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Amarillo's water system is safe despite citizens bottled water preference

Throughout the year, the city of Amarillo does 25,000 tests on the water to ensure that it is safe. According to Gresham, the city’s water system does not taste different or weird, he says it is personal preference and what people are accustomed to drinking.

Some are like Marvin Townsend, who has a built-in filter on his refrigerator, changes it every 30 days and buys bottled water.

“I do not like the taste of the water, so I believe for my taste, it’s better coming from the bottle or the filter,” says Townsend.

While others don't use the tap at all.

“I mean if I had my choice I’d drink bottle of water,” said Amarillo resident, Frank Corwin.

But, the city of Amarillo gets its water from two sources. The Ogallala Aquifer, where the city has 136 water wells to get ground water and Lake Meredith.

“The water that we put out is absolutely safe for the residents in Amarillo to drink,” said Director of Utilities, Jonathan Gresham.

Throughout the year, the city of Amarillo does 25,000 tests on the water to ensure that it is safe. According to Gresham, the city’s water system does not taste different or weird, he says it is personal preference and what people are accustomed to drinking.

“As far as the taste, like I said, it’s just whether people get acclimated to that water. There is things you can do if the taste bothers you--if you put it on ice or if maybe you put a little bit of fruit in the water--it’ll change the taste just enough for you to drink it. But, the water is absolutely safe to drink,” said Gresham.

He also says the city of Amarillo has been designated by the State of Texas as a superior public water system. This designation is not given very often. He also says the city has had this designation since the late 1980's and it is something he is proud of.

“In some accounts, I do believe, it’s safer to drink than bottled water—we are more highly regulated than the bottled water industry,” said Gresham.

These regulations come through the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEG) and also the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). All to ultimately ensure that the water accessible to citizens is safe, clean drinking water.

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