Is Memphis Water Contaminated?
Memphis water quality ranks in the low range for contaminants.
- For reference, Rochester Hills, Michigan has 5 contaminants.
- Miramar, Florida has 75 contaminants. (The most of any U.S. city over 50,000.)
- Note: These are both outliers.
With a total of 12 contaminants in your drinking water, 4 of those exceed health guidelines.
Contaminant levels have increased from 10 to 12 within six years (2014 – 2020).
Drinking unfiltered water from Memphis water sources could be hazardous to your health.
Let’s look closer at Memphis water quality.
Memphis Water Quality Report
Memphis has a total of 12 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
33.3% of contaminants are rated as exceeding health guidelines.
They include things like Dioxane and Radium.
Most of the contaminants pose a risk of Cancer if allowed to stay in your drinking water.
Read the full report here: Memphis Water
Lead in Memphis Water
Memphis drinking water has high levels of lead in it.
90 percent of samples taken from water sources between 2016 and 2018 had a lead concentration of 8.8 parts per billion (ppb) or less.
- Lead concentrations of 3.9 ppb to 15 ppb “put a formula-fed baby at risk of elevated blood lead levels.” (ewg.org)
- El Paso, Texas has lead concentrations up to 84 parts per billion.
- Portland, Oregon has concentrations of 52.4 parts per billion.
- The legal limit for lead is 15 ppb. The city is not legally required to mitigate unless levels pass 15 ppb.
There is no safe level of lead for humans.
Here are a few of the lead poisoning symptoms for children under 6:
- Abdominal Pain
- Developmental Delay
- Learning Difficulties
- Weight loss
- Hearing loss
Learn more about Lead Poisoning Symptoms here.
So, What Can You Do?
Information about water quality can be surprising.
There are things you can do today to keep you and your family safe and healthy.
In Your Household:
Use Berkey water filters with activated carbon to filter out 70 percent of contaminants in your drinking water.
(They also remove up to 99% of lead contamination in Memphis water.)
Basic pitchers like Brita and PUR only manage 33.3%.
Save money on new and replacement filters when you use the links at waterbadge.com/filters.
Memphis Whole House Water Filtration Systems
A whole house filtration system can filter out 90 percent, making it another effective choice.
A few things to note:
- Whole house systems are much more effective than water pitchers like Brita and PUR.
- However, the initial cost is higher and they require installation.
For a list of the contaminants that can be filtered out by a whole house system, go to Memphis’s Water Quality page.
To filter out the highest number of contaminants, use our recommendations on the WaterBadge Filters page:
Conclusion: Is Memphis Water Contaminated?
Yes. Based on multiple studies and ongoing monitoring, Memphis has fairly low levels of contamination.
Based on lead levels alone, we wouldn’t recommend drinking unfiltered Memphis water.
You deserve to feel safe when you drink your own tap water.
At WaterBadge, our goal is to make that a reality.
To support this mission, we’ve partnered with companies that are dedicated to water filtration and safety.
When you purchase filters and systems through them, you’re also supporting WaterBadge’s mission of cleaner water for everyone.
Thanks for doing your part.
Want to learn more about water quality around the U.S.?
Search for your city here: