Charm City has darn good tap water which is so nice to know because more of us are hitting the tap and forgoing plastic bottled water. You should also know it’s smart to filter your home’s tap water because it contains unavoidable chlorine byproducts that form between the water plant and your tap. The good news is that simple carbon filters help make your water healthy and tasty and many convenient options are available.
Baltimore City supplies drinking water to 1.8 million Baltimore City homes and even to parts of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard Counties. Our drinking water meets all federal water safety standards.
A big thanks for Baltimore’s clean drinking water supply goes to Abel Wolman, a forward-thinking water engineer. In 1922, Wolman urged the city to purchase the land surrounding our watersheds. Now the rain and snowmelt that fills up the city’s three reservoirs are filtered through forested areas that are relatively free of industrial pollution. Cleaner water into the water treatment plants means even cleaner water going to your tap. We’re lucky because some large metro areas have lousy drinking water.
You may still want to filter your tap water because of unintended chlorine byproducts. A smidge of chlorine is added to water leaving treatment plants, and the chlorine reacts with organic matter in the pipes and forms chlorine byproducts. Byproducts aren’t good for people to drink, especially kids and babies.
Reading Baltimore’s 2013 Baltimore Water Quality report you’ll notice the chlorine byproducts hover right below the legal limit. Scientific research suggests that long term exposure to chlorine byproducts through drinking and skin inhalation (hot showers) is linked to higher bladder cancer rates in people.
Filtering drinking water with activated carbon filters is easy and eliminates chlorine byproducts and chlorine. The basic filter options are pitcher-type filters, under-sink filters or a whole house filter. Check out this good water filter guide to help you choose the right type. It really depends on your level of risk-taking as to which filter to choose. Whole house filters ensure your hot showers use filtered water, under sink mounted types filter the cold water line and pitchers are for just pouring drinks.
Fun fact: Baltimore City’s Department of Works is housed in the Abel Wolman Municipal Building.