The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


845 systems serving 3,191,117 people

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

29 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

Contaminants detected in Oregon 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)2,857,4942,837,289357352
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)2,928,7912,718,427427278
Arsenic (total)1,371,9711,371,971350350
Combined Radium (-226 & -228)1,046,5501,046,5504646
Lead (total)851,798851,7983030
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate691,677691,6772828
Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium)344,307344,3077070
Thallium (total)169,962169,96211

Water Utilities in Oregon Reporting Chemicals Exceeding Health Guidelines

Water utilities in Oregon 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 Irrigon1,7406987
City of Florence8,0006977
Eugene Water & Electric Board169,962105127
Hat Rock Water Company806996
City of Wilsonville15,88087126
Prairie City1,04510296
Portland Water Bureau539,20072156
Medford Water Commission83,4546996
City of Coquille4,2055876
Bend Water Department52,32069106
Bear Creek Mobile Home Park1206796
Clayton Creek MH Estates1306886
Avion WC - Brasada Ranch2567115
City of Vale1,99767115
City of Sherwood16,2006985
Seaside Water Department6,0005975
Rufus Public Works2506965
Sunrise Water Authority40,0007075
Cobblestone Mhp605765
City of Hermiston15,4107285

Sources of Oregon Drinking Water Contaminants

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

57Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2009)
16Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Cyanide, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Lindane, Dalapon, Diquat, Glyphosate, Picloram, 2,4-D, 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), Ethylene dibromide (EDB), 1,2-Dichloropropane, Ethylbenzene

19Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Arsenic (total), Cadmium (total), Copper, Cyanide, Lead (total), Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Antimony (total), Lindane, Dalapon, Glyphosate, 2,4-D, Benzo[a]pyrene, Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Tetrachloroethylene, Benzene

40Industrial Pollutants

Arsenic (total), Chlorite, Barium (total), Cadmium (total), Chromium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Manganese, Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Antimony (total), Thallium (total), Asbestos, Lindane, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Pentachlorophenol, 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), 1,1-Dichloroethylene, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Trichloroethylene, Tetrachloroethylene, Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L)

14Water 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, Monochloroacetic acid, Chlorite, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Cadmium (total), Bromate, Asbestos, Benzo[a]pyrene

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

Arsenic (total), Barium (total), Chromium (total), Copper, Cyanide, Lead (total), Manganese, Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L)

1Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Lead (total)

Testing Summary for Oregon

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

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in Oregon132
 Contaminants tested due to federal law: 92
 Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 40

Violation Summary for Oregon

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

Violation TypeNumber of Violations
Failure to monitor regularly10,338
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria)1,535
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria)466
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule405
Failure to monitor, Routine Minor (Coliform bacteria)357
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling254
Inadequate reporting of information to the public175
Failure to report information to the public or state agency in the Consumer Confidence Report168
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria)163
Over maximum contaminant level, Average58
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria)40
Failure to monitor, Repeat Minor (Coliform bacteria)36
Treatment Technique (Surface Water Treatment Rule)34
Over maximum contaminant level, Single Sample22
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination)19
Excess Turbidity at 0.3 NTU14
Filter Turbidity Reporting8
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper3
Failure to Filter (Surface Water Treatment Rule)3