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Infographic: American Plumbing — Tapping Into Water Infrastructure

At least 85 percent of Americans use a municipal water system for drinking water or sewer services. This interactive infographic explains how water moves to and from your tap.

In the United States, turning on the tap and receiving clean water is viewed as so basic to the quality of life that many people take it for granted. But, as this detailed and interactive infographic shows, the process usually takes a series of reservoirs, pumps, pipes, and treatment plants — all of which require maintenance.

Municipal Water Treatment in the United States Infographic
Infographic © Tessa Tillett/Ball State University for Circle of Blue
Click on the interactive infographic above to learn more about how water moves to and from the tap via water infrastructure development in the United States. Roll over the red dots to learn about each step in the municipal water process.

Source: EPA Office of Water, U.S. Geological Survey

Infographic by Tessa Tillett, a student of Ball State University’s journalism graphics program, for Circle of Blue, with contribution by Brett Walton, a Seattle-based reporter for Circle of Blue. This graphic was made to accompany Walton’s report, America’s Water Infrastructure Shows Its Age — The National Debate About How to Pay for Repairs. Reach Walton at

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