While Baltimore is known for having high crime rates and poverty in many areas of the city, Charm City holds its own when it comes to the drinking water.Best Life Magazine recently conducted an analysis of the water quality of the nation’s 200 biggest cities and ranked the 25 cities with the best drinking water. To the surprise of many, the magazine rated Charm City’s tap water the tenth best in the nation, with a score of 90.58 of 100. Each of the cities’ drinking water was ranked based on three factors: the pollution potential (determined by the Environmental Protection Agency), the lowest number of contaminants (determined by Environmental Working Group), and taste tests (conducted by the American Water Works Association). [caption id="attachment_6225" align="aligncenter" width="363"] courtesy of SC DHEC[/caption] Baltimore earned its No. 10 spot by having a low number of contaminants (three), a best of the best taste test win in the last five years and a No. 7 ranking (out of 10) in the number of Manufacturing Establishments per square mile by the EPA. Unfortunately, the number of other detected contaminants (13) and EPA rank of the Total Farm and Agricultural Chemical Expenses kept the city's clean water score of 90.59 from being higher. Of the 200 cities analyzed, Baltimore was the only city between the south Pennsylvania and northern South Carolina borders to make the top 25. In Best Life’s Rankings, no other northeastern U.S. city ranked higher, and similar cities like Philadelphia, Orlando and New Orleans didn't rank as high. While many people swear by bottled water and typically drink nothing else, Best Life magazine says that the cities on the list have better drinking water than any type or brand of store-bought water.
This isn’t the first time Baltimore’s drinking water has gained accolades either. In May, the city won first place in the American Water Works Association’s Chesapeake Section taste test. Winning the American Water Works Association taste test is a notable achievement for the city as the test is conducted by water industry leaders and experts. Baltimore has also been recognized by the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies with the organization’s Gold Award for Utility Performance and has a high sustainability ranking among cities in the nation. [caption id="attachment_6224" align="aligncenter" width="495"] courtesy of data360[/caption] In addition to being recognized by Best Life Magazine, Charm City’s drinking water exceeds federal health and safety standards by a large margin. This distinction of a “utility of the future” is a recognition of the Department of Public Works' efforts in providing healthy, clean and safe drinking water to nearly two million customers, via three reservoirs and three water filtration plants that produce 360 million gallons of drinking water every day. What are your thoughts on Baltimore's results? Sound off in the comments below.