Water Quality Concerns in Urban vs. Rural Areas

Did you know that where you live can affect the quality of your water? How do urban areas compare to more rural ones? What about construction and livestock — do they impact water quality, and in what ways? This blog will dive into these questions and more. Plus, we’ll explore what you can do to take control of your water quality to keep you and your family safe and healthy. 

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Water Quality in Urban Vs. Rural Areas: How is it Different?

Where might you expect water quality to be better: in a bustling city or on a farm where the nearest neighbor is a mile away? You might automatically assume that the water is more pure in rural areas, and understandably so. However, the answer is a lot more complicated than this.

Is City Water Clean?

First, let’s consider what often pollutes city water. Contaminants from industrial discharge, vehicles on the road, wastewater, garbage, and polluted stormwater runoff can make city water unsafe to drink. Animal waste, fertilizer, pesticides, and chloride from road salt are also common culprits. 

Construction is another challenge. Exposed soil can easily run off and eventually make its way into a water source. This can be exacerbated when the construction involves grading or demolition. Chemicals, debris, oil, and grease can also end up in the water.



So much is happening, and very often, in tightly packed geographical areas. Without a doubt, city water is dirty.

However, water in urban areas carries one advantage: The city is responsible for keeping it clean and thus must ensure it meets certain standards. It’s their job to make sure that by the time it’s gone through the water treatment process and is coming out of residents’ faucets, it’s safe to drink, bathe in, and otherwise use.

When this works, it works well! For example, Kentucky has 435 public water systems, producing some of the best tap water in the country. Nearly all residents (95%) have access to this public drinking water.

However, then we get to Alabama, which apparently has some of the worst water quality. More than two million residents depend on groundwater as their main source of drinking water, and 20% of these people use private water supplies, like well water. You’ll find out in a moment why this can be a negative.


So, is Water Better in Rural Areas?

Again, it depends.

Sure, rural areas might not have as many people or cars. Construction might be less frequent, and the streets are likely cleaner.

However, pollutants like fertilizers, household trash, and animal waste are a problem. In fact, the United States Geological Survey found that roughly a quarter of rural water systems contain “forever chemicals” — polyfluorinated alkyl substances, or PFAS, which break down incredibly slowly.


A moment ago, we mentioned well water. Let’s revisit that. In this case, the property has a private well underground that supplies that home with water for drinking, bathing, etc. This means that it’s not a part of the city’s water supply. 

This can be an advantage because it means that the homeowner is in charge of the water. However, it’s also a disadvantage because… the homeowner is in charge of the water! They have to be sure to test it regularly and deal with any hard water issues, scale buildup, and contamination. Plus, pumps need to be replaced eventually.

While some homeowners might take this seriously, others understandably forget to do it, meaning that they don’t really know what’s in their water, or if it’s safe for consumption.

At the end of the day, city water and rural water each have their own pros and cons. One isn’t inherently better than the other. In fact, in both cases, you’re going to want to take control of your water filtration no matter what.

And that brings us to our next point.

How Can You Improve the Quality of Your Water at Home?

You now know that whether you live in a 24-hour city like Las Vegas or in the rolling hills of a small town in Pennsylvania, there’s a good chance that there’s something polluting the water coming out of your tap. So, what can you do about it?

Water purification is an absolute necessity, but we need to be more specific: What kind of filtration do you need? 

Maybe you have a Brita water filter attached to your kitchen sink faucet, or perhaps you get your drinking water from the refrigerator, which provides filtered H20. Shouldn’t that be enough? It should, but it isn’t. Here’s why.

The problem is that most of the filters you see on the market do not utilize something called reverse osmosis (RO), which is the most effective method for purifying water. Pressure forces water through a screen so precisely that only water molecules can get through, and nothing else. This means that if there are dangerous particles lurking in your tap water, they won’t stand a chance against reverse osmosis. 

In other words, you could have filters on every faucet in the house, but if they’re not reverse osmosis filters, then there are still undoubtedly dangerous particles in your water.

The Sans water purifier uses reverse osmosis water filtration and eliminates up to 99% of contaminants, including microplastics, forever chemicals, arsenic, and heavy metals. 

Plus, it’s been independently tested to meet NSF standards. It can instantly dispense hot water, and the countertop design is made with a removable pitcher that you can carry from room to room. In addition, it utilizes multiple filters, which need to be replaced only every 12 to 24 months, and Sans will always notify you when it’s time to switch them up.

So, whether you’re in a noisy city or on a 20-acre farm, you can rest assured that the water you’re using every day isn’t going to harm you.

Learn more about the Sans water purifier today! 

Sans Water Purifier

Countertop Reverse Osmosis + UV purification

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