American Water’s treatment and delivery of water is an intricate and involved process. From the moment water begins the journey from its source through our highly sophisticated plants, into underground pipes and to its final destination, our teams of professional scientists and plant operators oversee its passage. We closely monitor its movement and quality, testing it frequently.
Each year, we conduct nearly one million tests and measurements using the most advanced technology and equipment available. Our scientists test water samples from across the country to protect against viruses, microbes, hazardous chemicals, algae, metals, minerals and other potential contaminants.
We’ve earned national acclaim for tests conducted to detect and fight Cryptosporidium, a dangerous parasite found in lakes and rivers that can cause serious gastrointestinal illness. Since 1993, American Water's scientists have been awarded three patents for Cryptosporidium research.
From the time source water from a lake, stream or reservoir enters one of our treatment plants, until it flows through your tap, it goes through five basic treatment steps: