Problems We Found in Raleigh's Drinking Water


**Updated June 11, 2021 to include most recent data
Kezia Snipe  |  Hydroviv Research Analyst

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Raleigh drinking and tap water, we aggregated water quality test data from the City Of Raleigh Public Utilities Department, the water provider for the city and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. We cross reference Raleigh water data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes. The water filters that we offer at Hydroviv are optimized with these numbers in mind.

Source Of Raleigh Drinking Water

Raleigh sources its drinking water from Lake Benson and Falls Lake.

PFAS In Raleigh Drinking Water

Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances or PFAS are a category of chemicals found in various non-stick/stain resistant products, as well as fire fighting foam. PFAS are considered to be "emerging contaminants" because they are not currently regulated by EPA, but are known to be toxic, carcinogenic, and persistent in the environment. High levels of PFAS have been detected throughout the entire state of North Carolina, specifically in Raleigh tap water. Most municipalities don't test for or remove PFAS from tap water, and most water filters are not designed to remove PFAS. A recent study by Duke University and NC State University revealed elevated levels in of a variety of PFAS compounds in Raleigh tap water.

Lead In Raleigh Drinking Water

Lead enters Raleigh's drinking and tap water through older lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures put in place by the municipality fail (like what recently happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water, and can reach dangerous levels. Currently, 10% of samples analyzed for lead in Raleigh are less than 3 parts per billion. Though Raleigh's water quality is in compliance with federal regulations, the EPA and CDC have both acknowledged that there is no safe level of lead, and federal regulations do not take into account levels measured at an individual tap. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that any taps used to serve children have lead levels no higher than 1 part per billion.

Chromium 6 In Raleigh Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is an extremely toxic metal that is not currently regulated by the EPA. In recent years, Raleigh tap and drinking water averaged 56 parts per trillion. For the sake of perspective, these levels are 3 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Raleigh 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 has admitted that they are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems.

Still Have Questions About Raleigh Drinking Water?

Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are being identified in a growing number of municipalities across the United States. San Francisco has not yet tested for PFAS, but several variations have been detected throughout the state of California. Not all water filters are designed to remove PFAS from drinking water.

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 Raleigh, but all of our our filters provide broad protection against a wide range of contaminants (including lead).

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Raleigh tap 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).

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