Toxins on Tap

The water Americans drink may look clear and clean, but it often contains noxious chemicals and malicious microbes

"Don't drink the water," goes the old admonition to tourists visiting underdeveloped countries. But most Americans don't look with suspicion at their own kitchen faucet.

Maybe they should. Overall, the U.S. still has one of the cleanest water - supplies in the world, but that doesn't mean it's safe in all places at all times. This year's headlines have destroyed any illusions about the purity of water coming from spigots in town and country.

In April enough of a microorganism got through treatment plants in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to turn the city's drinking water into a bilious brew, sickening nearly half the...

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