I've always been a big advocate of bottled and filtered water because I think it simply tastes better. Every morning, I fill up my S'well bottle with the filtered water at my school. Although I could easily fill up my bottle with tap water at my apartment, I don't enjoy the metallic taste it has. So that made me wonder, is tap water safe to drink the United States? 

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 15% of people in the United States use well water, which is primarily groundwater.. The other 85% of the US population gets their water from municipal systems, which may come from surface sources such as rivers and lakes.

People who have their own wells must test their tap water regularly, which can be costly. However, well water has its upsides because municipal water takes a long journey through underground pipes, below city streets, and finally through the pipes in homes and into your faucet. 

In fact, the EPA monitors all public water systems and enforces health standards in regard to contaminants. While tap water might meet strict safety standards, this doesn't necessarily mean it's totally free of contaminants. Instead, it just means these contaminants likely don't pose any serious health risks.

If your tap water has a metallic taste, this could be caused by lower pH levels or old, rusty pipes. Metals like iron, zinc, and copper are all types of water contaminants that can cause that unwanted hint of metal.

While iron and zinc tend to have no ill side effects, water contaminated with lead can be seriously toxic. The best way to avoid consuming lead from tap water is to let the water run for a minute before using it and to only use water from the cold tap for drinking and cooking. If you're really concerned, you can always get your tap water tested. 

We've all been warned not to drink the tap water in Mexico because you can get some serious digestive problems. Interestingly, it's not because the water is actually "dirty," but because it has different bacteria than the tap water we're used to in the US.

Contrary to popular belief, New York City is known to have some of the cleanest and most delicious tap water in America. This is because more than 1 billion gallons of mineral-rich water travel over 125 miles from carefully guarded Catskill Mountains reservoirs each day. 

What makes for great tap water involves a pristine source, careful testings, and high-tech filtration and treatment. Overall, tap water is relatively safe in the United States because it's constantly monitored by the EPA and is routinely checked. 

Metallic tastes don't necessarily mean your water is contaminated, but you can always get it checked out if you're really concerned or want to improve the overall taste. And if that still doesn't convince you, invest in a Brita, or move to New York City.