Dive into the mind of a typical Los Angeles resident and you will find, somewhere hidden behind the checklist for best taco trucks, an unwritten and unspoken rule that must be obeyed.
Thou shall never, EVER drink the tap water.
This rule is so serious that on any given day you will see random men and women walking the streets carrying a gallon of water with them. The recycling industry here is big business just because nearly everyone drinks water from plastic containers which are worth 5 cent each. There are even water stores where people go to refill their water jugs instead of buying bottled water.
But is this unspoken rule really necessary? Let’s take a look at a report from the California Department of Health that contains a list of contaminants found in California drinking water compared to the rest of the US. The amount of contamination in the water is measured in MCL’s (Maximum Contaminant Levels).
As you can see from the screen shot above, traces of Aluminum found in the California water are slightly higher than the rest of the US. On every other contaminant listed, California ranks less than or equal to the average level of contaminants in water across the entire continental United States.
In a 2015 report issued by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power:
The city’s water meets or surpasses the highest Federal and State drinking water standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the State of California, State Water Resources Control Board – Division of Drinking Water (SWRCB-DDW).
The tap water in California is just as safe to drink as any other part of the nation yet, here in LA, you will be hard pressed to find someone who would dare to drink it.
When in Rome. I guess.
Apr 9, 2015 at 4:52 pm
That report is WAY outdated. The most recent date on it is 2006… Really??
Jun 27, 2016 at 5:35 am
Look just below the title for the California Department of Health’s report: “LAST UPDATED JULY 2014”
Jul 23, 2015 at 1:37 am
Really??? Fluoride it’s self is a brain poison! If it’s safe I suggest you drink it buddy!
Apr 29, 2016 at 12:22 am
Not in amounts found in tap water AND natural aquifers.
Fluoride was added to tap water because it was associated with beneficial dental health effects in areas it was naturally present in water. The data are clear. If you think fluoridized water is a health risk you are anti-science.
Apr 15, 2016 at 11:22 pm
I immediately get sick when I drink Los Angeles tap water. I don’t care how many reports say this water is safe to drink — it isn’t. I’ve lived in Northern California and New York and always used to drink the tap water in those two places. I was born in Los Angeles and have lived here most of my life. If this water was generally safe to drink, my body would have adjusted to it after so many years. I do know some people who do drink the tap water. I presume they have iron guts. If I recall correctly, back around 1950 a color documentary was made about the Los Angeles tap water and how it was constantly going to be treated and recycled into the future. The person being interviewed for the film was involved with instituting this water treatment plan. They explained that the recycled water would probably be safe to drink for maybe a generation, but after that the water would become more and more dangerous and deadly.
Apr 29, 2016 at 12:23 am
LA tap water is among the highest rated quality in the country. It’s in your head.
Apr 21, 2016 at 6:05 am
The times just did an article saying LA tap wat has ten percent anti depressants and they don’t filter for them.
Apr 29, 2016 at 12:19 am
You are all insane. LA tap water has won awards for its potability.
The only people who fear it are hipster transplants and stuck up Westsiders.
Mar 1, 2018 at 7:00 am
DUDE. SHUT THE **** UP.
May 16, 2016 at 2:12 am
i wont drink tap water anywhere – I’m from London UK and never drank tap water – ALWAYS bottled water – just don’t trust the idea that its recycled pee * shudders* so it’s not change for me at all
Jul 27, 2018 at 1:42 am
I dont see any figures for TCP which is said to be in Los Angeles drinking water. Don’t mislead people. Do your research instead of posting just to earn ad revenue.
Jan 16, 2019 at 8:42 am
We Californians want water that ‘Tastes Good’. Not jus healthy. The tap water here in Sacramento tastes like chlorine.
Jan 30, 2019 at 11:25 am
I don’t know whether it is safe / unsafe to drink tap water in California. I am living in CA for last 8 moths. As Jak said I am also drinking water from the water stores and bottled water. however, I am using tap water for cooking food. I don’t know if it is having any noticable side effects in my body. But one thing I noticed about tap water is because I am using it for bathing and its making my skin dry and my hair thinner. Is it just occurring to me or is it something wrong with water?
Mar 26, 2019 at 3:21 pm
Ukesh, it isn’t just you. No one ever seems to mention the fact that the water in Southern California is extremely hard from treatment, and it’s been getting harder and harder as more and more development is built in the state. If you’re not cleaning your water heater and other faucets you’re probably reacting to all the minerals in it. I’ve seen a major improvement in my daily showers and even my clothes since regularly cleaning our on demand water heater. I wouldn’t know how to get this done in an apartment, unfortunately, as I live in a single family home.
May 9, 2019 at 4:57 am
Jak we get it. You get paid to defend and promote LA tap water. But it’s crap. Get over it.
May 29, 2019 at 2:17 pm
I’ve never had an issue with La water, does it taste odd? Maybe. Is that true in every major city? People seem to think so. I say fall back on the science and not your tastebuds. I use a filter to reduce flavor issues for drinking, but straight up tap for everything’s else and I am just fine. (It is very hard though, my aquarium water testing kit tells me this every week, but if my fish are fine so are the rest of us).
Jun 5, 2019 at 2:18 pm
Isn’t tap water and water bottle the same thing as water