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Why Is Memphis Water So Good?

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Question: Why Is Memphis Water So Good?
Say what you will about Memphis, but even the city's toughest critics can't deny that we have excellent water. Unlike many other places around the world, Memphis' water is clear, fresh-tasting, and has virtually no odor. You will likely never fill a glass from the tap in Memphis and end up with cloudy or smelly water. In fact, many locals prefer Memphis water to bottled water. So what makes it so good?
Answer: The water supply for Memphis and Shelby County comes from a natural reservoir hundreds of feet below the surface. Most of this water is located in a sand aquifer that is sandwiched between two layers of clay. The sand acts as a natural filter, slowly removing many of the water's impurities. The very first artesian well in Memphis was drilled in 1887 to tap into this water source. Today, there are more than eighty such wells in the Memphis area. Memphis Light Gas & Water is responsible for pumping the water from these wells. From there, the water is aerated, filtered, and disinfected for safety and purity.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation have developed standards for contaminent levels in drinking water. Such contaminents include nitrate, chlorine, lead, and copper. Tests of Memphis water consistently show contaminent levels far below the allowed maximum.

For more information on Memphis water, check out MLG&W's Water Quality Report.

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