The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database

MTBE in Virginia

MTBE (methyl tert-butyl ether) is a fuel additive that had been used as an octane enhancer in unleaded gasoline; it contaminates groundwater due to spillage or leakage at gas stations, and has been banned or scheduled for phaseout in most states.

The Most Polluted Communities in Virginia

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

Ranked by highest average MTBE level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
1Overlook Heights I
Rapidan, VA
605 of 98.47 ppb
(0 to 33 ppb)
2Shore Memorial Hospital
Nassawadox, VA
6201 of 23.25 ppb
(0 to 6.5 ppb)
3Blue Ridge School
Dyke, VA
2401 of 41.91 ppb
(0 to 7.62 ppb)
4Marshall Waterworks
Marshall, VA
2,1344 of 111.88 ppb
(0 to 6.4 ppb)
5Town of Lovettsville
Lovettsville, VA
1,6381 of 11.76 ppb
(1.76 ppb)
6Town of Round Hill
Round Hill, VA
3,5791 of 90.99 ppb
(0 to 8.9 ppb)
7Fork Union Sanitary District
Palmyra, VA
2,1421 of 10.92 ppb
(0.92 ppb)
8Fairfax Water- Lorton Water Treatment Plant
Merrifield, VA
411,6081 of 10.67 ppb
(0.67 ppb)
9Virginia-American Water Co
Hopewell, VA
28,0001 of 20.65 ppb
(0 to 1.3 ppb)
10High Point Subdivision
Bedford, VA
6483 of 50.52 ppb
(0 to 2 ppb)

Health Based Limits for MTBE

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.13 ppb

Violation Summary for MTBE in Virginia

There are no violations reported for this contaminant in Virginia