Water Safety

To protect citizens’ health, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) since 1974 has set national safety standards for drinking water.

As the nation’s largest publicly traded water service providers, American Water takes that responsibility very seriously. In addition to working closely with the USEPA and state authorities to ensure that the water we provide customers meets federal and state safety standards, our researchers help the USEPA develop its standards and regulations.

We consistently score among the highest of all water companies when it comes to complying with strict federal regulations for delivering clean, quality drinking water with a current score of greater than 99% for drinking water compliance.

Additionally, over the past several years, and all over the country, we’ve received more than 150 awards for superior water quality from state regulators, industry organizations, individual communities, and government and environmental agencies.

Read the water quality report for your area.


Chlorine Taste & Odor

  • Chlorine is added to water for our customers’ protection and is used as a disinfectant to ensure that harmful organisms, such as \bacteria and viruses, are destroyed in the treatment process.
  • An increased chlorine odor is typically associated with disinfectants reacting with organic materials in water (like decaying leaves), not an indication that the levels of disinfectant are too high.
  • Our water quality staff continually test water samples throughout our systems to confirm that levels of disinfection are within the required range. 
  • Further contributing to heightened chlorine taste and odor is the fact that during winter months when the water is much colder, air bubbles are more easily trapped in tap water and can also contribute to the smell being more noticeable as those entrapped air bubbles are released and reach our noses.
  • If you wish to remove chlorine from your tap water, please keep in mind that once chlorine is removed, it is like any other perishable food and should be refrigerated and/or consumed as quickly as possible. Here are a few ways to remove the taste and/or smell of chlorine from tap water:
    • Place water in a glass container in the refrigerator overnight uncovered. This will allow the chlorine to dissipate at a faster pace.
    • Add a lemon slice or a few drops of lemon juice to a glass of drinking water.
    • Use a home water filter that removes chlorine, but be sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for maintaining the device, as improperly maintained water filters can actually reduce, rather than improve, the quality of your drinking water.