The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


388 systems serving 656,078 people

This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by water utilities in Maine, provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services- Division of Environmental 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.

Water Utilities
Population Served
Detected Chemicals
Exceed health guidelines*
Exceed Legal Limits*
Unregulated chemicals detected
* 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.

39 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

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

Number of Systems
At Any Level Above Health Limits At Any Level Above Health Limits
Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium)532,412532,412224224
Dichloroacetic acid511,309511,3098383
Arsenic (total)492,443492,443229229
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)598,903402,56217893
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs)376,535376,5358686
Lead (total)238,190238,190195195
Trichloroacetic acid362,188207,3437348

Water Utilities in Maine Reporting Chemicals Exceeding Health Guidelines

Water utilities in Maine reporting chemicals exceeding health guidelines, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis of data obtained from state water authorities, include:

Chemicals tested
Chemicals found
Chemicals exceeding
health guidelines
Madawaska Water District2,8401762716
Stonington Water Company603852214
Castine Water Department1,0631682614
Sanford Water District15,0001642312
Newport Water District1,590832012
Limerick Water District600821812
Fort Fairfield Util Dist2,1351452212
Eagle Lake Water & Sewer Dist.6781401912
Calais Water Dept3,0751572112
Brunswick / Topsham Water Dist16,9881702112
Nichols Trailer Park751191812
Charter Oak Mobile Home Villag1001402312
Corinna Water District301381911
Sugarloaf Water Association1,2381252011
St Francis Water District801272111
Presque Isle Water District5,8251731911
Port Clyde Water District3301282011
North Haven Water Department293901911
Aqua Maine,inc. Kezar Falls Division1,200911911
Caribou Utilities District4,3231672011

Sources of Maine Drinking Water Contaminants

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

74Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2009)
12Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Nitrate, Nitrate & nitrite, Arsenic (total), Selenium (total), Nitrite, Ethylbenzene, Dalapon, Cyanide, Dicamba, Metribuzin, Hexazinone, Parathion (ethyl)

26Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Nitrate, Copper, Nitrate & nitrite, Lead (total), Arsenic (total), Tetrachloroethylene, MTBE, Nitrite, Xylenes (total), Dalapon, Cadmium (total), Antimony (total), Mercury (total inorganic), m- & p- Xylene, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Cyanide, o-Xylene, Benzene, Silver (total), Trichlorofluoromethane, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di-n-butylphthalate, Naphthalene, Diethylphthalate, bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Phenanthrene

55Industrial 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), Antimony (total), Thallium (total), Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, Naphthalene, MTBE, Nitrobenzene, Phenanthrene, Diethylphthalate, Di-n-butylphthalate, bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, Bromochloromethane, Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, Carbon tetrachloride, Trichloroethylene, 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, Tetrachloroethylene, Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, o-Xylene, m- & p- Xylene, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Uranium-238, Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228, Alpha particle activity, Combined Uranium (pCi/L)

16Water 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, Chlorite, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Cadmium (total), Chloromethane, Bromochloromethane

25Naturally 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), Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Chromium (total), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Aluminum, Selenium (total), Nitrite, Radon, Bromide, Mercury (total inorganic), Chloromethane, Cyanide, Uranium-238, Silver (total)

22Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Bromide, Lead (total), Hexazinone, Parathion (ethyl), Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, Naphthalene, MTBE, Nitrobenzene, Phenanthrene, Diethylphthalate, Di-n-butylphthalate, bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, Bromochloromethane, Dicamba, Metribuzin, 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, Radon, Uranium-234 (pCi/L)

Testing Summary for Maine

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

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in Maine187
 Contaminants tested due to federal law: 96
 Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 91

Violation Summary for Maine

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

Violation TypeNumber of Violations
Failure to monitor regularly896
Over maximum contaminant level, Average445
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria)326
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria)150
Inadequate reporting of information to the public109
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling100
Failure to report information to the public or state agency in the Consumer Confidence Report92
Improper Treatment Techniques37
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule35
Initial Water Quality Parameter Monitoring and Reporting30
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper25
Over maximum contaminant level, Single Sample25
Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment Study Recommendation20
Public Education18
Treatment Technique (Surface Water Treatment Rule)11
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria)7
Failure to monitor: Check/Repeat/Confirmation sampling6
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria)6
Failure to monitor, Routine Minor (Coliform bacteria)5
Failure to Filter (Surface Water Treatment Rule)4
Failure to monitor, Repeat Minor (Coliform bacteria)4
Excess Turbidity at 0.3 NTU2
Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment Installation/Demonstration2
Initial, Follow-up, or Routine Source Water Treatment Monitoring and Reporting1
Water Quality Program Entry Point Non-Compliance1
Lead Service Line Replacement1
Public Notification Violation for National Primary Drinking Water Regulations1