It may be hard to believe considering how murky to often looks, but the Ohio River produces some of the best drinking water in the entire country. That’s why you’ll often find Cincinnati ranked high on lists of cities with the best, most healthy tap water in the U.S.

In fact, Cincinnati ranked eighth on’s list of cities with the best drinking water, with a clean water score of 90.83, while Hamilton, Ohio has won the top prize in the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Competition – twice.

The Queen City has come a long way over the years when it comes to clean water. After the Cuyahoga River Fire in Cleveland in 1969, the state implemented significant changes and stricter regulations for Ohio’s rivers. Those changes can be seen downstream today here in Cincinnati in the quality of our tap water.

Of course, all this good news doesn’t mean we should stop paying attention to what’s in our home’s tap water, especially when you consider that Cincinnati’s water is still rather hard. That’s why we recommend a home water filtration system or at least using water purifiers in your home.

What is hard water?

Hard water has a high mineral content and is formed when water gets filtered through calcium and magnesium carbonates, limestone, chalk or gypsum. It isn’t bad for you, in fact, some would argue that it carries some slight health benefits. However, it can be a nuisance and can leave deposits that affect your plumbing.

Hard water can also damage water heaters, boilers, pipes, and can leave residue on appliances, sinks and bathtubs. It also causes dry skin and hair.

The benefits of water softeners

Investing in a water softener is a good idea for a variety of reasons. For starters, your home’s plumbing and your appliances will last longer. You also won’t have to worry about stains caused by mineral deposits that make cleaning a lot harder.

Water softeners also allow you to use less detergent and soaps, and you’ll likely enjoy softer skin and less brittle, dry hair.

A water softener is a whole house filtration system that removes calcium and magnesium minerals from your water. In most systems, resin beads release sodium into the water, and while some people worry that it creates unsafe levels of sodium in the tap water, much less sodium is released than you might think. Additionally, newer, eco-friendly water softeners are available today as well.

How do I test my water?

Whether you’re worried about hard water or not, we recommend checking your home’s water quality on a regular basis, especially for harmful contaminants like lead. Luckily, it’s easy and inexpensive to test your water and many testing kits can be purchased at your local home improvement store.

You can also order water testing kits online. Here’s our top picks from Amazon:

Best overall: Safe Home ULTIMATE Drinking Water Test Kit at Amazon

Best for a budget: Crystal Water Filters 15 in 1 Drinking Water Test Kit Strips at Amazon

Best for Lead: Health Metric Heavy Metals Test Kit at Amazon

It’s also important to note that Greater Cincinnati Water Works does lead testing for free. Order your kit here:

Still concerned about the quality of your home’s water? Give the team at Allied-Reddi Rooter a call or contact  us. We can help put your worries at ease and ensure that your home’s water is safe for you and your family.