GREENSBORO, N.C. -- We all need water to cook, to clean and most definitely to drink - but what's the safest way to drink it?
2 Wants To Know is taking a look at tap, filtered and bottled water, after the city of Greensboro found traces of a new chemical in its water supply.
The city says new testing has found higher than normal levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate, known as PFOS or PFOA. Officials say it's a man-made chemical, similar to Gen X, that could cause cancer or problems with pregnancy.
"It's such a small trace amount that we have in our system," says Michael Borchers, the Assistant Director of Water Resources for the city of Greensboro.
The chemical is new and the EPA does not have any regulation guidelines, other than having municipalities monitoring their supplies. The city is working to find out the source of the contaminant, but Borchers says the level in our supply isn't anywhere close to the EPA's 70-part per trillion Health Advisory.
"One part per trillion is basically one drop of water within 20 Olympic-size swimming pools."
He says the contaminant can be a risk if consumed at higher levels over a lifetime, but Greensboro's water has even less than that one part per trillion. Borchers adds he has no reservation drinking it. But there are ways to reduce it down even more.
Jason Barnes has worked in water filtration for nearly two decades with Dr. Johns H2O.
He says reverse osmosis, a special type of water filter is the best way to reduce any contaminant in your water, but cost to install could get pricy, starting at around $600.
But cheaper filters, like Brita pitchers, filter out less.
"They can only remove contaminants roughly to 1/16 the size of a human hair," Barnes explains. "But that doesn't include what's dissolved into your water."
But if you do choose to spend on a reverse osmosis filter, the price costs way less than bottled water.
"Pennies per gallon is what we pay for ours, versus dollars per gallon," explains Barnes, who has one in his home.
Not to mention bottled water isn't regulated, so there's no way to verify exactly where it's coming from or what happens during transit.
So, the bottom line is that the tap is safe.
"But there's always things you can do to have better water," Barnes tells.
If you want to learn more about Dr. Johns H2O filters, you can contact Jason Barnes at 336-382-2557 or visit the Facebook Page for more information.
You can also learn more about PFOS and PFOA through the EPA.