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Is Knoxville Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Yes! Generally Safe to Drink*

LAST UPDATED: 7:47 pm, August 11, 2022

Table of Contents

Can You Drink Tap Water in Knoxville?

Yes, Knoxville's tap water is generally considered safe to drink as Knoxville has no active health based violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) that we are aware of. Other factors such as lead piping in a home, or low levels of pollutants on immunocompromised individuals, should also be considered, however. To find more recent info we might have, you can check out our boil water notice page or the city's water provider website.

According the EPA’s ECHO database, from April 30, 2019 to June 30, 2022, Knoxville's water utility, Hallsdale-Powell Utility District, had 0 violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. For more details on the violations, please see our violation history section below. The last violation for Knoxville was resolved on June 30, 2016. This assessment is based on the Hallsdale-Powell Utility District water system, other water systems in the city may have different results.

While tap water that meets the EPA health guidelines generally won’t make you sick to your stomach, it can still contain regulated and unregulated contaminants present in trace amounts that could potentially cause health issues over the long-run. These trace contaminants may also impact immunocompromised and vulnerable individuals.

The EPA is reviewing if it’s current regulations around pollutant levels in tap water are strict enough, and the health dangers posed by unregulated pollutants, like PFAS.

Knoxville Tap Water Safe Drinking Water Act Violation History - Prior 10 Years

Below is a ten year history of violations for the water system named Hallsdale-Powell Utility District for Knoxville in Tennessee. For more details please see the "What do these Violations Mean?" section below.

From April 1, 2016 to June 30, 2016, Knoxville had 1 health-based Safe Drinking Water Act violation with the violation category being Maximum Contaminant Level Violation, more specifically, the violation code was Maximum Contaminant Level Violation, Average which falls into the Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule rule code group, and the Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule rule code family for the following contaminant code: Total Haloacetic Acids (HAA5).

Is there Lead in Knoxville Water?

Based on the EPA’s ECHO Database, 90% of the samples taken from the Knoxville water system, Hallsdale-Powell Utility District, between sample start date and sample end date, were at or below, 0.0001 mg/L of lead in Knoxville water. This is 0.7% of the 0.015 mg/L action level. This means 10% of the samples taken from Knoxville contained more lead.

While Knoxville water testing may have found 0.0001 mg/L of lead in its water, that does not mean your water source has the same amount. The amount of lead in water in a city can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood, or even building to building. Many buildings, particularly older ones, have lead pipes or service lines which can be a source of contamination. To find out if your home has lead, we recommend getting you water tested.

No amount of lead in water is healthy, only less dangerous. As lead accumulates in our bodies over time, even exposure to relatively small amounts can have negative health effects. For more information, please check out our Lead FAQ page.

Are there PFAS in Knoxville Tap Water?

Currently, testing tap water for PFAS isn’t mandated on a national level. We do have a list of military bases where there have been suspected or confirmed leaks. There appears to be at least one military base - AASF #2 - near Knoxville with suspected leaks.

With many potential sources of PFAS in tap water across the US, the best information we currently have about which cities have PFAS in their water is this ewg map, which you can check to see if Knoxville has been evaluated for yet.

Our stance is better safe than sorry, and that it makes sense to try to purify the tap water just in case.

Knoxville SDWA Violation History Table - Prior 10 Years

Compliance Period Status Health-Based? Category Code Code Rule Code Contaminant Code Rule Group Code Rule Family Code
04/01/2016 - 06/30/2016 Resolved Yes Maximum Contaminant Level Violation (MCL) Maximum Contaminant Level Violation, Average (02) Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule (220) Total Haloacetic Acids (HAA5) (2456) Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule (200) Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule (220)

What do these Violations Mean?

Safe Drinking Water Act Violations categories split into two groups, health based, and non-health based. Generally, health based violations are more serious, though non-health based violations can also be cause for concern.

Health Based Violations

  1. Maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) - maximum allowed contaminant level was exceeded.
  2. Maximum residual disinfectant levels (MRDLs) - maximum allowed disinfectant level was exceeded.
  3. Other violations (Other) - the exact required process to reduce the amounts of contaminants in drinking water was not followed.

Non-Health Based Violations

  1. Monitoring and reporting violations (MR, MON) - failure to conduct the required regular monitoring of drinking water quality, and/or to submit monitoring results on time.
  2. Public notice violations (Other) - failure to immediately alert consumers if there is a serious problem with their drinking water that may pose a risk to public health.
  3. Other violations (Other) - miscellaneous violations, such as failure to issue annual consumer confidence reports or maintain required records.

SDWA Table Key

Field Description
Compliance Period Dates of the compliance period.
Status Current status of the violation.
  • Resolved - The violation has at least one resolving enforcement action. In SDWIS, this indicates that either the system has returned to compliance from the violation, the rule that was violated was no longer applicable, or no further action was needed.
  • Archived - The violation is not Resolved, but is more than five years past its compliance period end date. In keeping with the Enforcement Response Policy, the violation no longer contributes to the public water system's overall compliance status. Unresolved violations are also marked as Archived when a system ceases operations (becomes inactive).
  • Addressed - The violation is not Resolved or Archived, and is addressed by one or more formal enforcement actions.
  • Unaddressed - The violation is not Resolved or Archived, and has not been addressed by formal enforcement.
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Health-Based? Whether the violation is health based.
Category Code
The category of violation that is reported.
  • TT - Treatment Technique Violation
  • MRDL - Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level
  • Other - Other Violation
  • MCL - Maximum Contaminant Level Violation
  • MR - Monitoring and Reporting
  • MON - Monitoring Violation
  • RPT - Reporting Violation
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Code A full description of violation codes can be accessed in the SDWA_REF_CODE_VALUES (CSV) table.
Contaminant Code A code value that represents a contaminant for which a public water system has incurred a violation of a primary drinking water regulation.
Rule Code Code for a National Drinking Water rule.
  • 110 - Total Coliform Rule
  • 121 - Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 122 - Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 123 - Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 130 - Filter Backwash Rule
  • 140 - Ground Water Rule
  • 210 - Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 220 - Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 230 - Total Trihalomethanes
  • 310 - Volatile Organic Chemicals
  • 331 - Nitrates
  • 332 - Arsenic
  • 333 - Inorganic Chemicals
  • 320 - Synthetic Organic Chemicals
  • 340 - Radionuclides
  • 350 - Lead and Copper Rule
  • 410 - Public Notice Rule
  • 420 - Consumer Confidence Rule
  • 430 - Miscellaneous
  • 500 - Not Regulated
  • 111 - Revised Total Coliform Rule
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Rule Group Code Code that uniquely identifies a rule group.
  • 120 - Surface Water Treatment Rules
  • 130 - Filter Backwash Rule
  • 140 - Groundwater Rule
  • 210 - Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 220 - Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 230 - Total Trihalomethanes
  • 310 - Volatile Organic Chemicals
  • 320 - Synthetic Organic Chemicals
  • 330 - Inorganic Chemicals
  • 340 - Radionuclides
  • 350 - Lead and Copper Rule
  • 400 - Other
  • 500 - Not Regulated
  • 110 - Total Coliform Rules
  • 410 - Public Notice Rule
  • 420 - Consumer Confidence Rule
  • 430 - Miscellaneous
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Rule Family Code Code for rule family.
  • 100 - Microbials
  • 200 - Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 300 - Chemicals
  • 400 - Other
  • 500 - Not Regulated
show details

For more clarification please visit the EPA's data dictionary.

Knoxville Water - Frequently Asked Questions

To contact customer service for the Knoxville water provider, Hallsdale-Powell Utility District, please use the information below.
By Mail: P.O. BOX 5199, 3745 CUNNINGHAM ROAD
KNOXVILLE, TN, 37928-0199
Already have an account?

Existing customers can login to their Hallsdale-Powell Utility District account to pay their Knoxville water bill by clicking here.

Want to create a new account?

If you want to pay your Hallsdale-Powell Utility District bill online and haven't made an account yet, you can create an account online. Please click here to create your account to pay your Knoxville water bill.

Want to pay without an account?

If you don't want to make an account, or can't remember your account, you can make a one-time payment towards your Knoxville water bill without creating an account using a one time payment portal with your account number and credit or debit card. Click here to make a one time payment.

Starting Your Service

Moving to a new house or apartment in Knoxville means you will often need to put the water in your name with Hallsdale-Powell Utility District. In order to put the water in your name, please click the link to the start service form below. Start service requests for water bills typically take two business days.

Start Service Form

Want to create a new account?

Leaving your house or apartment in Knoxville means you will likely need to take your name off of the water bill with Hallsdale-Powell Utility District. In order to take your name off the water bill, please click the link to the stop service form below. Stop service for water bills requests typically take two business days.

Stop Service Form

Is Knoxville Tap Water Safe to Drink? Tap water & safety quality

The estimated price of bottled water

$2.33 in USD (1.5-liter)


Knoxville tap water
  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 37% Low
  • Water Pollution 52% Moderate
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 63% High
  • Water Quality 48% Moderate

The above data is comprised of subjective, user submitted opinions about the water quality and pollution in Knoxville, measured on a scale from 0% (lowest) to 100% (highest).

Related FAQS


Knoxville Utilities Board-KUB

EWG's drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group by the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation, as well as information from the U.S. EPA Enforcement and Compliance History database (ECHO). For the latest quarter assessed by the U.S. EPA (January 2019 - March 2019), tap water provided by this water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.

Utility details

  • Serves: 236326
  • Data available: 2012-2017
  • Data Source: Surface water
  • Total: 18

Contaminants That Exceed Guidelines

  • Bromodichloromethane
  • Bromoform
  • Chloroform
  • Chromium (hexavalent)
  • Dibromochloromethane
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrate and nitrite
  • Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Other Detected Contaminants

  • 1%2C4-Dioxane
  • 4-Androstene-3%2C17-dione
  • Aluminum
  • Barium
  • Chlorate
  • Fluoride
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
  • Strontium
  • Testosterone
  • Vanadium


Always take extra precautions, the water may be safe to drink when it leaves the sewage treatment plant but it may pick up pollutants during its way to your tap. We advise that you ask locals or hotel staff about the water quality. Also, note that different cities have different water mineral contents.

Sources and Resources

Knoxville Tap Water

The recent controversy involving tap water in Knoxville, Tennessee, is still fresh in the minds of locals and visitors alike. If you are wondering what all the fuss is about, the fact that some residents began reusing bottled water is the key. Knoxville’s water treatment facilities have long since refused to use any method other than reverse osmosis to clean their water. This is a massive problem because, as most know, chemicals and other harmful contaminants can make their way into the treated water through all the various methods of filtration. The whole thing should be shut down immediately, but unfortunately, that hasn’t happened.

Why hasn’t the water treatment facility done what it should have and get rid of this problem years ago? The short answer to this question is that they aren’t all that good at their jobs. The average homeowner is the one who usually makes up the vast majority of those responsible for ensuring that everything works. They aren’t all that sure how the municipal water treatment plants do their job, which is why you see them passing the buck to the homeowners when something goes wrong. That’s a real shame because the quality of tap water in this area should be much better.

So, where can you turn to if you’re concerned about your family’s health? That’s a good question, and there are several options available. Of course, you can buy an expensive water filter system designed to clean your water and remove any contaminants. There are also home water purification systems to set up yourself using inexpensive items from your local home improvement store. Whichever purification method you choose, it’s vital that you use it regularly to make sure your water is as clean as it can be. In the end, the money you spend on a good water filtration system will be more than worth it, especially when it prevents illness and other serious issues.

Knoxville Drinking Water

Suppose you are looking for drinking water in Knoxville, Tennessee. In that case, there is a pretty good chance that the supply you have been getting has been contaminated with toxic levels of aluminum or other harmful chemicals. This has led people all across the region to start seeking out ways to have access to safe drinking water. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency conducted its investigation of the situation and sent several inspectors out to determine if the supply that has been provided to homes in the Knoxville area was safe enough to drink.

The results of this investigation shocked not only the residents of Knoxville but also the scientists that were conducting the review. Based upon the evidence they found, it was determined that one chemical, in particular, was a significant cause for concern. That chemical was chlorine. It is used to kill bacteria, but it can act as a corrosive and encourage severe biological contamination in drinking water. It can also lead to problems with the burning and staining of kitchen equipment. When researchers discovered this fact, they recommended that all people in the area either remove the chlorine from their drinking water or have it removed before consuming any of the water they purchase.

In addition to chlorine, several other chemicals can be present in tap water in Knoxville. It is often a good idea to have the water checked whenever you purchase your groceries because of the pesticides used to grow to produce in them. You may also want to have your water tested for lead at least once a year. This can come from old pipes in your home or come from the pipes that bring water to your house. While you may think that you are protected from having this type of hazardous metal in your body, there is no such thing as 100% protection. So, make sure that you have your water tested when you purchase any bottled water and keep your family safe by always using high-quality drinking water whenever possible.

Knoxville Water Quality Report

If you are looking for a Knoxville water quality report, you need to know where to find it. If you are interested in a quality report, you should know that the Tennessee Department of Environment and Natural Resources produces one each year for the general public. The report will outline the current status of your drinking water. In addition to the report, the environment office gives numerous educational seminars on water conservation and other helpful tips. It is easy to access this information, but what if you live in Knoxville?

Luckily, a website is dedicated to providing you with all of the information you need to make wise decisions regarding your water. The website for Knoxville Water Quality has a wealth of helpful information for you to explore. This website gives you a report on your water status and gives you valuable tips on how you can make sure that your home’s water is free from harmful contaminants. A quality report is only one part of the whole process, which is protecting your home.

If you want to receive a copy of your water quality report, you can get it for free at the Knoxville water office. This office serves the entire city of Knoxville. To receive your full report, you should call the community development department. You can also order bottled water for delivery right to your front door. Although you may have to pay a small delivery fee, you will be receiving a high-quality bottle of your water from a local business, and you will save money in the long run as well.

Knoxville Water Utilities

A great place to be if you are looking for Knoxville water and sewer services! This city prides itself on its cleanliness and “green” image, so much so that the Tennessee Department of Environment and Tourism has even designated it as a green destination! With about eighty-three thousand people, Knoxville is quite diverse, with over two hundred parks and recreation areas, among many others. This means that residents are constantly being exposed to outdoor activities, nature, and recreational facilities, which means that they need excellent water systems and sewers.

A trip to the downtown area will reveal the many parks that make up this wonderful city. On a clear day, you will see all the beautiful pieces of art located in all different architectural styles. Some of the details include the U.S. Space Shuttle, the Chrysler Museum of Art, and the Knoxville Convention Center. The Space Shuttle is well worth a visit, as it will take you to the International Space Station while giving you a view of what the city’s skyline looks like from above! The Chrysler Museum of Art is a great place to stop by, with its collections ranging from art to architecture to jewelry.

Once you have completed your tour of Knoxville, take some time to sample some of the city’s local flavors. Knoxville is known for its barbecue, and you will not be disappointed with the quality of food available here. Also, take some time to sample some of the city’s wines ranked very high by the experts. To add to the excitement, there is also the Knoxville City Arts Association which aims to improve the quality of life by promoting arts and culture. If you want to experience a bit of Knoxville without having to purchase a ticket, hop on the free bus that stops at various entertainment venues around town!

Knoxville Water Treatment

If you are one of the thousands of people who have found that your city’s drinking water contains harmful contaminants, you should look into Knoxville water treatment. With the number of cases of water-borne illnesses and diseases on the rise, it is essential to take immediate steps to protect yourself and your family from these microscopic organisms. Even if you live in a rural area with no municipal water treatment facility, you should still invest in infiltration systems. Many people have switched to using bottled water, but even the municipal supply is not entirely safe. By using these systems, you can provide your family with clean, purified water.

In addition to your water quality, you also want to choose a water treatment facility that will treat the water for you efficiently. Many companies claim they can treat your water better than your local treatment facility, but it is best to test them first. You can do this by requesting bottled water samples from various companies. Once you test the water, you can then compare it to the specifications of your treatment facility. By making this comparison, you can see which facilities can provide the most effective water treatment.

You may be able to save money by using an off-site water treatment facility instead of your city’s. Just be sure that the company uses the safest processes and methods. Even though the water from a rural area may seem cleaner and safer, it could still contain certain cancer-causing pesticides and other chemicals. The quality of the water should be the same as what you would receive at your treatment facility.

Knoxville Water Supply

The city of Knoxville is an area that has a great deal of growth and, for that matter, a high water supply. This means that the demand for water in Knoxville is relatively high, so if you plan on having a home built in this region, you might have to look into getting a Knoxville water supply valve. This type of appliance can provide water in Knoxville’s city with the proper level of pressure depending on whether it is a faucet-mounted one or a pitcher-style valve that is placed on the kitchen faucet. Many areas worldwide have had to deal with water shortages, so if this is something you are concerned about, you may want to consider getting a backup water supply to ensure that your family always has access to clean, fresh water.

If you do not have the option of a faucet-mounted valve, you may have to look into a pitcher-style valve. These valves are typically mounted on the outside of faucets to be opened while the tap water is running. Many of these valves are made from plastic, which does wear down over time and can cause the valve to stop working correctly. On the other hand, some models are made out of steel resistant to corrosion and will last a very long time without needing to be replaced. Of course, if you are looking at a piece of equipment like this for your home, you should take a look at reviews first so that you will know if it will work properly for you or not.

You should also know that if you leak into your home’s water supply, then you can expect a plumber to be necessary to come out and fix it. Because this type of appliance can shut off the water supply, it may be required for a plumber to come out and shut it off for it to be repaired. In the end, the plumber will be able to determine the problem and make sure that it is fixed before returning your water supply online. Although these valves can cost a bit of money upfront, you will be able to save money in the long run since you will not need to replace them as often. Therefore, in the end, you will be able to end up saving money by installing one of these appliances in your home.

Knoxville Safe Drinking Water

What is Knoxville’s safe drinking water? Well, if you are reading this article, then you’ve probably already found out that the answer is no. But before you get all excited and throw out all of your bottled water and use filters to clean it, take a look at this city’s drinking water history. Knoxville was a thriving mining region during the 1800s, but in recent years, because of the dry climate and certain industry types, it has lost a lot of its industrial potential. One thing that is assured, though, is that the quality of the drinking water supply in Knoxville is still excellent because of all of this.

Although, because of all of the pollution that happens to the water in the surrounding regions and the greater metropolitan area of Tennessee, some cities have begun to experience water that is not deemed safe for drinking. The Environmental Protection Agency tries to keep track of all of the different chemicals present in the water supply and the amount that is present. When it comes to drinking water, the main culprits include hormones from livestock, insecticides, pharmaceutical drugs, and cancer-causing agents. The levels that are considered to be unsafe for drinking have been set limits by the E.P.A.

If you live in the Knoxville area and are concerned about your drinking water’s purity, you have options. If a treatment facility services you, you should ensure that the facility you get your water from is certified by the Tennessee Department of Health. These facilities test for all of the drugs and other contaminants that are present in the water. If your water comes from a municipal treatment plant, you may have to take this extra step. Private wells can also be installed to assure you that you are getting precisely what you want.

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