How Much does US Tap Water Cost?

Tap water in the United States costs about $0.01 US Dollars — 1 penny — for 5 gallons (20 liters). Bottled water costs anywhere from 240 to 10,000 times more than water from the tap. For the price of an average bottle of packaged water, a consumer could get 1,000 gallons (3,785 liters) of tap water — and that's not even considering the environmental damages of garbage and energy caused by bottling water.

More Water Facts:

  • The plastic used in the bottled water Americans consume each year uses more than 47 million gallons (1.8 million liters) of oil — the equivalent of 100,000 cars on the road.

  • The Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted a study of 100 US cities with populations of more than 250,000 and found more than 315 pollutants in the water — most of which are not regulated by government standards and can be legally present in any amount. The study showed the city with the best water was Arlington, Texas, and the worst water was found in Pensacola, Florida.

  • Water utility companies in the US that serve areas of more than 100,000 people are required to send a water-quality report to all residents each July 1. In areas with fewer residents, reports can be requested individually from the water utility company.
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Discussion Comments


In the movie Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning, John, the main character, spent 9 months in the hospital. During all that time kitchen tap was leaking. It cost him about $58.32.


Most leaks drip only 1-2 gallons a day though, so that's around 70 cents to $2 a year. The relentless noise takes quite a toll on my sanity, though.


A leak that fills an 8 ounce glass in one minute will cost you $240/year extra.


My new year's resolution is to waste less water!

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