VIRGINIA
1,171 systems serving 7,456,511 people
 
 
 
  This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by water utilities in Virginia, provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the Virginia Department of Health- Office of Drinking Water. 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
93
1,171
7,437,750
Exceed health guidelines*
44
1.093
7,421,731
Exceed Legal Limits*
25
502
3,353,924
Unregulated chemicals detected
24
63
1,424,985
* 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.

 
 
 
  44 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

Contaminants detected in Virginia 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) 7,329,405 7,112,469 794 451
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs) 6,676,941 6,668,931 494 489
Bromodichloromethane 6,236,204 6,236,204 620 620
Dibromochloromethane 6,142,642 6,125,578 591 572
Chloroform 6,273,307 5,602,209 704 379
Dichloroacetic acid 3,103,255 3,103,255 383 383
Bromoform 1,958,353 1,958,353 255 255
Radium-228 1,638,232 1,638,232 220 220
Aluminum 1,474,100 1,427,507 220 218
Trichloroacetic acid 3,088,006 1,077,896 374 198

 
 
 
  Sources of Virginia Drinking Water Contaminants

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

93 Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2009)
22 Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Chlorate, Cyanide, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Dalapon, Metolachlor, Atrazine, 2,4-D, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), Bromomethane, 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Chlordane, m-Dichlorobenzene, o-Dichlorobenzene, p-Dichlorobenzene, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Ethylbenzene

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

Arsenic (total), Copper, Cyanide, Lead (total), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Antimony (total), Dalapon, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, 2,4-D, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), Trichlorofluoromethane, Naphthalene, MTBE, Benzo[a]pyrene, tert-Butylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene, Xylenes (total), Chlordane, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), p-Dichlorobenzene, Tetrachloroethylene, Benzene, Bromobenzene, o-Xylene, m- & p- Xylene

69 Industrial Pollutants

Aluminum, Bromide, Arsenic (total), Chlorate, Chlorite, Barium (total), Chromium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Manganese, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Antimony (total), p-Isopropyltoluene, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, Hexachlorobutadiene, Naphthalene, MTBE, Tetrahydrofuran, 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Dibromomethane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene, tert-Butylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene, Bromochloromethane, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), m-Dichlorobenzene, p-Dichlorobenzene, Vinyl chloride, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, 1,1-Dichloroethane, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, 1,2-Dichloroethane, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, Carbon tetrachloride, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Trichloroethylene, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, Tetrachloroethylene, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Bromobenzene, Isopropylbenzene, Styrene, o-Xylene, m- & p- Xylene, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228, Alpha particle activity, Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L)

22 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, Bromochloroacetic acid, Monobromoacetic acid, Chlorite, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Chloromethane, Chlorate, Bromate, Vinyl chloride, Dibromomethane, Bromochloromethane, Benzo[a]pyrene, m-Dichlorobenzene

23 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), Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Chromium (total), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Aluminum, Selenium (total), Nitrite, Bromide, Chloromethane, Cyanide

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

Bromide, Chlorate, Lead (total), p-Isopropyltoluene, Metolachlor, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Bromomethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, Hexachlorobutadiene, Naphthalene, MTBE, Tetrahydrofuran, Dibromomethane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene, tert-Butylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene, Bromochloromethane, Bromochloroacetic acid, m-Dichlorobenzene, 1,1-Dichloroethane, 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, Bromobenzene, Isopropylbenzene

 
 
 
  Testing Summary for Virginia

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

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in Virginia 192
  Contaminants tested due to federal law: 110
  Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 82
 
 
 
  Violation Summary for Virginia

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

Violation Type Number of Violations
Failure to monitor regularly 2,101
Over maximum contaminant level, Average 657
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria) 525
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria) 443
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule 375
Failure to report information to the public or state agency in the Consumer Confidence Report 200
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling 151
Failure to monitor, Routine Minor (Coliform bacteria) 142
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria) 81
Public Notification Violation for National Primary Drinking Water Regulations 62
Treatment Technique No Certif. Operator 43
Failure to monitor: Check/Repeat/Confirmation sampling 42
Excess Turbidity at 0.3 NTU 40
Filter Turbidity Reporting 35
Failure to monitor, Repeat Minor (Coliform bacteria) 23
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper 17
Treatment Technique Precursor Removal 16
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria) 12
Excess Turbidity at 1 NTU 9
Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment Installation/Demonstration 7
Treatment Technique (Surface Water Treatment Rule) 6
Public Education 5
Operations Report 4
Water Quality Program Entry Point Non-Compliance 3
Improper Treatment Techniques 3
Record Keeping Violation 2
Initial, Follow-up, or Routine Source Water Treatment Monitoring and Reporting 2
Initial Water Quality Parameter Monitoring and Reporting 2
Inadequate reporting of information to the public 1
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination) 1
Failure to Filter (Surface Water Treatment Rule) 1



Sources : EWG (Environmental Working Group)