The lead poisoning of water in Flint, Michigan is troubling and has spawned outrage nationwide. The federal government has been forced to declare a state of emergency in the city thanks to a series of missteps by local and state authorities.

Today, a report from The Guardian asserts that many U.S. Cities are downplaying the amounts of lead and copper in their municipal systems.

According to the report, water boards often distort tests in an effort to make their water appear safer.

One source which preferred to remain anonymous said,

“The controversial approach to water testing is so widespread that it occurs in every major US city east of the Mississippi. By word of mouth, this has become the thing to do in the water industry. The logical conclusion is that millions of people’s drinking water is potentially unsafe.”

So, with this is mind – how is our water?

The most recent analysis from the City of Tyler is from 2014 (2015 has not been released yet).

Conclusion? We look pretty good. Longview? Likewise.

It's a bit of a given, however, that the folks at all area water testing facilities (and the companies that may be contracting the reports) will likely be under more scrutiny following the events in Flint.

If you're concerned, you can have your water tested for heavy metals. This will set you back under $50 at Home Depot or any local home improvement store.

Do bear in mind that “cloudy” water does not indicate that it is unsafe. Water is cloudy by nature – it's not always crisp and clean like you might find at the convenience store. Also, “funny tasting” water isn't a warning sign that your water is littered with heavy metals. You might have a piping or a tap issue that needs to be taken into consideration.