WASHINGTON
2,182 systems serving 5,288,422 people
 
 
 
  This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by water utilities in Washington, provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the Washington State 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
91
2,182
4,980,486
Exceed health guidelines*
34
1,826
4,906,613
Exceed Legal Limits*
20
496
1,620,039
Unregulated chemicals detected
35
256
2,788,233
* 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.

 
 
 
  34 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

Contaminants detected in Washington 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
Lead (total) 4,381,685 4,381,685 1,384 1,384
Bromodichloromethane 4,272,871 4,272,871 651 651
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs) 3,887,901 3,822,524 502 471
Dichloroacetic acid 3,681,299 3,681,299 350 350
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) 4,387,619 3,417,957 839 354
Chloroform 4,295,075 3,350,927 700 271
Dibromochloromethane 3,777,615 2,831,234 564 516
Bromoform 2,395,147 2,395,147 374 374
Arsenic (total) 2,222,066 2,222,066 522 522
Copper 3,922,960 2,169,030 1,571 465

 
 
 
  Sources of Washington Drinking Water Contaminants

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

91 Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2008)
20 Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Cyanide, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Dalapon, Dinoseb, Atrazine, EPTC (Eptam), Bromacil, Dacthal, DCPA di acid degradate, Bromomethane, Metribuzin, Bentazon (Basagran), Ethylene dibromide (EDB), p-Dichlorobenzene, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Ethylbenzene

30 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), Dalapon, Dacthal, DCPA di acid degradate, Trichlorofluoromethane, Naphthalene, Dimethylphthalate, Diethylphthalate, Di-n-butylphthalate, Butyl Benzylphthalate, tert-Butylbenzene, Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), p-Dichlorobenzene, Tetrachloroethylene, Benzene, Bromobenzene, o-Xylene, n-Propylbenzene, m- & p- Xylene, Strontium-89

65 Industrial Pollutants

Aluminum, Bromide, Arsenic (total), Chlorite, Barium (total), Cadmium (total), Chromium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Manganese, Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Silver (total), Beryllium (total), Asbestos, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Chloroethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, cis-1,3-Dichloropropene, Naphthalene, Dimethylphthalate, Diethylphthalate, Di-n-butylphthalate, Butyl Benzylphthalate, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Dibromomethane, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene, n-Butylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, tert-Butylbenzene, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), p-Dichlorobenzene, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, 1,1-Dichloroethane, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, Carbon tetrachloride, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Trichloroethylene, Tetrachloroethylene, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane, Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Bromobenzene, Isopropylbenzene, Styrene, o-Xylene, n-Propylbenzene, m- & p- Xylene, Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Alpha particle activity, Strontium-90, Iodine-131, Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L)

20 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, Cadmium (total), Chloromethane, Bromate, Asbestos, Dibromomethane, Chloroethane

21 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, Alpha particle activity, Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L), Chromium (total), Aluminum, Selenium (total), Nitrite, Radon, Bromide, Mercury (total inorganic), Chloromethane, Cyanide, Silver (total), Iodine-131

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

Bromide, Lead (total), EPTC (Eptam), Bromacil, Dacthal, DCPA di acid degradate, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Bromomethane, Chloroethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, cis-1,3-Dichloropropene, Naphthalene, Dimethylphthalate, Diethylphthalate, Di-n-butylphthalate, Butyl Benzylphthalate, Dibromomethane, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene, n-Butylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, tert-Butylbenzene, Bromochloroacetic acid, Metribuzin, Bentazon (Basagran), 1,1-Dichloroethane, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane, Bromobenzene, Isopropylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Radon, Strontium-89, Strontium-90, Iodine-131

 
 
 
  Testing Summary for Washington

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

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in Washington 194
  Contaminants tested due to federal law: 90
  Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 104
 
 
 
  Violation Summary for Washington

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

Violation Type Number of Violations
Failure to monitor regularly 42,917
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria) 1,235
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria) 999
Failure to report information to the public or state agency in the Consumer Confidence Report 553
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling 502
Over maximum contaminant level, Single Sample 284
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria) 93
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria) 86
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper 59
Treatment Technique (Surface Water Treatment Rule) 57
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination) 8
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination) 6



Sources : EWG (Environmental Working Group)