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National Drinking Water Database

Selenium (total) in Washington

Selenium is a naturally occurring element that contaminates water due to mining or petrolum refining, fly-ash from coal-burning power plants, and irrigation of arid farmland soils high in selenium. [read more]

The Most Polluted Communities in Washington

14 water utilities reported detecting Selenium (total) in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies

Ranked by highest average Selenium (total) level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
1P and G Orchards Camp 3
Brewster, WA
421 of 134 ppb
(34 ppb)
2West Side Mobile Court
Othello, WA
801 of 132 ppb
(32 ppb)
3Arden Hills Water System
Colville, WA
641 of 129 ppb
(29 ppb)
4Stevens Co Pud - Echo Estates
Loon Lake, WA
628 of 927.78 ppb
(0 to 34 ppb)
5Sunset Acres Water Association
Othello, WA
331 of 117 ppb
(17 ppb)
6Wanapum Indian Village
Beverly, WA
501 of 113 ppb
(13 ppb)
7Badger Canyon Water Assn
Kennewick, WA
361 of 18 ppb
(8 ppb)
8North Twin Lakeview Assn
Colville, WA
511 of 18 ppb
(8 ppb)
9Progressive Flat Water Assn
Okanogan, WA
1452 of 26.15 ppb
(6.1 to 6.2 ppb)
10Johnson Creek Water Users Assn
Riverside, WA
481 of 15.7 ppb
(5.7 ppb)

Health Based Limits for Selenium (total)

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.50 ppb
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.50 ppb
Lifetime health-based limit, non-cancer riskConcentration of a chemical in drinking water that is not expected to cause any adverse, noncarcinogenic health effects for a lifetime of exposure. The Lifetime health-based limit (or Health Advisory, HA) is based on exposure for a a 70-kg adult consuming 2 liters of water per day. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.50 ppb
EPA Human Health Water Quality CriteriaWater quality criteria set by the US EPA provide guidance for states and tribes authorized to establish water quality standards under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to protect human health. These are non-enforceable standards based upon exposure by both drinking water and the contribution of water contamination to other consumed foods. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.170 ppb
Drinking Water Equivalent LevelA lifetime exposure concentration protective of adverse, noncarcinogenic health effects, that assumes all of the exposure to a contaminant is from drinking water. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.200 ppb

Violation Summary for Selenium (total) in 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 regularly211