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National Drinking Water Database


National Drinking Water Database - Chemical Contaminants

Alpha particle activity


Status: Regulated - EPA has established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for this contaminant.

Alpha particles are a form of radiation released from mining waste pollutants and natural sources. [read more]

 
Detected
Found above
health guidelines
Found above
legal limit
States
16
16
12
Water utilities
6,666
6,666
566
People Served
69,382,617
69,382,617
6,947,348

Alpha particle activity Exposure by State

Water utilities in 16 states have reported detecting Alpha particle activity in treated tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies.

StateWater Suppliers with Alpha particle activity contaminationWater suppliers reporting Alpha particle activity above health-based limits
SystemsPopulationSystemsPopulation
California1,90043,647,4321,90043,647,432
Texas1,6387,856,2601,6387,856,260
Illinois8127,657,7408127,657,740
Missouri8902,795,6688902,795,668
New York5012,790,6545012,790,654
Minnesota3161,826,8863161,826,886
Delaware200879,416200879,416
Arkansas160770,439160770,439
Florida1416,3031416,303
Washington99361,60099361,600
New Mexico51250,58951250,589
Maine91121,52391121,523
Idaho27,43027,430
Nevada33523352
Virginia12501250
Utah175175
Total6,66669,382,6176,66669,382,617

The Most Polluted Communities

6,666 water utilities reported detecting Alpha particle activity in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies

Ranked by highest average Alpha particle activity level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
(Range)
1Kyburz Mutual Water System
Kyburz, CA
2501 of 145 pCi/L
(45 pCi/L)
2Rainbird Valley Mutual Water Company
Weldon, CA
2251 of 144.7 pCi/L
(44.7 pCi/L)
3City of Roaring Springs
Roaring Springs, TX
2901 of 144 pCi/L
(44 pCi/L)
4Fossil Rock Recreation Area
IL
4382 of 243.15 pCi/L
(41.4 to 44.9 pCi/L)
5G and S Water Works
Tucson, NM
671 of 143 pCi/L
(43 pCi/L)
6Los Arboles Mhp
Las Cruces, NM
3301 of 141.5 pCi/L
(41.5 pCi/L)
7Columbus Water System
Columbus, NM
2,0001 of 141 pCi/L
(41 pCi/L)
8Upton County Wcid 1 Rankin
Rankin, TX
251 of 140.2 pCi/L
(40.2 pCi/L)
9Home Gardens County Wd
Corona, CA
3,0443 of 338.33 pCi/L
(33 to 44 pCi/L)
10Valley Estates
Lubbock, TX
702 of 237.35 pCi/L
(37.2 to 37.5 pCi/L)

Health Based Limits for Alpha particle activity

StandardDescriptionLevel
Maximum Contaminant Limit Goal (MCLG)A non-enforceable health goal that is set at a level at which no known or anticipated adverse effect on the health of persons occurs and which allows an adequate margin of safety. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.0 pCi/L
Maximum Contaminant Limit (MCL)The enforceable standard which defines the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to health-based limits (Maximum Contaminant Level Goals, or MCLGs) as feasible using the best available analytical and treatment technologies and taking cost into consideration. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.15 pCi/L

Testing Summary for Alpha particle activity

Are tests routinely required for Alpha particle activity by federal law?Yes
Water suppliers reporting tests for Alpha particle activity (2004-2009):9,757 of 47,576
Average testing rate for water supplier reporting tests (2004-2009):0.6 per year

Violation Summary for Alpha particle activity

Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards for Alpha particle activity since 2004

Maximum Contaminant Level Exceedance Violations186
Monitoring Violations183
Reporting Violations0