The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


Washington


2,182 systems serving 5,288,422 people

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



 
Chemicals
Water Utilities
Population Served
Detected Chemicals
91
2,182
4,980,486
Exceed health guidelines*
34
1,826
4,906,613
Exceed Legal Limits*
20
496
1,620,039
Unregulated chemicals detected
35
256
2,788,233
* 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.

34 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

Contaminants detected in Washington drinking water above health guidelines, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis of data obtained from state water authorities

Contaminant
Population
Number of Systems
At Any Level Above Health Limits At Any Level Above Health Limits
Lead (total)4,381,6854,381,6851,3841,384
Bromodichloromethane4,272,8714,272,871651651
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs)3,887,9013,822,524502471
Dichloroacetic acid3,681,2993,681,299350350
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)4,387,6193,417,957839354
Chloroform4,295,0753,350,927700271
Dibromochloromethane3,777,6152,831,234564516
Bromoform2,395,1472,395,147374374
Arsenic (total)2,222,0662,222,066522522
Copper3,922,9602,169,0301,571465

Water Utilities in Washington Reporting Chemicals Exceeding Health Guidelines

Water utilities in Washington reporting chemicals exceeding health guidelines, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis of data obtained from state water authorities, include:

System
Population
Chemicals tested
Chemicals found
Chemicals exceeding
health guidelines
City of Tacoma Water Division305,0001772817
Long Beach Water Department2,8651712913
Lakehaven Utility District112,0001741613
Sammamish Plateau Water & Sewer60,7351761813
Eastsound Water Users Association1,9221691913
City of Kennewick64,6801802412
Lewis River Golf Course351701712
Eatonville Water Dept2,0121821512
Southwood Water System18,6431721411
Snoqualmie Water7,8001471311
Roche Harbor Water System Inc329852211
City of Renton55,000291511
City of Moses Lake20,6501712311
Water District 192,6371711411
Heights Water1,735851311
Fife Dept of Public Works6,135881511
Camano Water Association2,492291511
Bonney Lake Water Department, City30,9201631511
City of Yakima Water Division65,0381681610
Vinland2,3721001210

Sources of Washington Drinking Water Contaminants

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

91Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2008)
20Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Cyanide, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Dalapon, Dinoseb, Atrazine, EPTC (Eptam), Bromacil, Dacthal, DCPA di acid degradate, Bromomethane, Metribuzin, Bentazon (Basagran), Ethylene dibromide (EDB), p-Dichlorobenzene, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Ethylbenzene

30Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Nitrate, Copper, Nitrate & nitrite, Lead (total), Arsenic (total), Tetrachloroethylene, Nitrite, Xylenes (total), Dalapon, Cadmium (total), Mercury (total inorganic), m- & p- Xylene, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Cyanide, o-Xylene, Benzene, Silver (total), Trichlorofluoromethane, Dacthal, p-Dichlorobenzene, DCPA di acid degradate, Di-n-butylphthalate, Naphthalene, Diethylphthalate, n-Propylbenzene, Bromobenzene, Butyl Benzylphthalate, tert-Butylbenzene, Dimethylphthalate, Strontium-89

65Industrial Pollutants

Aluminum, Bromide, Arsenic (total), Chlorite, Barium (total), Cadmium (total), Chromium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Manganese, Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Silver (total), Beryllium (total), Asbestos, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Chloroethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, cis-1,3-Dichloropropene, Naphthalene, Dimethylphthalate, Diethylphthalate, Di-n-butylphthalate, Butyl Benzylphthalate, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Dibromomethane, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene, n-Butylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, tert-Butylbenzene, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), p-Dichlorobenzene, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, 1,1-Dichloroethane, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, Carbon tetrachloride, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Trichloroethylene, Tetrachloroethylene, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane, Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Bromobenzene, Isopropylbenzene, Styrene, o-Xylene, n-Propylbenzene, m- & p- Xylene, Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Alpha particle activity, Strontium-90, Iodine-131, Gross beta particle activity (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, Bromate, 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, Alpha particle activity, Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L), Chromium (total), Aluminum, Selenium (total), Nitrite, Radon, Bromide, Mercury (total inorganic), Chloromethane, Cyanide, Silver (total), Iodine-131

36Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Bromide, Lead (total), EPTC (Eptam), Bromacil, Dacthal, DCPA di acid degradate, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Bromomethane, Chloroethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, cis-1,3-Dichloropropene, Naphthalene, Dimethylphthalate, Diethylphthalate, Di-n-butylphthalate, Butyl Benzylphthalate, Dibromomethane, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene, n-Butylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, tert-Butylbenzene, Bromochloroacetic acid, Metribuzin, Bentazon (Basagran), 1,1-Dichloroethane, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane, Bromobenzene, Isopropylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Radon, Strontium-89, Strontium-90, Iodine-131


Testing Summary for Washington

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

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in Washington194
 Contaminants tested due to federal law: 90
 Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 104

Violation Summary for Washington

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

Violation TypeNumber of Violations
Failure to monitor regularly42,917
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria)1,235
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria)999
Failure to report information to the public or state agency in the Consumer Confidence Report553
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling502
Over maximum contaminant level, Single Sample284
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria)93
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria)86
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper59
Treatment Technique (Surface Water Treatment Rule)57
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination)8
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination)6