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.
EWG's Top-Rated and Lowest-Rated Water Utilities
|TOP RATED WATER UTILITIES||LOWEST RATED WATER UTILITIES|
Arlington Water Utilities
Emerald Coast Water Utility
City of Riverside Public Utilities
|Fort Worth, TX|
Fort Worth Water Department
|Las Vegas, NV|
Las Vegas Valley Water District
Charleston Water System
|Riverside County, CA|
Eastern Municipal Water District
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
Truckee Meadows Water Authority
Board of Water Supply
City of Houston Public Works
Austin Water Utility
Metropolitan Utilities District
|Fairfax County, VA|
|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
City of Minneapolis Water Department