We created this tap water quality report to demystify what contaminants are in your water, and what you can do to remove them. All of the following information is publicly available and originally published elsewhere. Our mission is to present the data in an actionable, user-friendly format.
About Huntsville Utilities
Huntsville Utilities serves 100,000 households with tap water in Madison County, Alabama.
Where does the water come from?
Depending on your address, you may be receiving either surface water or ground water from Huntsville Utilities.
The surface water is pumped from the Tennessee River, and processed at 3 treatment facilities. The groundwater comes from limestone aquifer wells, and is treated at 2 other locations.
Is the tap water safe to drink?
The tap water provided by Huntsville Utilities is compliant with federal and state standards for drinking water. The water quality is legal, but legal doesn’t always mean safe because contaminant guidelines haven’t been updated in 20 years.
There were 9 contaminants reported by this utilities company that, while legal, exceed health guidelines organized by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Disenfectants & Byproducts
- Dibromochloromethane – Disenfectants & Byproducts
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9)
- Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
Agricultural Runoff & Waste Water
Is there lead in in the water?
Most lab data published by this utility indicate that no lead was detected. In the samples that did detect the presence of lead, the readings were far less than the 15 parts per billion (ppb) EPA requirement and slightly below the EWG guideline of 3.8ppb.
Does this water supply provide “hard” water?
Water hardness infers the presence of minerals, specifically Calcium Carbonate. These minerals most often leach into groundwater from limestone deposits in the earth. Hardness is a naturally occuring phenomenon.
Huntsville Utilities reports water hardness readings between 63-141 parts per million (ppm). This would generally be classified as moderately hard water.
Why does this water taste funny?
Like many utility companies, Huntsville Utilities uses a variety of additives in their treatment process intended for public benefit.
Chlorine and fluoride are two of the most recognizeable additive flavors, nationally. Chlorine is added to prevent microbe growth in the water system. Fluoride is added to promote dental health.
Both of these additives are safe to drink, but are generally considered to be aesthetically unpleasant. They are easy to filter away.
Are there PFAS in the water?
Yes, Huntsville Utilities reported the presence of PFAS to a level of 0.015 ppb.
This class of chemicals is monitored, but not yet regulated in a sophisticated matter. Many sources refer to them as “emerging” contaminants because public policy and health data is still being assembled.
Most PFAS enter the water supply through discharge from manufacturing facilities. They are a global phenominon.
Where did you get your data?
Clean Water HQ’s tap water quality report combines lab testing data distributed by the utility company in 2023, and information published in the EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance History database (ECHO).