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Phila. Tap Water Gets High Marks

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pwd5 Phila. Tap Water Gets High Marks

by KYW’s Pat Loeb

How safe is Philadelphia drinking water? Pretty safe, according to the most recent Water Quality report and the water department is trying to get the word out.

Gary Burlingame is chief scientist for the Philadelphia water department and, from a business standpoint; he really doesn’t care if you stop drinking tap water:

“Most of the water that people used is flushed down the toilet or is used in other ways. Drinking the tap water makes up such a small volume of what is actually used.”

But Burlingame says he does take it personally when he sees people drinking bottled water because he works very hard to make tap water clean. The annual water quality report says it exceeds EPA ratings on all the quality measures but Burlingame says myths persist– like the one about chlorine being unsafe:

“If you look back in history, the fact that chlorine is in water has saved millions of lives. People were dying from unchlorinated water 100 years ago.”

Burlingame says he’d love consumers to read the report, available on the department’s website here:  http://www.phila.gov/water/pdfs/WQR2009.pdf