The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


605 systems serving 1,412,179 people

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

44 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

Contaminants detected in Nebraska 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
Lead (total)1,386,3041,386,304516516
Arsenic (total)1,317,7641,317,764443443
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs)1,028,3201,013,22710896
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)1,138,184997,75218576
Dichloroacetic acid942,322942,3227373

Water Utilities in Nebraska Reporting Chemicals Exceeding Health Guidelines

Water utilities in Nebraska 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
Metropolitan Utilities District506,4201484220
City of Papillion21,6001463318
City of Scottsbluff14,7001452517
City of Kearney24,8891463617
City of Mccook7,9941442616
City of Gering8,0001442515
City of Columbus21,0001452815
City of Grand Island40,0361452715
City of Fremont25,0001462715
City of Wilber1,5251422114
City of Nebraska City6,5911433214
City of Central City3,0011391814
Village of Clarks3911452514
City of Hastings23,0001383014
City of Auburn3,6011422013
City of North Platte25,0001391913
City of Lincoln203,0001443013
City of Schuyler5,3711381813
City of Louisville1,0801432313
City of Gibbon1,7591391613

Sources of Nebraska Drinking Water Contaminants

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

90Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2008)
25Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Cyanide, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Diquat, Simazine, Dinoseb, Metolachlor, Atrazine, Alachlor (Lasso), Butylate (Sutan), Heptachlor epoxide, 2,4-D, Bromomethane, Aldrin, Dicamba, Metribuzin, 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Chlordane, p-Dichlorobenzene, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Ethylbenzene

24Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Nitrate, Copper, Nitrate & nitrite, Lead (total), Arsenic (total), Tetrachloroethylene, MTBE, Nitrite, Cadmium (total), Antimony (total), m- & p- Xylene, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Cyanide, o-Xylene, Benzene, Trichlorofluoromethane, p-Dichlorobenzene, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, 2,4-D, Naphthalene, m-Xylene, Chlordane, n-Propylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene

61Industrial Pollutants

Aluminum, Arsenic (total), Chlorite, Barium (total), Cadmium (total), Chromium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Manganese, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Antimony (total), Asbestos, p-Isopropyltoluene, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Chloroethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, cis-1,3-Dichloropropene, Naphthalene, MTBE, Pentachlorophenol, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Dibromomethane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, n-Butylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), 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, Tetrachloroethylene, Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Isopropylbenzene, m-Xylene, Styrene, o-Xylene, n-Propylbenzene, 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, Combined Uranium (pCi/L)

20Water 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, Vinyl chloride, Asbestos, Dibromomethane, Chloroethane

21Naturally 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 (excl radon and uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Chromium (total), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Aluminum, Selenium (total), Nitrite, Radon, Chloromethane, Cyanide

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

Lead (total), p-Isopropyltoluene, Metolachlor, Butylate (Sutan), Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Bromomethane, Chloroethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, cis-1,3-Dichloropropene, Naphthalene, MTBE, Aldrin, Dibromomethane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, n-Butylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene, Dicamba, Bromochloroacetic acid, Metribuzin, 1,1-Dichloroethane, Isopropylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Radon

Testing Summary for Nebraska

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

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in Nebraska151
 Contaminants tested due to federal law: 95
 Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 56

Violation Summary for Nebraska

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

Violation TypeNumber of Violations
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria)674
Over maximum contaminant level, Average381
Over maximum contaminant level, Single Sample181
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria)168
Public Notification Violation for National Primary Drinking Water Regulations113
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria)48
Failure to monitor regularly46
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria)26
Failure to Filter (Surface Water Treatment Rule)9
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination)4
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule4
Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment Study Recommendation2
Treatment Technique (Surface Water Treatment Rule)1
Operations Report1
Excess Turbidity at 0.3 NTU1