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National Drinking Water Database


National Drinking Water Database - Chemical Contaminants

Nitrite


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

Nitrite is a chemical that enters water from fertilizer runoff, leaching septic tanks, and erosion of natural deposits.

 
Detected
Found above
health guidelines
Found above
legal limit
States
40
20
20
Water utilities
2,719
63
63
People Served
58,579,524
723,309
723,309

Nitrite Exposure by State

Water utilities in 40 states have reported detecting Nitrite in treated tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies.

StateWater Suppliers with Nitrite contaminationWater suppliers reporting Nitrite above health-based limits
SystemsPopulationSystemsPopulation
Delaware34349,2534212,228
California14810,634,4756159,219
Florida52511,119,2388151,361
New Jersey322,740,368161,700
Kentucky301,692,247137,043
New York75777,409523,420
North Carolina18156,537222,642
Texas71211,192,012719,416
Utah1021,321,388115,000
Illinois132862,901109,117
Iowa40349,32055,955
Minnesota33158,94624,226
Indiana481,609,5051900
Alaska1932,5632213
Wisconsin1571,059,0923210
Nevada141,802,3881180
Oregon14853,9951175
Idaho1735,3751159
Maine44205,068185
Maryland161,866,735160
Massachusetts422,447,56100
Ohio722,116,46000
Virginia51,749,24800
Connecticut1811,476,17900
Nebraska8556,96700
Arizona18359,04600
Alabama10333,08000
Hawaii1170,92100
Michigan24163,01500
Montana7114,62100
Rhode Island877,01900
New Hampshire3755,69100
Washington2354,32900
Pennsylvania4530,71400
West Virginia318,86500
New Mexico616,38800
South Dakota1212,57400
Arkansas47,24900
Wyoming269400
Vermont18800
Total2,71958,579,52463723,309

The Most Polluted Communities

2,719 water utilities reported detecting Nitrite in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies

Ranked by highest average Nitrite level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
(Range)
1Cohocton Village
Cohocton, NY
8591 of 12.78 ppm
(2.78 ppm)
2Hoke Co Regional Water System
Raeford, NC
22,6171 of 12.66 ppm
(2.66 ppm)
3Macgregor Downs S/D
Gastonia, NC
251 of 12.2 ppm
(2.2 ppm)
4Eklutna Utilities Twin Peaks
Eagle River, AK
351 of 12.18 ppm
(2.18 ppm)
5Churdan Water Supply
Churdan, IA
4184 of 42.09 ppm
(1.45 to 2.75 ppm)
6Pt. Mackenzie Correctional Farm
Wasilla, AK
1781 of 11.83 ppm
(1.83 ppm)
7City of Hamilton
Hamilton, TX
2,9371 of 11.67 ppm
(1.67 ppm)
8Multi County Wsc
Gatesville, TX
2,2351 of 11.63 ppm
(1.63 ppm)
9Town of Owego - RT 38
Apalachin, NY
2001 of 11.6 ppm
(1.6 ppm)
10Georgetown W.D.
Georgetown, NY
2001 of 11.5 ppm
(1.5 ppm)

Health Based Limits for Nitrite

StandardDescriptionLevel
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.1 ppm
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.1 ppm
California Public Health GoalsDefined by the State of California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) as the level of contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. For acutely toxic substances, levels are set at which scientific evidence indicates that no known or anticipated adverse effects on health will occur, plus an adequate margin-of safety. PHGs for carcinogens or other substances which can cause chronic disease shall be based solely on health effects without regard to cost impacts and shall be set at levels which OEHHA has determined do not pose any significant risk to health.1 ppm
Children's health-based limit for 1-day exposureConcentration of a chemical in drinking water that is not expected to cause any adverse, noncarcinogenic health effects for up to one day of exposure. The One-Day health-based limit (or Health Advisory, HA) is typically set to protect a 10-kg child consuming 1 liter of water per day. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.1 ppm
Children's health-based limit for 10-day exposureConcentration of a chemical in drinking water that is not expected to cause any adverse, noncarcinogenic effects for up to ten days of exposure. The Ten-Day health-based limit (or Health Advisory, HA) is typically set to protect a 10-kg child consuming 1 liter of water per day. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.1 ppm

Testing Summary for Nitrite

Are tests routinely required for Nitrite by federal law?Yes
Water suppliers reporting tests for Nitrite (2004-2009):23,738 of 47,576
Average testing rate for water supplier reporting tests (2004-2009):0.6 per year

Violation Summary for Nitrite

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

Maximum Contaminant Level Exceedance Violations36
Monitoring Violations376
Reporting Violations0