The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database

North Dakota

327 systems serving 562,310 people

This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by water utilities in North Dakota, provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the North Dakota 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.

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.

18 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

Contaminants detected in North Dakota 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)450,529450,529146146
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)436,023436,023188188
Lead (total)385,050385,0509696
Dichloroacetic acid238,518238,5188686

Water Utilities in North Dakota Reporting Chemicals Exceeding Health Guidelines

Water utilities in North Dakota 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
City of Medina335901611
Central Plains Water District2,397671410
City of Burlington1,096631310
City of Lignite174671510
City of Bottineau2,336671210
Upper Souris Wua-System Ii21663169
Upper Souris Wua-System I1,24263149
City of Bismarck55,53256139
Country Acres Mhp2567148
City of Park River1,53590108
Langdon Rural WD - Cando5013108
City of Wyndmere5335298
City of Garrison1,3185298
Southeast Wud (West)1,52063118
City of Bowbells4061388
City of Maxbass9163118
Walsh Rural Water District3,20663107
All Seasons Wd-System Iv38363107
City of Mohall81263107
City of Glenburn3741387

Sources of North Dakota Drinking Water Contaminants

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

29Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2008)
5Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Cyanide, Nitrate & nitrite, Selenium (total), Ethylbenzene

6Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Arsenic (total), Copper, Cyanide, Lead (total), Nitrate & nitrite, Silver (total)

16Industrial Pollutants

Aluminum, Bromide, Arsenic (total), Barium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Manganese, Nitrate & nitrite, Selenium (total), Silver (total), Ethylbenzene, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Combined Uranium (pCi/L)

12Water 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, Bromate

16Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Copper, Nitrate & nitrite, Barium (total), Lead (total), Arsenic (total), Manganese, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Aluminum, Selenium (total), Bromide, Cyanide, Silver (total)

2Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Bromide, Lead (total)

Testing Summary for North Dakota

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 Dakota95
 Contaminants tested due to federal law: 83
 Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 12

Violation Summary for North Dakota

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

Violation TypeNumber of Violations
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria)129
Public Notification Violation for National Primary Drinking Water Regulations125
Over maximum contaminant level, Average119
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule88
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria)55
Inadequate reporting of information to the public27
Failure to monitor, Routine Minor (Coliform bacteria)17
Failure to monitor regularly14
Treatment Technique Precursor Removal13
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria)10
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling6
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria)6
Excess Turbidity at 0.3 NTU3
Failure to monitor, Repeat Minor (Coliform bacteria)3
Treatment Technique (Surface Water Treatment Rule)3
Filter Turbidity Reporting3
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper2
Excess Turbidity at 1 NTU1
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination)1
Failure to report information to the public or state agency in the Consumer Confidence Report1