You already know that tap water is a cheaper and more eco-friendly way to stay hydrated, but is that water flowing from your faucet really safe for your family to drink? Just because your city’s water is fine for you doesn’t necessarily mean you should trust it for your children and pets. Read on to learn how you can tell if it’s safe to ditch the bottled water for good.

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Have Your Water Tested

A simple and effective way to assess the quality of your water is to have it tested. You can purchase testing kits in stores and online or take your water samples to a research lab in person. If your source of water is a private well, it’s especially important to have it tested regularly. Some state and local governments offer free water testing for well users.

Use a Filtering System

Did you know that many popular brands of drinking water are just filtered tap water? A filtering system is an affordable way to get bottled water quality from your faucet at home. Filter options range from pitchers that you store in your refrigerator to powerful water treatment systems that can filter water for your entire home. Which one you should choose depends on whether you need to filter out minerals and contaminants or you just want your water to taste better.

Evaporate the Chlorine

Is excess chlorine your biggest water woe? If so, you can remove the taste and smell of chlorine by simply leaving your drinking water in a pitcher overnight so it can evaporate out. Chlorine is a harmless gas used to kill bacteria in municipal water supplies, but it can make water taste unpleasant and causes mild heartburn in some people.

Check Your Water Report

Public water facilities are required to give their customers a water quality report each year. These reports are free and detail all the contaminants found in the water supply along with whether the facility passed or failed inspections. If your tap water received a low grade, don’t worry too much. You water is likely still safe with a little extra precaution like filtering or boiling.

Although most tap water in the United States is safe enough for your children and pets to drink, some water sources are too contaminated to use for drinking. However, you don’t have to resort to giving your family bottled water. Consider subscribing to a water service that brings you a large, reusable cooler instead.