For the last decade, the question has been on basically every Oklahoma resident’s mind: can I drink the water from my faucet?
If you’ve spent any time in the region or especially if you’re a long-time resident, you already know that many have decided that the question isn’t even worth considering, opting instead to have their water either delivered or purchasing water bottles for their household. However, the debate is still important to consider, and it doesn’t have an easy answer.
How could it be unsafe?
First, let’s discuss the reasons that many are so unsure about Oklahoma drinking water in the first place. Basically every state in the country – not to mention the world – has its own debate over drinking water. But Oklahoma’s has been a more specific discussion, mainly due to natural gas fracking and other, naturally occurring environmental factors.
According to the Norman Transcript’s interview with water expert Dr. David Sabatini, there are definitely some legitimate concerns about Oklahoma’s water, but none of them concern him, at least not anymore.
For many years, Oklahoma was receiving most of its water from groundwater, which, especially in the Oklahoma City and Norman areas, does have naturally occurring, harmful pollutants such as arsenic and chromium.
Of the many pollutants brought up around both the state and country, none are more frequently talked about than chromium-6 in Oklahoma, a chemical element and metal often found in stainless steel.
What does this mean for Oklahoma water?
Rightly so, the debate over whether there were harmful chemicals – like chromium-6, arsenic, or even lead – in Oklahoma water has continued for many years. According to the OU Daily, the manager of Norman’s water treatment center has confirmed that yes, there are pollutants in Oklahoma groundwater as well as other supplies, but they are typically at such low levels that they aren’t anything to worry about.
The truth of that matter is that all tap water has some level of chemicals in it, whether naturally occurring or added by the state to meet federal cleaning standards. The word “chemical” can be scary, but it’s not always a bad thing.
Years ago, these pollutants might have been an issue, but now, the water treatment plants are at an extremely high standard. In Norman, the water treatment plant spends $30 million a year to ensure residents are completely safe to drink and use their water at home.
Dr. Sabatini, whose entire career has been spent focusing on groundwater and contamination in the United States, says that he drinks the water from his Oklahoma faucet every day, and he believes he can give no stronger endorsement.
So, if you’re here wondering if you can drink Oklahoma water, the answer is yes. Pollutants and chemicals are naturally found in water sources, but the capabilities of treatment centers have never been better, and are still continuing to improve.
If Oklahoma water’s current safety is the good news, the great news that follows is that it’s only getting safer. Making water entirely free of all chemicals – not just in Oklahoma, but anywhere – isn’t feasible yet, as residents wouldn’t be able to even afford the water. But with technology advancing as well as the Environmental Protection Agency working constantly to monitor and update their guidelines, we’re getting there.
The research team at the water treatment centers throughout Oklahoma is also continuing to work to find better, more cost-effective ways to get rid of pollutants, which will only help to lower those until the percentage is virtually zero.
While your Oklahoma tap water is safe to drink, we completely understand why you might still feel cautious. That’s why we offer custom water delivery to suit your needs, as well as water custom labeled for your events and company! Visit our website to learn more on our artesian well water or contact us at (405) 366-1344 to learn more.