Safe to Drink from the Tap in Ann Arbor

. August 1, 2017.

The release of the 2016 Ann Arbor Water Quality Report assures residents to feel safe drinking straight from the tap. Brian Steiglitz, Ann Arbor’s manager of water treatment services, oversees water quality testing and treatment and reassuringly, he drinks straight from the tap himself.

Eighty-five percent of the city’s water supply comes from the Huron River with the remaining 15 percent from wells. The water from both sources is blended in the water treatment plant. According to the 2016 Report, Ann Arbor’s drinking water meets or exceeds all state and federal standards with over 140,000 water quality tests performed each year.

The water is treated with three main processes: softening, disinfection and filtration. These processes  destroy harmful bacteria, improve water taste and reduce odors.

Sampling for safety

Depending on the contaminant the city takes samples daily and sometimes even hourly.  For contaminants like perfluorinated compounds (typically associated with the manufacture of carpeting, personal care products, and Teflon cookware) the city water remains 10 times lower than EPA health advisory levels. “The city water utility is continuing to monitor for these compounds as well as other emerging contaminants, and remains steadfast in its effort to provide safe drinking water for its customers,” says Steiglitz.

Some of the main contaminants that the city closely monitors includes lead, copper, and cryptosporidium. 1, 4- Dioxane, an industrial solvent that seeped into area groundwater between 1966 and 1986, is also closely monitored. To date  1,4- Dioxane has never been detected in municipal water.

Extra care

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants than the general population. The Water Quality Report encourages individuals who may have higher risks for infections, like those who have undergone organ transplants, have immune system disorders, the elderly or infants, to seek input from health care providers about ways to reduce exposure to contaminants at levels even below state or federal safety standards.

For more information about Ann Arbor water
treatment and to view the full report visit or call 734-794-6450