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VERIFY: Yes, Georgia ranked low in the nation for safe drinking water

A 2017 study found Georgia is one of the lowest in the country for safe drinking water. State officials say most of the problems have been addressed.

ATLANTA — There's a report floating around online saying that Georgia is one of the top five states for the worst drinking water in the country. 

An 11Alive viewer reached out to our VERIFY team to get the facts on the safety of our drinking water. 

Here's what we found. 

THE QUESTION

Is Georgia’s drinking water among the nation's least safe?

THE ANSWER 

Yes, according to a 2017 study by the National Resource Defense Council, it is. However, Georgia officials tell us that many of the health related violations found, have been addressed since then. 

WHAT WE KNOW 

The 2017 report by the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) says millions of Americans are getting drinking water from systems that violated federal protections in 2015. 

Some violations include systems that don't protect against toxic chemicals, bacteria, and metals like lead that can cause health impacts like cancer, birth defects, and cognitive impairments. 

The report says most of the violations are very small water systems found in rural or sparsely populated areas that account for more than half of all health-based violations. 

RELATED: Cancer causing chemical found in Ga. drinking water remains unregulated five years after EPA warning

However, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division says they have an updated 2018 study. 

It shows our state has 358 water systems that had approximately 651 violations in 2018.  

Kevin Chambers, the Communications Director for the Georgia DNR says most of the state's dirty water violations have been cleaned up since the 2017 report. 

“Georgia had 84 community water systems with health-based violations. Collectively those systems serve 3.1 percent of the state’s population. There are about 1,736 community water systems in Georgia," Chambers said. 

He contends many of Georgia's 2018 violations were "non-health based" involving failure to submit a sample, failure to report rest results, or failure to provide an annual Consumer Confidence Report. 

"It is important to note that the overall violations determined in calendar year 2018 were significantly less than the violations determined in calendar year 2017. Most violations are brief in duration and quickly resolved," Chambers explained.

So, we can VERIFY, according to a 2017 study, Georgia's drinking water is among the nation's least safe. 

However, Georgia officials say many of the health related violations have been addressed since then. 

To see how the water in your area tests, click HERE

Our VERIFY team is here to fact-check claims being shared in the community and online. Fill out the form below with something you'd like us to Verify.