Over 300 Pollutants in U.S. Tap Water

Over 300 Pollutants in U.S. Tap Water

Since 2004, testing by water utilities has found 315 pollutants in the tap water Americans drink, according to an Environmental Working Group (EWG) drinking water quality analysis of almost 20 million records obtained from state water officials.

More than half of the chemicals detected are not subject to health or safety regulations and can legally be present in any amount. The federal government does have health guidelines for others, but 49 of these contaminants have been found in one place or another at levels above those guidelines, polluting the tap water for 53.6 million Americans. The government has not set a single new drinking water standard since 2001.

Water utilities spend 19 times more on water treatment chemicals every year than the federal government invests in protecting lakes and rivers from pollution in the first place.

Based on these data, EWG believes the federal government has a responsibility to do a national assessment of drinking water quality. It should establish new safety standards, set priorities for pollution prevention projects, and tell consumers about the full range of pollutants in their water.

Because it has not, EWG launched a 3-year project to create the largest drinking water quality database in existence. This user-friendly, interactive resource covers 48,000 communities in 45 states and the District of Columbia.

Cities with the Best Water

EWG rated big city (population over 250,000) water utilities based on three factors: the total number of chemicals detected since 2004; the percentage of chemicals found of those tested; and the highest average level for an individual pollutant, relative to legal limits or national average amounts, including for the most common pollutants (disinfection byproducts, nitrate and arsenic). [read more on rating methodology]

Since EWG’s tap water database was published in December 2009, we have received new water test results from several utilities. The database and our city-by-city water quality rankings will be updated in the near future.

EWG’s Top-Rated and Lowest-Rated Water Utilities – 2009

Arlington, TX
Arlington Water Utilities
Pensacola, FL
Emerald Coast Water Utility
Providence, RI
Providence Water
Riverside, CA
City of Riverside Public Utilities
Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Water Department
Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Valley Water District
Charleston, SC
Charleston Water System
Riverside County, CA
Eastern Municipal Water District
Boston, MA
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
Reno, NV
Truckee Meadows Water Authority
Honolulu, HI
Board of Water Supply
(Honolulu/Windward/Pearl Harbor)
Houston, TX
City of Houston Public Works
Austin, TX
Austin Water Utility
Omaha, NE
Metropolitan Utilities District
Fairfax County, VA
Fairfax Water
North Las Vegas, NV
City of North Las Vegas Utilities Department
St. Louis, MO
City of St. Louis Water Division
San Diego, CA
San Diego Water Department
Minneapolis, MN
City of Minneapolis Water Department
Jacksonville, FL

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About CareMan
I am the CareMan, have been for 7 years now. I really do care about YOU and getting YOU back to great, natural health, so long as you have an open mind.

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