On the Go for Labor Day? Keep Water Quality in Mind.

For many of us, Labor Day is one of the last hurrahs of the summer. And it’s a busy travel weekend, with roughly 35 million Americans taking a getaway.

One thing you should consider if you’re traveling is checking the drinking water quality along the way and at your destination. With EWG’s brand new national Tap Water Database, you can search by zip code or system name to do just that.

For example, one a popular destination for the long weekend is the nation’s capital. EWG’s analysis of the city’s main water utility found that its water supply contains nine contaminants at levels exceeding those scientists deem safe.

That’s troubling for sure, but there is some good news – many of the most pervasive contaminants in Washington, D.C., and across the nation can be removed using simple, at-home filtration techniques.

And, of course, you can find out what’s in drinking water from coast-to-coast, from the beaches of California to the Jersey Shore, and virtually all points in between. All you need to know is the zip code.

Here are four steps that you can take to make sure you and your family drink clean water during your travels:

  1. If possible, avoid buying bottled water – it’s often just filtered tap water, and is much more expensive than filtering your own water, wastes energy and creates tons of plastic pollution. There are plenty of portable and affordable carbon filter pitchers that easy to pack away for your journey.
  2. Another option is purchasing a portable filter water bottle – we list options in our water filter buying guide. But remember to make sure the water bottle is BPA-free as well.
  3. If you’re camping and aren’t quite sure from where your camp site sources its water, your best bet is bringing filtered water from home. Everyone should be filtering their water, and EWG created our water filter buying guide so Americans can make informed decisions on what type of filter they should use at home. The decision of which filter to use usually comes down to contaminants in your water, the cost of the filter and your living situation. We recommend purchasing a stainless steel or BPA-free water jug that will allow you to bring filtered water on road trips.
  4. When buying a filter, make sure to check the contaminant removal certifications that the filter has earned. EWG’s water filter buying guide takes into consideration NSF International and Water Quality Association certifications. Confirm that the filter you’re purchasing removes the contaminants that you’re most concerned about.
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