Most Americans, don’t realize how much of a blessing it is to have clean air to breathe, and clean tap water to drink, and naturally, a large majority of people take it for guarantee. This is why, in this blog, we will be showing how which are the cities with the best and worst pollution levels within the United States of America.
With this being said, let’s get into this:
First, we will be looking at the worst cities in the USA both in terms of air pollution and water contaminants. Because we always save the best part for the last. And you should be ready because some names might surprise you.
10 Most Polluted Cities in The US
Before we look at the actual list itself, let’s understand the criteria used to create it. As such, several factors are taken into consideration, which include fine particulate matter, the ozone layer, and tap water contaminants.
Based on these major factors, the top 10 most polluted cities in the United States of America, are mentioned below:
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA – Pollution Index: 206.70
- Modesto, CA – Pollution Index: 202.08
- Fresno, CA – Pollution Index: 201.76
- Bakersfield, CA – Pollution Index: 195.60
- Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ – Pollution Index: 195.17
- Stockton-Lodi, CA – Pollution Index: 161.69
- El Paso, TX – Pollution Index: 157.00
- Albuquerque, NM – Pollution Index: 156.96
- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV – Pollution Index: 156.71
- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA – Pollution Index: 155.11
US cities with the worst air quality
Depending on which factor you look at, there are different most polluted cities in the USA. All of these are, as mentioned below:
The most (air) polluted city of the USA in terms of fine particles in the Las Cruces of NM. As per the EPA, Las Cruces has an annual mean concentration of around 475 PM2.5. Moving on, a city which the highest ozone level is the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA, measuring at 0.107 ozone design value.
US city with worst tap water
If we talked about tap water, the worst city in Modesto, CA. It has around 16 detected contaminants in the largest water provider of the area. It is quite ironic that a city with the motto “Water Wealth Contentment Health” is in such a condition.
Moreover, likes of Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH; Fresno, CA; McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX; and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX, are also strong contenders in this race, each having a high level of contamination.
Coming back to the better side of the world, we shall be looking at the cleanest cities in the USA. Firstly, we shall be looking at the 10 least polluted cities, then the ones with the best air quality, and least contaminated tap water.
10 least polluted cities in the US
Again, here we consider the same factors (fine particulate matter, ozone layer, and tap water contaminant). With this being said, let’s look at the cleanest cities in the USA. These are, as mentioned below:
- Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI – Pollution Index: 82.16
- Portland-South Portland, ME – Pollution Index: 82.54
- Urban Honolulu, HI – Pollution Index: 83.18
- Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL – Pollution Index: 85.14
- Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL – Pollution Index: 85.47
- Colorado Springs, CO – Pollution Index: 86.37
- Memphis, TN-MS-AR – Pollution Index: 87.50
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA – Pollution Index: 88.18
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL – Pollution Index: 90.98
- Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL – Pollution Index: 91.38
US cities with Best Air Quality
Wilmington, NC is the cleanest city in the USA in terms of fine particles, with the annual mean concentration being 19 PM 2.5. it is quite clean as compared to Las Cruces, which is the most polluted city in the US at 475 PM2.5.
Moreover, the city with an EPA design value of .043 lowest ozone level is, Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna, CA. Making it the cleanest city in terms of ozone.
Furthermore, cities like Burlington-South Burlington, VT, and Winchester, VA-WV are also among the cleanest. Having a low mean concentration of 20 PM2.5, and 23 PM2.5. respectively.
US city with Best Tap Water
Show Low of AZ has the cleanest tap water across the entire United States with just one contaminant. Second to only Show Low, are the cities with two containments, Evansville, IN-KY, and Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI.
If you are looking for the best drinking water in the USA in terms of contaminants, these are the places to look at.