UTAH
434 systems serving 3,802,780 people
 
 
 
  This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by water utilities in Utah, provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. 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.

The state water agency did not respond to requests for water quality tests conducted after 2006. Results from earlier data requests are shown below.

 
Chemicals
Water Utilities
Population Served
Detected Chemicals
50
434
3,731,947
Exceed health guidelines*
33
356
3,696,280
Exceed Legal Limits*
15
60
702,035
Unregulated chemicals detected
3
3
8,129
* 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.

 
 
 
  33 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

Contaminants detected in Utah 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
Bromodichloromethane 3,374,004 3,374,004 180 180
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs) 3,373,447 3,309,597 164 159
Dibromochloromethane 3,308,504 3,306,454 175 174
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) 3,495,143 2,999,417 220 112
Chloroform 3,370,794 2,936,531 172 79
Dichloroacetic acid 2,789,306 2,789,306 118 118
Arsenic (total) 2,379,492 2,379,492 220 220
Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium) 2,242,727 2,242,727 201 201
Bromoform 1,392,064 1,392,064 104 104
Thallium (total) 1,081,623 1,081,623 29 29

 
 
 
  Sources of Utah Drinking Water Contaminants

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

50 Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2006)
10 Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Cyanide, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), 3-Hydroxycarbofuran, Foaming agents (surfactants), p-Dichlorobenzene, Ethylbenzene

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

Arsenic (total), Cadmium (total), Copper, Cyanide, Lead (total), Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Silver (total), Antimony (total), Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Naphthalene, Foaming agents (surfactants), Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), p-Dichlorobenzene, Tetrachloroethylene

37 Industrial Pollutants

Arsenic (total), Barium (total), Cadmium (total), Chromium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Manganese, Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Silver (total), Antimony (total), Beryllium (total), Thallium (total), Asbestos, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Hexachlorobutadiene, Naphthalene, Foaming agents (surfactants), Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), p-Dichlorobenzene, Vinyl chloride, Trichloroethylene, Tetrachloroethylene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228, Alpha particle activity, Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L)

15 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, Monobromoacetic acid, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Cadmium (total), Vinyl chloride, Asbestos

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

Nitrate, Copper, Nitrate & nitrite, Barium (total), Lead (total), Arsenic (total), Manganese, Radium-228, Radium-226, Alpha particle activity, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L), Chromium (total), Selenium (total), Nitrite, Mercury (total inorganic), Cyanide, Silver (total)

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

Lead (total), 3-Hydroxycarbofuran, Hexachlorobutadiene, Naphthalene

 
 
 
  Testing Summary for Utah

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

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in Utah 132
  Contaminants tested due to federal law: 86
  Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 46
 
 
 
  Violation Summary for Utah

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

Violation Type Number of Violations
Failure to monitor regularly 3,644
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria) 223
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria) 220
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule 139
Failure to monitor, Routine Minor (Coliform bacteria) 118
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling 107
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria) 62
Failure to notify public of violation 20
Failure to monitor, Repeat Minor (Coliform bacteria) 14
Public Notification Violation for National Primary Drinking Water Regulations 9
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria) 9
Treatment Technique Precursor Removal 5
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper 3



Sources : EWG (Environmental Working Group)