The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


Pepper Ridge Park - Harbeson, DE


Serves 180 people - Test data available: 2004-2007

This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the Delaware Health and Social Services- Division of Public Health. It is part of EWG's national database that includes 47,667 drinking water utilities and 20 million test results. 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 to protecting rivers, reservoirs, and groundwater from pollution in the first place. The information below summarizes test results for this utility and lists potential health concerns.

 
This Drinking Water System
National Average
Exceed Health GuidelinesTests showing chemicals at concentrations above health guidelines established by federal and state health agencies. These guidelines are typically set at a levels that pose no significant health risk.
10 chemicals
4
Health Standard ExceedencesChemicals detected at concentrations above the legal limit, the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCLs) established by the U.S. EPA. 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.
5 chemicals
0.5
Pollutants FoundThe total number of contaminants detected since 2004, according to data provided by the state water agency.
24 chemicals
8
Tests ConductedThe total number of number of water quality tests conducted by water utilities and recorded in data provided by the state water agency.
593 tests
420

Contaminants Exceeding Health Guidelines

ContaminantAverage/
Maximum
Result
Health Limit
Exceeded
Legal Limit
Exceeded

Testing History

-Tested      -Detected      -Over Health Guidelines      -Over Legal Limit*
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)Total trihalomethanes constitute the sum of four disinfection byproducts: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform.65.28 ppb
162.7 ppb
Yes
9.8 ppb
Yes
80 ppb
ChloroformChloroform is a disinfection byproduct from the trihalomethane (THM) family, and is formed when chlorine, chloramines or other disinfectants react with organic and inorganic matter in water.55.79 ppb
129 ppb
Yes
5.7 ppb
Yes
80 ppb
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs)Total haloacetic acids refers to the sum of the concentrations of five related disinfection byproducts in a water sample: dichloroacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid, monochloroacetic acid, monobromoacetic acid and dibromoacetic acid.43.8 ppb
120 ppb
Yes
0.7 ppb
Yes
60 ppb
Trichloroacetic acidTrichloroacetic acid is a disinfection byproduct regulated by EPA as one of five haloacetic acids that are formed when chlorine, chloramines or other disinfectants react with organic and inorganic matter in water.31.04 ppb
96.1 ppb
Yes
20 ppb
Yes
60 ppb
Dichloroacetic acidDichloroacetic acid is a disinfection byproduct regulated by EPA as one of five haloacetic acids that are formed when chlorine, chloramines or other disinfectants react with organic and inorganic matter in water.27 ppb
87.9 ppb
Yes
MCLGA 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 ppb
Yes
60 ppb
BromodichloromethaneBromodichloromethane is a disinfection byproduct from the trihalomethane (THM) family, and is formed when chlorine, chloramines or other disinfectants react with organic and inorganic matter in water.12.87 ppb
39 ppb
Yes
MCLGA 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 ppb
No
80 ppb
DibromochloromethaneDibromochloromethane is a disinfection byproduct from the trihalomethane (THM) family, and is formed when chlorine, chloramines or other disinfectants react with organic and inorganic matter in water.1.7 ppb
5.7 ppb
Yes
0.4 ppb
No
80 ppb
MTBEMTBE (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.6.34 ppb
40.8 ppb
Yes
13 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
Arsenic (total)Arsenic contaminates drinking water due to mining runoff, erosion of natural deposits, emissions from glass and electronics processing and the use of arsenical compounds as wood preservatives and pesticides.0.6 ppb
0.6 ppb
Yes
MCLGA 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 ppb
No
10 ppb
Alpha particle activityAlpha particles are a form of radiation released from mining waste pollutants and natural sources.0.17 pCi/L
0.17 pCi/L
Yes
MCLGA 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
No
15 pCi/L
NOTE: Each dot in the above graph represents one month.
* 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.

Other Detected Contaminants

ContaminantAverage/
Maximum
Result
Health Limit
Exceeded
Legal Limit
Exceeded

Testing History

-Tested      -Detected      -Over Health Guidelines      -Over Legal Limit*
ChloromethaneChloromethane is a naturally occuring chemical that forms during combustion of plant material; it may be released from the manufacture of silicone, rubber and pesticides, and also forms as a byproduct of water disinfection.0.55 ppb
1.7 ppb
No
30 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
Xylenes (total)Xylenes are a group of chemicals produced from petroleum and released as pollutants from chemical, plastics and synthetic fiber industries as well as printing, painting, and laboratory uses.2.01 ppb
7.29 ppb
No
1800 ppb
No
10000 ppb
Monochloroacetic acidMonochloroacetic acid is a disinfection byproduct regulated by EPA as one of five haloacetic acids that are formed when chlorine, chloramines or other disinfectants react with organic and inorganic matter in water.2.25 ppb
7 ppb
No
70 ppb
No
60 ppb
Bromochloroacetic acidBromochloroacetic acid is a disinfection byproduct, and is formed when chlorine, chloramines or other disinfectants react with organic and inorganic matter in water.2.98 ppb
8.1 ppb
NoLegal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
TolueneToluene is a pollutant from petroleum refineries and a chemical used in plastics manufacturing as well as the pharmaceutical, paint and furniture industries.0.29 ppb
1.15 ppb
No
150 ppb
No
1000 ppb
EthylbenzeneEthylbenzene is a pollutant from petroleum refineries and industrial chemical factories; it is also used to make plastics, and may be present as an impurity in some insecticides.0.23 ppb
0.84 ppb
No
300 ppb
No
700 ppb
m- & p- XyleneXylene is a petroleum-derived solvent used in the printing, rubber, and leather industries, and as a cleaning agent, a thinner for paint, and an ingredient in paints and varnishes.0.68 ppb
2.2 ppb
No
10000 ppb
No
10000 ppb
o-Xyleneo-Xylene is a petroleum-derived solvent used in the printing, rubber, and leather industries; it is also used as a cleaning agent, a thinner for paint, and an ingredient in paints and varnishes.0.33 ppb
1.4 ppb
No
10000 ppb
No
10000 ppb
NitrateNitrate enters drinking water sources from fertilizer runoff, leaching septic tanks, and erosion of natural deposits; it is also emitted by chemical, petrochemical and metal-finishing industries.0.02 ppm
0.3 ppm
No
10 ppm
No
10 ppm
Dibromoacetic acidDibromoacetic acid is a disinfection byproduct regulated by EPA as one of five haloacetic acids that are formed when chlorine, chloramines or other disinfectants react with organic and inorganic matter in water.0.15 ppb
1.2 ppb
NoNo
60 ppb
TetrahydrofuranTetrahydrofuran is an intermediate in chemical manufacturing to produce food storage and packaging materials, rubber, resins and plastics, and is a solvent for dyes and lacquers.19.55 ppb
39.1 ppb
NoLegal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
Methyl ethyl ketoneMethyl ethyl ketone is a synthetic chemical used as a solvent for paints, coatings, adhesives, printing inks, and other industrial and consumer goods; it occurs naturally in some vegetation and forms during ozonation of drinking water. 26.75 ppb
53.5 ppb
No
4000 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
AcetoneAcetone is a ubiquitous industrial solvent and chemical intermediate used in manufacture of plastic, fibers, cosmetics, photographic film and many other kinds of consumer goods.10.55 ppb
21.1 ppb
No
6000 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
Chromium (total)Chromium is a metal that pollutes drinking water due to discharge from steel and pulp mills and erosion of natural deposits.2.1 ppb
2.1 ppb
No
100 ppb
No
100 ppb
NOTE: Each dot in the above graph represents one month.
* 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.

Contaminants Not Detected - 74 chemicals

1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, 1,1-Dichloropropene, 1,2 Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,2-Dichloroethane, 1,2-Dichloropropane, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, 1,3-Dichloropropane, 2,2-Dichloropropane, 2-Chloroethylvinyl ether, 2-Hexanone, Acrylonitrile, Allyl Chloride (3-chloro-1-propene), Antimony (total), Barium (total), Benzene, Beryllium (total), Bromobenzene, Bromochloromethane, Bromoform, Bromomethane, Cadmium (total), Carbon tetrachloride, Chloroethane, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, cis-1,3-Dichloropropene, Cyanide, Dibromomethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Ethyl Methacrylate, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Fluorobenzene, Hexachlorobutadiene, Iodomethane, Isopropylbenzene, Lead (total), m-Dichlorobenzene, Mercury (total inorganic), Methyl isobutyl ketone, Methyl methacrylate, Monobromoacetic acid, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), n-Butylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Naphthalene, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrite, o-Chlorotoluene, o-Dichlorobenzene, p-Chlorotoluene, p-Dichlorobenzene, p-Isopropyltoluene, sec-Butylbenzene, Selenium (total), Styrene, tert-Butylbenzene, Tetrachloroethylene, Thallium (total), trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, trans-1,3-Dichloropropene, trans-1,4-Dichloro-2-butene, Trichloroethylene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Vinyl acetate, Vinyl chloride

Pollution Summary

24Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2007)

Chromium (total), Nitrate, Chloromethane, Acetone, Methyl ethyl ketone, Tetrahydrofuran, Monochloroacetic acid, Dibromoacetic acid, Bromochloroacetic acid, Xylenes (total), Toluene, Ethylbenzene, o-Xylene, m- & p- Xylene, Arsenic (total), MTBE, Dichloroacetic acid, Trichloroacetic acid, Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Alpha particle activity

3Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Nitrate, Ethylbenzene, Arsenic (total)

8Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Nitrate, Acetone, Methyl ethyl ketone, Xylenes (total), o-Xylene, m- & p- Xylene, Arsenic (total), MTBE

14Industrial Pollutants

Chromium (total), Nitrate, Chloromethane, Acetone, Methyl ethyl ketone, Tetrahydrofuran, Xylenes (total), Toluene, Ethylbenzene, o-Xylene, m- & p- Xylene, Arsenic (total), MTBE, Alpha particle activity

11Water Treatment and Distribution Byproducts
(pipes and fixtures, treatment chemicals and byproducts)

Chloromethane, Monochloroacetic acid, Dibromoacetic acid, Bromochloroacetic acid, Dichloroacetic acid, Trichloroacetic acid, Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

5Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Chromium (total), Nitrate, Chloromethane, Arsenic (total), Alpha particle activity

6Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Chloromethane, Acetone, Methyl ethyl ketone, Tetrahydrofuran, Bromochloroacetic acid, MTBE

EPA Violation Summary

Violation CategoryNumber of Violations
MCL and Treatment
(click see violations)
6
Monitoring
(click see violations)
1

Information on violations is drawn directly from EPA's national violations database in the Agency's Safe Drinking Water Information System. Analyses by others have raised questions about the quality of the information in EPA's database. For the purposes of this investigation, EWG is not showing below or including in our analyses, those violations for individual water suppliers that occurred on days for which the total number of violations assigned by EPA to that water supplier was greater than 20. This criteria was based on common characteristics of incorrect violations data as identified by water utilities, from a review of EPA's violations data by several hundred utilities prior to the release of EWG's investigation.