The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database

North Carolina

2,146 systems serving 7,352,522 people

This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by water utilities in North Carolina, provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. 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.

62 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

Contaminants detected in North Carolina 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
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs)7,009,0816,954,2511,1251,099
Dichloroacetic acid6,873,0736,873,073946946
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)7,153,9436,872,5921,457927
Lead (total)5,981,4325,981,4321,2261,226
Trichloroacetic acid6,724,9293,041,471837332
Combined Radium (-226 & -228)2,184,8812,184,881348348

Water Utilities in North Carolina Reporting Chemicals Exceeding Health Guidelines

Water utilities in North Carolina 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
Bayleaf Master14,7421262917
Brookwood Comm Wtr System15,6651252317
Greenville Utilities Comm83,2101252014
Leesville Master3,8321232614
Moore Co Public Util-Pinehurst18,6431222514
Rowland Pond S/D1371231913
Quail`s Nest/Cedar Chase S/D531222113
Kings Grant S/D3251221913
Amber Acres North S/D7521241613
Robeson County Water System67,4191241913
Moore Co Public Util-Seven Lak6,1831241713
Cantebury Estates2951231613
Mirror Lake Mhp941221813
Willard Oaks S/D721121813
Town of Lexington22,4151151813
Town of Troutman3,1751221913
Mcconnell S/D1241252213
Cabarrus Woods/Cambridge S/D6,6041202113
Ridgebrook Bluff S/D1431231512

Sources of North Carolina Drinking Water Contaminants

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

112Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2009)
33Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Cyanide, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Endrin, Lindane, Methoxychlor, Toxaphene, Dalapon, Simazine, Picloram, Dinoseb, Metolachlor, Atrazine, Alachlor (Lasso), Heptachlor epoxide, Dieldrin, 2,4-D, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), Bromomethane, Aldrin, 1,3-Dichloropropene, Dicamba, 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Chlordane, o-Dichlorobenzene, p-Dichlorobenzene, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Ethylbenzene

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

Nitrate, Copper, Nitrate & nitrite, Lead (total), Arsenic (total), Tetrachloroethylene, Nitrite, Xylenes (total), Dalapon, Cadmium (total), Antimony (total), Mercury (total inorganic), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Cyanide, Benzene, Trichlorofluoromethane, p-Dichlorobenzene, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, 2,4-D, Naphthalene, Chlordane, Benzo[a]pyrene, Lindane, n-Propylbenzene, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), tert-Butylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene

76Industrial Pollutants

Bromide, Arsenic (total), Chlorite, Barium (total), Cadmium (total), Chromium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Manganese, Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Antimony (total), Beryllium (total), Thallium (total), Lindane, p-Isopropyltoluene, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Chloroethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, Hexachlorobutadiene, Naphthalene, Pentachlorophenol, 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Dibromomethane, 1,1-Dichloropropene, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 2,2-Dichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene, n-Butylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, tert-Butylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene, Bromochloromethane, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), o-Chlorotoluene, 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, 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, Tetrachloroethylene, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Isopropylbenzene, Styrene, n-Propylbenzene, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228, Tritium, Strontium-90, Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L)

21Water 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, Bromate, Vinyl chloride, Dibromomethane, Bromochloromethane, Benzo[a]pyrene, Chloroethane

22Naturally 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), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L), Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Chromium (total), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Selenium (total), Nitrite, Radon, Bromide, Mercury (total inorganic), Chloromethane, Cyanide

35Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Bromide, Lead (total), p-Isopropyltoluene, Metolachlor, Dieldrin, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Bromomethane, Chloroethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, Hexachlorobutadiene, Naphthalene, Aldrin, Dibromomethane, 1,1-Dichloropropene, 1,3-Dichloropropene, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 2,2-Dichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene, n-Butylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, tert-Butylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene, Bromochloromethane, Dicamba, o-Chlorotoluene, 1,1-Dichloroethane, 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane, Isopropylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Radon, Tritium, Strontium-90

Testing Summary for North Carolina

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

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in North Carolina135
 Contaminants tested due to federal law: 85
 Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 50

Violation Summary for North Carolina

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

Violation TypeNumber of Violations
Failure to monitor regularly19,062
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule2,384
Public Notification Violation for National Primary Drinking Water Regulations2,098
Other Non-National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Potential Health Risks1,617
Over maximum contaminant level, Average1,450
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria)1,160
Failure to report information to the public or state agency in the Consumer Confidence Report1,017
Inadequate reporting of information to the public678
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling560
Failure to monitor, Routine Minor (Coliform bacteria)234
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria)169
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper152
Public Education89
Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment Study Recommendation79
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria)69
Over maximum contaminant level, Single Sample26
Treatment Technique Precursor Removal22
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria)12
Failure to monitor, Repeat Minor (Coliform bacteria)12
Excess Turbidity at 0.3 NTU7
Treatment Technique (Surface Water Treatment Rule)7
Excess Turbidity at 1 NTU4
Non-Acute maximum residual disinfectant level3
Filter Turbidity Reporting2
Acute maximum residual disinfectant level2
Monitoring & Reporting of Filter Profile/Comprehensive Performance Evaluations Failure2
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination)2