Problems We Found In Atlanta's Drinking Water


Kezia Snipe  |  Hydroviv Research Analyst
Updated July 17, 2019 to include current data

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Atlanta's water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from Fulton County Department of Public Works, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. We're then able to cross reference these data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature. The water filters that we build for people who live in Atlanta are optimized with these data are in mind. 

Source Of Atlanta Drinking Water

The Atlanta water system provides approximately 120 million gallons of treated drinking water from the Chattahoochee River for more than 1 million residents in the metropolitan area. The Chattahoochee Water Treatment Plant processes river water directly while the Hemphill Water Treatment Plant processes water from a reservoir that is filled from the river. Together the plants produce 75 percent of Atlanta’s drinking water. The rest of Atlanta's tap water is supplied by the Atlanta-Fulton County Water Treatment Plant that also processes water from the Chattahoochee River. Jointly owned by the City of Atlanta and Fulton County, it produces water for the northeast portion of the drinking water distribution system.

Lead Levels In Atlanta Drinking Water

Lead enters into a consumer’s tap water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (such as recently happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water and can reach toxic levels. According to the most recent 2019 report, the average concentration is 1.5 parts per billion. While the regulatory Action Level is 15 ppb, both the EPACDC, and American Academy of Pediatrics all recognize that there is no safe level of lead for children. 

Chromium 6 Levels In Atlanta Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA. In recent years, Atlanta’s tap water has averaged 145 parts per trillion for Chromium 6. This level is over 7 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk. If you'd like to learn more about health effects associated with chromium 6, click HERE.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Atlanta Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants react with naturally-occurring organic matter. Although these chemicals are not currently regulated very well, the EPA website discloses that high levels of disinfection byproducts in drinking water are are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. 

Still Have Questions About Atlanta Tap Water Or Water Quality In General?

Hydroviv is a water filtration company that uses water quality data to optimize water filters for each customer's water. The contaminants that we list above are what we consider to be major “points of emphasis” that we use to build water filters that are built specifically for Atlanta, but our filters provide broad protection against a wide range of additional contaminants found in Atlanta's tap water.

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Atlanta's water, or just have questions about water quality in general, feel free to visit, reach out by email ( or through our live chat. We also frequently post water-related news on Twitter or Facebook. We pride ourselves in being a reputable source of information on water quality, and your questions will be answered by scientists, not salespeople (we don't have any salespeople on staff).

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