10 Cities With the Worst Water in The U.S.

One of the most perplexing questions that leave us without an answer involves water. In a nation with a gross domestic product greater than $20 trillion, how are multiple cities with more than 50,000 people unable to get drinkable water? Relying on news stories, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data, and other metrics, we’ve identified the ten cities with the worst water in the US.

1. Flint and Detroit, Michigan

FLINT, MI - AUGUST 22: Flint, MI, whose downtown is shown here on August 22, 2015, recently elected Dr. Karen Weaver as their first female mayor.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The Flint water crisis has been the canary in the coal mine for aging infrastructure throughout the United States. The City of Flint changed its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River in 2014. This switch, in combination with aging pipes and failure to administer a lead-reducing additive called orthophosphate, left Flint residents drinking poisoned water.

Since President Obama drank “filtered tap water” in Flint in 2016 (did he really, though?), it’s become clear that Michigan has a water infrastructure problem. Years of corruption (usually at the cost of investments in infrastructure) and the erosion of the tax base have contributed to lead and other horrifying contaminants in the tap water in Detroit and several other cities throughout Michigan.

2. Brady, Texas

A collection of captivating drone photographs showcasing the charming town of Brady, Texas, highlighting its unique landmarks, architecture, and picturesque landscapes
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Brady, Texas, may not suffer from the usual waterborne hazards caused by corroding lead pipes, but its water contains something just as disturbing. Many residents in Brady don’t drink tap water because it comes from wells with dangerous levels of radium. That’s right; the naturally occurring radioactive metal has made its way into the water in Brady and other cities throughout Texas.

3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The City of Pittsburgh hired a water consultancy called Veolia in 2012, knowing that the agency’s mission would be to cut costs. One of the results of cost-cutting measures was a spike in lead levels in Pittsburgh’s water supply, due in part to a reduction in anti-erosion chemicals meant to keep lead particles from entering the ever-running water flows.

The city detected lead levels in 2016 that were more than one and a half times above the federal limit. Pittsburghers continue to face regular boil-water advisories and surely have continued questions about what’s in their water.

4. Pensacola, Florida

Blue Wahoo's Stadium Pensacola, FL
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A study from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) ranked Pensacola, FL, as having the worst-quality water of any city in the United States. Among the alarming chemicals found in Pensacola’s water were cyanide, chloroform, and lead. When in Pensacola, stick with Pepsi-Cola.

5. Las Vegas, NV

A young man photographs a panorama of the city with the alleys of Las Vegas
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

When local news stations publish stories proclaiming that your city’s water “is still safe to drink,” it’s a cue that you should stick with bottled water during your bachelor party weekend. Vegas may not have the most toxic water in America, but its status as a popular tourist destination means its sketchy water warrants attention.

In 2022, wildfires and flash flooding forced Vegas’s politicians to rely on backup water supplies and temporary treatment systems. This has led many in Las Vegas to drink tap water cautiously and, in some cases, not drink tap water at all.

6. Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Houston is one of America’s largest cities, yet residents reportedly do not trust the quality of their drinking water. Their suspicions are rooted in evidence and experience, as environmental testers have found elevated lead levels in the drinking water of several Houston homes. While lead in water may not be rare in the United States, it is inexcusable for the fourth-most populous city in the country.

7. Riverside, California

Sunset aerial view of historic downtown Riverside, California.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Riverside is another city that the EWG condemns for having water laden with unsafe chemicals at unacceptable levels, including but not limited to uranium. Dangerous uranium exposure can contribute to respiratory disease, organ failure, and other life-threatening health conditions.

8. Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi, USA skyline over the Capitol Building.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Jackson, Mississippi, one of the poorest state capitals in the United States, has recently made headlines because of its poor water quality. While the national spotlight has since been redirected towards submarines and other issues, the people of Jackson still grapple with outages, leaking pipes that dump 5 million gallons per day, brown water, and water that requires boiling even when it appears to be the right color.

9. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Autumn in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Another Rust Belt city that has suffered from the death of American industry and the flight of its tax base, Milwaukee suffers from the crumbling infrastructure so common in the Midwest manufacturing cities. That infrastructure includes corroding lead water lines that will reportedly take 70 years to replace.

10. East Palestine, Ohio

EAST PALESTINE, OH - Circa Feb 2023: The rising smoke cloud after authorities released chemicals from a train derailment as seen from the ground in a nearby neighborhood. Photo credit: RJ Bobin.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

In the wake of American leaders’ decision to burn five tank cars’ worth of toxic vinyl chloride over East Palestine, Ohiothe official line is that the water in East Palestine is “safe to drink,” despite speculation that the vinyl chloride may have seeped into water sources.

After all, thousands of fish in the area died immediately following the chemical spill and toxic burn, the soil was irreparably contaminated, and residents suffered severe health effects as they lived under toxic clouds. If you have any sense and have yet to relocate from East Palestine, you’ll buy bottled water for the foreseeable future.

More From Savoteur

Two girls holding a banner with word guns strikethrough. Women holding sign that says not guns at a rally.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Firearm fatalities continue to be a pressing issue in the United States, with certain states bearing the brunt of this tragic problem. Here, we present a list of the ten most dangerous states, highlighting their firearm fatality statistics and shedding light on the contributing factors.

The 10 States With The Most Firearm Fatalities: Is Yours The Worst?

Put on Your Lifejackets 14 US Cities That Will Be Underwater by 2050

Young African American afro woman with curly hair wearing orange protection lifejacket shocked covering mouth with hands for mistake. Secret concept.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Climate change is a growing concern across the globe, and one of its most significant threats is rising sea levels. With each passing year, the risk of flooding and coastal erosion becomes greater. According to a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, 15 U.S. cities could be underwater by 2050. Here is a list of those cities and what’s at stake for each.

Put on Your Lifejackets: 14 U.S. Cities That Will Be Underwater by 2050

12 Dangerous Countries for Travelers To Beware of Before Booking a Flight

scared woman
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

I have been lucky enough to live on four continents and experience many of the world’s different cultures. While I agree that in every country you will find a majority of good people, there are some places that present a threat to visitors.

Sadly, economic, religious, and meteorological factors can lead to volatile or unsafe societies. A recent online post shares these twelve countries one should research before visiting.

12 Dangerous Countries for Travelers To Beware of Before Booking a Flight

15 of the Worst Cities in America To Avoid at All Costs

Displeased angry woman blocking offer, showing
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The United States is home to many of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world. Unfortunately, it’s also home to cities in steep decline due to increases in poverty, homelessness, and violent and property crimes. 

While there are many safe towns and cities in the U.S., some online users from a social media discussion board believe there are some you should avoid.

15 of the Worst Cities in America To Avoid at All Costs

These Are the 12 Most Dangerous Lakes in the United States

young stylish sexy hipster woman on vacation, aviator sunglasses, crazy funny face, amazed, shocked, surprised, shaggy hair, happy, smiling, enjoying sun, tropical island blue lagoon landscape
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Some of the world’s most breathtaking lakes are in the United States. Yet, not all lakes are created equal, and some are downright dangerous. These 12 lakes make it to the list of the most dangerous lakes in the U.S.

These Are the 12 Most Dangerous Lakes in the United States


6 of the Most Fascinating Airplane Seat Mates Story 6 Travel Experiences That Will Actually Excite You Story Tourist Traps: 6 Travel Destinations That Exceeded Expectations Story 10 Best Jobs for 15-Year-Olds: Make Money Before Graduate Story 6 of the Worst Mistakes People Have Made While Traveling Story