How does tap water not get contaminated?


It seems like it’s very easy for tap water to be unsafe to drink. I can imagine it’s easy for bacteria to grow in the pipes or something

In: Chemistry

It is constantly flowing and is chlorinated. The addition of a small amount of chlorine makes it an inhospitable environment for bacteria to grow, and the constant flow keeps pipes clean.

Water is typically treated with chemicals in the US to prevent bacteria and contamination. Level of treatment can vary between jurisdictions.

Pipes are kept pressurized which means if there’s a leak then water flows out not in, prevents external materials from entering the pipes.

water piping should be a sealed system. water should only enter at the treatment plant. at each residential and commercial outlet, there should be a backflow prevention device to make sure there is no introduction of contaminated water into the system at the serviced buildings.

There are lots of bacteria in the pipes, despite chlorine. It is not sterile. It won’t make you sick because it went through enough treatment and the slime inside the pipe is harmless. Most important is we make sure no idiot takes a dump in the freshwater reservoir.