmond and Chesterfield County each had six contaminants detected above health guidelines, while Henrico County had nine.

EWG does say, though, that the water complies with federal health standards.

We reached out to the state office of drinking water who gave us a detailed process of what measures they follow to ensure safe drinking water, saying they continue to follow standards established by state and federal law.

8News decided to ask a local expert if the water should be considered safe.

“Are there things that are bad for you in the water? Certainly. You can never have absolutely perfect water, it’s never going to happen,” said Alex Cordesman, a water tester for the environmental lab AmeriSci.

Cordesman says treating water inevitably creates the contaminants identified in the report, but he says it’s much safer than the alternative, pointing to places that decided against treating their water.

“When they did this, the amount of bacterial infections caused by unsafe drinking water skyrocketed,” said Cordesman, which he said leads to a number of deaths.

He says comparatively the chances of getting cancer are so low in Virginia’s tap water, he considers it safe to drink himself and if you are worried he says there’s a simple solution.

“They are so easy to remove that if you are concerned about it anyway, it’s a $20 filter,” Cordesman said.

Click here for a look at the full report.

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