The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


1,171 systems serving 7,456,511 people

This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by water utilities in Virginia, provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the Virginia Department of Health- Office of Drinking Water. 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 Virginia 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 trihalomethanes (TTHMs)7,329,4057,112,469794451
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs)6,676,9416,668,931494489
Dichloroacetic acid3,103,2553,103,255383383
Trichloroacetic acid3,088,0061,077,896374198

Water Utilities in Virginia Reporting Chemicals Exceeding Health Guidelines

Water utilities in Virginia 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 Manassas Park13,800871913
Town of Big Stone Gap9,0001261613
Town of Purcellville6,300852112
Courtney Subdivision187771312
Hanover Suburban Water System71,0001251312
Town of Woodstock3,9521191412
South Wales855501211
Roanoke River Service Authority2051221611
Town of Kenbridge1,4001191211
Town of Keysville8001201311
Town of Altavista3,8501231711
Potomac Westmoreland Shores1,650832811
Spring Meadows-Meadow Gate2,2541051611
James River Correctional Ctr8,0731221411
Captains Cove Subdivision720941711
George`s Chicken, Llc8851231711
Stoney Creek Sanitary District2,2801231811
Ncsa - Lovingston2,4931211311

Sources of Virginia Drinking Water Contaminants

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

93Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2009)
22Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Chlorate, Cyanide, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Dalapon, Metolachlor, Atrazine, 2,4-D, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), Bromomethane, 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Chlordane, m-Dichlorobenzene, o-Dichlorobenzene, p-Dichlorobenzene, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Ethylbenzene

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

Arsenic (total), Copper, Cyanide, Lead (total), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Antimony (total), Dalapon, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, 2,4-D, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), Trichlorofluoromethane, Naphthalene, MTBE, Benzo[a]pyrene, tert-Butylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene, Xylenes (total), Chlordane, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), p-Dichlorobenzene, Tetrachloroethylene, Benzene, Bromobenzene, o-Xylene, m- & p- Xylene

69Industrial Pollutants

Aluminum, Bromide, Arsenic (total), Chlorate, Chlorite, Barium (total), Chromium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Manganese, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Antimony (total), p-Isopropyltoluene, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, Hexachlorobutadiene, Naphthalene, MTBE, Tetrahydrofuran, 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Dibromomethane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene, tert-Butylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene, Bromochloromethane, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), m-Dichlorobenzene, 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, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, Tetrachloroethylene, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Bromobenzene, Isopropylbenzene, Styrene, o-Xylene, 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, Alpha particle activity, Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L)

22Water 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, Chloromethane, Chlorate, Bromate, Vinyl chloride, Dibromomethane, Bromochloromethane, Benzo[a]pyrene, m-Dichlorobenzene

23Naturally 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), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L), Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Chromium (total), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Aluminum, Selenium (total), Nitrite, Bromide, Chloromethane, Cyanide

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

Bromide, Chlorate, Lead (total), p-Isopropyltoluene, Metolachlor, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Bromomethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, Hexachlorobutadiene, Naphthalene, MTBE, Tetrahydrofuran, Dibromomethane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene, tert-Butylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene, Bromochloromethane, Bromochloroacetic acid, m-Dichlorobenzene, 1,1-Dichloroethane, 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, Bromobenzene, Isopropylbenzene

Testing Summary for Virginia

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

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in Virginia192
 Contaminants tested due to federal law: 110
 Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 82

Violation Summary for Virginia

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

Violation TypeNumber of Violations
Failure to monitor regularly2,101
Over maximum contaminant level, Average657
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria)525
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria)443
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule375
Failure to report information to the public or state agency in the Consumer Confidence Report200
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling151
Failure to monitor, Routine Minor (Coliform bacteria)142
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria)81
Public Notification Violation for National Primary Drinking Water Regulations62
Treatment Technique No Certif. Operator43
Failure to monitor: Check/Repeat/Confirmation sampling42
Excess Turbidity at 0.3 NTU40
Filter Turbidity Reporting35
Failure to monitor, Repeat Minor (Coliform bacteria)23
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper17
Treatment Technique Precursor Removal16
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria)12
Excess Turbidity at 1 NTU9
Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment Installation/Demonstration7
Treatment Technique (Surface Water Treatment Rule)6
Public Education5
Operations Report4
Water Quality Program Entry Point Non-Compliance3
Improper Treatment Techniques3
Initial, Follow-up, or Routine Source Water Treatment Monitoring and Reporting2
Initial Water Quality Parameter Monitoring and Reporting2
Record Keeping Violation2
Inadequate reporting of information to the public1
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination)1
Failure to Filter (Surface Water Treatment Rule)1