RHODE ISLAND
77 systems serving 983,259 people
 
 
 
  This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by water utilities in Rhode Island, provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the Rhode Island Department of Health. It is part of EWG's national database that includes 47,667 drinking water utilities and 20 million test results from 45 states and the District of Columbia. Water utilities nationwide detected more than 300 pollutants between 2004 and 2009. More than half of these chemicals are unregulated, legal in any amount. Despite this widespread contamination, the federal government invests few resources in protecting rivers, reservoirs, and groundwater from pollution in the first place. The information below summarizes drinking water quality for this state.

 
Chemicals
Water Utilities
Population Served
Detected Chemicals
80
77
958,426
Exceed health guidelines*
37
69
956,990
Exceed Legal Limits*
12
24
356,942
Unregulated chemicals detected
29
39
546,588
* Water utilities are noted as exceeding the legal limit if any test is above the maximum contaminant level (MCL). Most MCLs are based on annual averages so exceeding the MCL for one test does not necessarily indicate that the system is out of compliance.

 
 
 
  37 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

Contaminants detected in Rhode Island drinking water above health guidelines, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis of data obtained from state water authorities.

Contaminant
Population
Number of Systems
At Any Level Above Health Limits At Any Level Above Health Limits
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) 911,495 885,140 40 25
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs) 784,836 784,836 20 20
Bromodichloromethane 768,852 768,852 24 24
Chloroform 845,307 764,957 38 20
Dibromochloromethane 471,112 471,112 21 21
Radium-228 349,059 349,059 19 19
Combined Radium (-226 & -228) 345,389 345,389 19 19
Bromoform 229,345 229,345 11 11
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate 208,953 208,953 13 13
Benzo[a]pyrene 154,709 154,709 4 4

 
 
 
  Sources of Rhode Island Drinking Water Contaminants

The contaminants identified in Rhode Island drinking water come from a wide variety of sources, including agriculture, industry, water treatment plants, and polluted storm runoff from urban areas.

80 Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2009)
11 Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Simazine, Metolachlor, Atrazine, Dacthal, 2,4-D, Chlordane, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Ethylbenzene

31 Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Cadmium (total), Copper, Lead (total), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Antimony (total), Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Dacthal, 2,4-D, Naphthalene, MTBE, Fluorene, Phenanthrene, Pyrene, Di-n-butylphthalate, Chrysene, Benzo[b]fluoranthene, Benzo[k]fluoranthene, Benzo[a]pyrene, Indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene, Dibenz[a,h]anthracene, Benzo[g,h,i]perylene, Xylenes (total), Chlordane, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Tetrachloroethylene, o-Xylene, n-Propylbenzene, m- & p- Xylene, Benzo[b]fluoranthene & Benzo[k]fluoranthene

59 Industrial Pollutants

Barium (total), Cadmium (total), Chromium (total), Lead (total), Manganese, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Antimony (total), Beryllium (total), Thallium (total), Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Naphthalene, MTBE, Acenaphthylene, Isophorone, Fluorene, Phenanthrene, Pyrene, Di-n-butylphthalate, Chrysene, Benzo[b]fluoranthene, Indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene, Dibenz[a,h]anthracene, Aroclor 1232, Aroclor 1248, Aroclor 1254, Aroclor 1260, Dibromomethane, 1,1-Dichloropropene, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, n-Butylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), o-Chlorotoluene, p-Chlorotoluene, 1,1-Dichloroethane, Carbon tetrachloride, Trichloroethylene, Tetrachloroethylene, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Isopropylbenzene, Styrene, o-Xylene, n-Propylbenzene, m- & p- Xylene, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228, Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L)

18 Water Treatment and Distribution Byproducts
(pipes and fixtures, treatment chemicals and byproducts)

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Dichloroacetic acid, Trichloroacetic acid, Bromoform, Dibromoacetic acid, Monochloroacetic acid, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Cadmium (total), Chloromethane, Dibromomethane, Benzo[a]pyrene, Benzo[g,h,i]perylene, Benzo[k]fluoranthene, Benzo[b]fluoranthene & Benzo[k]fluoranthene

16 Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Nitrate, Copper, Nitrate & nitrite, Barium (total), Lead (total), Manganese, Radium-228, Radium-226, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L), Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Chromium (total), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Nitrite, Chloromethane

30 Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Lead (total), Metolachlor, Dacthal, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Naphthalene, MTBE, Acenaphthylene, Isophorone, Fluorene, Phenanthrene, Pyrene, Di-n-butylphthalate, Chrysene, Benzo[b]fluoranthene, Benzo[k]fluoranthene, Indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene, Dibenz[a,h]anthracene, Benzo[g,h,i]perylene, Dibromomethane, 1,1-Dichloropropene, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, n-Butylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, o-Chlorotoluene, p-Chlorotoluene, 1,1-Dichloroethane, Isopropylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Benzo[b]fluoranthene & Benzo[k]fluoranthene

 
 
 
  Testing Summary for Rhode Island

The federal government has set standards for some of the pollutants found in tap water supplies..

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in Rhode Island 160
  Contaminants tested due to federal law: 89
  Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 71
 
 
 
  Violation Summary for Rhode Island

Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards in Rhode Island since 2004.

Violation Type Number of Violations
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria) 64
Failure to report information to the public or state agency in the Consumer Confidence Report 37
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling 29
Over maximum contaminant level, Average 28
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria) 17
Inadequate reporting of information to the public 13
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule 11
Public Notification Violation for National Primary Drinking Water Regulations 6
Treatment Technique Precursor Removal 6
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria) 5
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria) 5
Failure to monitor, Repeat Minor (Coliform bacteria) 5
Failure to monitor, Routine Minor (Coliform bacteria) 3
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper 2
Lead Service Line Replacement 1
Over maximum contaminant level, Single Sample 1
Other Non-National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Potential Health Risks 1
Excess Turbidity at 1 NTU 1
Excess Turbidity at 0.3 NTU 1
Public Education 1



Sources : EWG (Environmental Working Group)