The ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan -- where lead contamination has created a public health nightmare -- is a stark reminder that getting good water isn't always as simple as turning on your faucet. Even in cities with high-quality tap water, there are bound to be contaminants that don't get filtered out by the treatment process, or are even byproducts of the treatment process itself.
It's useful to be aware of these contaminants, not just to keep you up at night, but because you can often buy filters tailored to your specific concerns. Using the Environmental Working Group's municipal tap water contaminant guide, we pulled out some of the most common contaminants, what they do, and where you're most likely to find them.
Where it's a problem: Flint, Michigan; Baltimore, Maryland; Oakland, California; and Fresno, California.
What it does: Lead is a heavy metal that can be found in all parts of our environment, including the soil, air, and water. It gets there through corroded plumbing, manufacturing, mining, and burning fossil fuels.