Environmental Working Group Water Quality Report
Posted by youngsierrans on December 13, 2009
Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released the results of a three-year study on tap water quality across the U.S., the Drinking Water Quality Analysis & Tap Water Database, and determined that there’s “good reason to worry about the safety of the drinking water.”
EWG assembled an unprecedented database of 20 million drinking water quality tests performed by water utilities since 2004. It reveals a total of 316 contaminants in water supplied to 256 million Americans in 48,000 communities in 45 states. Among the contaminants were 202 chemicals that are not subject to any government regulation or safety standards for drinking water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set enforceable drinking water safety standards for only 114 of the 316 substances detected (EPA 2009b).
Study data sources & methodology and water pollution contaminant & source information are available and can assist in understanding the specific water quality reports of your water utility (findable by zip code or utility).
The Top 100 Big City (greater than 250,000 people) Best Water rankings include Texas cities: Arlington (#1), Fort Worth (#3), Austin (#7), Dallas (#12), San Antonio (#29), Corpus Christi (#44), Plano (#50), and Houston (#95). The City of Plano Utility Operations Dept. is mentioned as a large utility with findings of the highest average levels of cancer-causing water disinfection byproducts.
EWG policy recommendations include, expanding requirements for testing unregulated contaminants, increased health protective standards for unregulated chemicals found in our water, and expanding programs to protect source water protection. The mistaken belief to buy bottled water, of which many popular brands are often bottled tap water, tainted with the same pollutants, is not a suggested solution.
12/16/09 – New York Times series, Toxic Waters, story, That Tap Water Is Legal But It May Be Unhealthy.