Problems We Found With Greensboro Drinking Water


Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor

For our assessment of Greensboro's tap and drinking water, we aggregated water quality test data from the Greensboro Water Resources Department, the water provider for Greensboro, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. We cross reference these data with toxicity studies in the scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes. The water filters that we sell in Greensboro are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source Of Greensboro Drinking Water

Greensboro’s tap and drinking water comes from surface water from three watersheds reservoirs. There are two treatment plants; the Townsend Water Treatment Plant is located northeast of Greensboro and processes water from Lake Townsend, while the Mitchell Water Treatment Plant is located in central Greensboro and treats water from Lake Brandt. The third reservoir, Lake Higgins, is used to refill Lake Brandt as water resources demand. All three lakes are located in northern Guilford County, within a protected watershed of the Cape Fear River Basin. Additional water is received from the Randleman Lake via the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority.

Lead In Greensboro Drinking Water

Lead is added to Greensboro's drinking water through contact with older lead service pipes and through lead plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail, as recently occurred in Flint, Michigan, lead leaches into the drinking water, and can reach hazardous levels. Recent analysis for lead in Greensboro's water found 90% of sampled concentrations below 3 parts per billion. While 98.15% of tested residences were below the Action Level of 15 ppb, and Greensboro is in compliance with all federal regulations, federal regulations can of course not account for levels measured at an individual’s tap. It should be noted that both the EPA, CDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics have recognized that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead.

Chromium 6 In Greensboro Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a hazardous metal that is not yet regulated by the EPA. In 2016, Greensboro's water quality averaged 110 parts per trillion for chromium 6. While not regulated, these levels are over 5 times higher than the minimum concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Greensboro Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that are produced when chlorine-based disinfectants are added to the water supply and then combine with naturally-occurring organic matter. These chemicals, while not regulated thoroughly, have been found by the EPA to associate with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. The tap water in Greensboro has recently had moderate levels of DBPs, with a 2016 average of 73 parts per billion (with an average of 45 ppb coming from trihalomethanes).

Use Of Chloramine In Greensboro Tap Water

Although most cities use chlorine as their primary disinfectant, Greensboro’s water is disinfected with chloramine, produced by mixing chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is the primary culprit for what customers often report as the “bad taste” of tap water, and unlike chlorine will not dissipate if left in the fridge overnight. Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that doesn’t successfully removing chloramine, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for Greensboro's water use special filtration media that are specifically built to remove chloramine as well.

Still Have Questions About Greensboro's Tap Water?

Hydroviv is a water filtration company that uses water quality data to optimize water filters for each city’s water. The chemicals that we list above are what we consider to be “points of emphasis” so we can build the best water filter for Greensboro tap water, but all of our water filters provide broad protection against other contaminants commonly found in drinking water (e.g. VOCs, heavy metals [including lead], pharmaceuticals, solvents, pesticides, mercury).

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Greensboro tap water, feel free to visit, reach out by email ( or through our live chat. We also frequently post water-related news on Twitter or Facebook.

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