Is Atlanta Water Safe To Drink? Empire State of The South

Is Atlanta Water Safe To Drink

Is Atlanta water safe to drink? The sun is sweltering, you are all sweaty, and you only want a glass or more water. 

So do you get water from the tap or go for bottled water? Either way you should be concerned about the water quality in your area of residence.

For residents or tourists in Atlanta, it’s prudent to know the safety of the water you are drinking or using to cook. 

Discover all the information you require regarding Atlanta tap water and how to select the most suitable source for cooking and consuming.

Is Atlanta Water Safe To Drink?

Yes, Atlanta’s tap water is safe to drink, as its water treatment facilities adhere to EPA and secure Drinking Water Act regulations.

However, there remain grounds for concern, including the unpleasant flavor, potential lead leakage, chlorine byproducts, and microplastics. As a precaution, having a point filter is advisable for your safety.

The Source Of Atlanta’s Drinking Water

Atlanta, Georgia, gets its water from various sources, including underground and surface sources. 

The Chattahoochee River, which meanders through north Georgia and along the Alabama-Georgia border, provides most of Atlanta’s water.

The primary water source is the Chattahoochee River for water consumption, electricity generation, and recreational pursuits. 

This enormous river that meanders through three states and provides water for millions of people also harbors wildlife.

Atlanta is among the 8,770 square miles of land that flow into the river; this means that a number of the water catchment areas are polluted due to the river’s immense size. As an Atlanta resident, you have every right to be concerned about the water quality in the municipality. 

Most waste dumped into this river by Atlanta’s millions of residents is initially removed and treated. 

However, when population growth exceeds the capacity of water treatment facilities, effluent overflows frequently remain untreated.

Storms contaminate the river’s potable water with oil, fertilizers and pesticides, tire dust, and other minute plastic particles.  

There are two water treatment facilities in Atlanta. This water treatment facility ensures that water from the Chattahoochee River complies with all federal, state, and local quality and safety standards by purifying and filtration.

The Chattahoochee River provides both surface and groundwater that is potable. Wells drilled deeply into the earth and pumping water out provided a portion of Atlanta’s water. 

Following treatment and purification, the municipality distributes the water to its inhabitants and businesses.

Water Treatment Process In Atlanta

Detoxifying water originating from untreated sources necessitates implementing an intricate procedure involving the utilization of numerous compounds and filters. 

The process begins with coagulation and flocculation, separating the sand, bacteria, soil, and wood from the remaining water.

The subsequent phase involves relocating the water to a sedimentation unit. Particles settle to the bottom of the basin, to form sediment. Later, this waste is moved to a landfill.

The water proceeds to the next stage of the process, filtration, where the sediment is removed. Any more solids are eliminated during filtration, including residual particles and microorganisms in the water.

Chemical purification of the water typically involves the application of chlorine-based solutions. Trace amounts of chlorine remain in the water after it exits the treatment facility to eliminate any pathogens that may have entered.

The water is currently prepared to flow through the city’s pipelines. Water undergoes a comprehensive filtration process to ensure its safety for human consumption by removing contaminants and particulates.

Specific characteristics of the tap water can indicate its quality. Using particular measurements, the objective is to detect hazardous contaminants in water. A reasonable maximum exists for every indication. If the monitor exceeds the threshold, it may indicate an underlying issue.

Standard tap water parameters include:

  • Average pH value of 6.5-8.5
  • Clear water with no contamination
  • Total Dissolved Solids within the range of 50-150 PPM
  • Water hardness. Soft water is preferred for cleaning as it doesn’t leave minerals behind.

Concerns In Atlanta’s Drinking Water

In Atlanta, Georgia, drinking water from the faucet is generally safe. The city of Atlanta conducts inspections and testing on all of its water to ensure it is free from harmful chemicals. 

According to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the EPA, Atlanta’s tap water must meet their standards. 

Atlanta also publishes an annual water quality report that contains the findings of tests and monitoring and provides businesses and residents with a wealth of information regarding tap water quality. 

Specific residential and commercial plumbing systems have the potential to degrade water quality. Tap water and other potable water sources contain microplastics globally, including in Atlanta, Georgia.

The degradation of larger plastic particles can form microplastics, which may comprise detrimental compounds and additional impurities. 

The potential health effects of microplastic consumption are still under investigation by scientists. Most water treatment facilities in the United States do not specifically target microplastics.

Atlanta possesses some of the nation’s finest water. Unlike most municipalities that obtain water from rivers, Atlanta does not test positive for heavy metals such as arsenic and other inorganic compounds.

However, this does not always imply that water devoid of additional contaminants is heavy metal-free. 

Like numerous American communities, pipes installed in residences before the 1980s contain lead components that degrade into the water as time passes.

While disinfectant byproducts may be present in the water, their concentrations should not exceed the permissible limits.

The most recent water quality report from the Department of Watershed Management of the City of Atlanta identifies contaminants in minuscule quantities that comply with government regulations as safe.

Among the most prevalent contaminants discovered in Atlanta’s water are the following:

I) Chemical Byproducts: These substances, alternatively referred to as Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) and Haloacetic Acids (HAA5), result from the chemical reaction between chlorine and organic molecules in water. 

According to the NPDWRs table of the EPA, these byproducts increase the risk of developing cancer. 

Although the action limits for TTHMs and HAA5 are 80 ppb and 60 ppb, respectively, the agency’s public health objective is zero. The water in Atlanta contains 25 to 60 parts per billion of TTHMs and 25 to 43 parts per billion of HAA5.

II) Lead: According to the study, the average lead concentration in Atlanta’s potable water is 2.4 parts per billion (ppb).

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assigns an action limit below which this quantity must remain by the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWRs).

On the other hand, according to the EPA, lead should be absent from potable water. The lead in the tap water of Atlanta is attributable to aging water pipelines.

III) Fluorine: The city of Atlanta introduces lead into the water supply to enhance its residents’ oral health. The fluoride concentration in the water ranges from 0.51% to 0.99% by parts per million (ppm), which is below the EPA’s action target or public health objective of 4 ppm.

Should You Opt For Bottled Water Instead of Tap Water?

Water is a highly versatile beverage in various forms, making staying hydrated throughout the day more straightforward than ever. Bottled water has gained popularity in recent years due to its convenience and health benefits. 

1. Plenty of Options To Choose From

Walking along the water area at the grocery store can be overwhelming at times. It can be challenging to locate the required information due to the abundance of terms in circulation. 

Consider the various options from which one can obtain potable water:

  1. Purified water: Manually filtered or processed to remove impurities. Distillation is among the numerous methods employed for the purification of substances.
  2. Distilled water: Distilled water is purified water that has undergone the boiling process to eliminate any impurities. Non-organic metals or minerals with a boiling point greater than 212°C are instances of such impurities. 

Contaminants fail to evaporate completely at water’s boiling temperature. The distillation process takes place where the water vapor is converted to liquid.

  1. Spring water; According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), spring water originates from an underground deposit through which water travels naturally to the surface. 

The nutrients the water requires are in the sediment through which it flows. Simply stated, spring water must originate from an underground source. 

2. Quality Taste

To comply with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, bottled water must undergo a rigorous legal process.

It has a consistent flavor, in contrast to faucet water. This is because it is bottled in its purest state, minimizing the potential for contaminants and harmful substances to enter during the blending procedure. 

Additionally, one may purchase brands with added flavors as an improved alternative to sugary beverages.

3. Convenience

The majority of people prioritize convenience above all else. Our bodies require two to three liters of water per day to remain healthy and energized; therefore, it is essential to eliminate as many hurdles to water intake as possible. 

The appeal of grab-and-go options is readily apparent. Bottled water is the most practical option due to its availability in various quantities and ease of access.

It is simple to become preoccupied with daily tasks and overlook the criticality of maintaining adequate hydration. 

Busy people frequently consume caffeinated beverages, increasing their frequency of urination and their risk of dehydration. 

Carrying a water container with you throughout the day is a good idea because it provides a physical reminder to drink.


Is Atlanta Water Safe To Drink? The 2020 Water Quality Report for Atlanta concludes that most of the city’s tap water is suitable for human consumption.

However, whether still being determined to tap water or providing it to your consumers is in your best interest is unclear. 

Although the level of microplastics, lead from the pipes, and chlorine byproducts in Atlanta’s tap water is acceptable, that does not always mean drinking is safe.

Install a water filtration system in your residence or place of business. This guarantees you will have access to potable, pristine water. Utilize superior water filtration systems to eliminate any residual impurities.


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