80 million Americans are drinking dirty water

Clean water is something we all just take for granted.

But we shouldn't.

You could have what looks, smells, and even tastes like fresh and pure water flowing from your tap. You might even chill it in a pitcher with a built-in filter, just for extra protection.

It's all just an illusion, as new research shows how your water probably isn't as pure as you think.

And odds are, that little pitcher filter isn't giving you the protection your family needs.

The new report finds that up to 1 in 4 Americans are routinely drinking contaminated water, quietly ingesting dangerous toxins with every sip and slurp.

An analysis of EPA reports finds that rural communities -- across the heartland in particular and especially in Texas and Oklahoma -- have some of the biggest water quality issues.

But really, the problems can happen anywhere, from Flint to Florida, from Washington D.C. to Washington State.

The EPA reports find that the biggest issue are bacteria, especially nasty poop germs from both humans and animals.

EWWW!

The study also finds viruses and parasites routinely swimming around, including Cryptosporidium and Giardia lamblia.

Next time you're sick with nausea and diarrhea, it might NOT be "something you ate."

I could be something you drank -- specifically, your own tap water!

To cap it all off, the report also finds problems with metals including arsenic, lead, and copper.

As bad as this is, it's barely a ripple in the scope of the problem. This report was based only on whether the water in a given area meets U.S. EPA standards, which are nothing short of a national embarrassment.

They were written in another era... and completely ignore many of the metals, drugs, hormones, fuel residue, antibiotics, and other poisons that routinely turn up in the water.

You could be drinking a drug-laced soup, with just a hint of rocket fuel, and the feds could insist that your water meets "standards."

Set a much higher standard for yourself and your family -- and that means that if you're not filtering your water yet, it's time to get started.

I know many people use filter pitchers already.

Nice try.

You're wasting your money, because they just can't handle everything that's coming out of the tap these days.

There are two options that you can use at home that will ensure clean water with every sip.

The first is reverse osmosis, which connects under your sink or -- for a bigger unit -- outside your home.

The second is a distiller, which sits on your countertop.

Either one will cost a couple hundred bucks -- but on the plus side, you'll never need to buy bottled water again, since the stuff you're filtering at home will be the cleanest water money can buy.

Do a little homework and see which system is best for you.