Why Some Americans Stopped Drinking Their Tap Water

September 2020

Many residents of Martin County, Ky., now rely on bottled water, after years of infrastructure mismanagement

Florene Reed always makes sure there’s enough bottled water for her teenage grandson, even if that means making do herself with tap water that causes a burning sensation in her stomach.

Reed, 63, grew up drinking the crystalline water from wells and local springs dotted throughout the Appalachian Mountains in Martin County, but she switched to bottled while raising her own family amid safety fears linked to coal mining and mismanagement at the utility.

She’s not alone: Ninety-six percent of residents rely primarily on bottled water for drinking, and only 56 percent use tap water for cooking, according to a recent study by the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

The tap water smells strongly of chlorine, like a swimming pool, and residents frequently report problems with bad taste, discoloration, sediment, and irritated or burning skin after bathing.

Read the story here: https://www.consumerreports.org/water-quality/why-some-americans-stopped...