The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


Emerald Coast Water Utility - Pensacola, FL


Serves 307,076 people - Test data available: 2004-2008

This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. 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.
21 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.
0 chemicals
0.5
Pollutants FoundThe total number of contaminants detected since 2004, according to data provided by the state water agency.
45 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.
74,897 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*
TetrachloroethyleneTetrachloroethylene (perc) is a common soil and groundwater contaminant used in dry cleaning and as a solvent in automotive and metalworking factories and other industries.0.25 ppb
3.19 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
5 ppb
TrichloroethyleneTrichloroethylene is used to remove grease from fabricated metal parts and in the production of some textiles; this pollutant comes from metal degreasing sites, metal finishing and rubber processing industries.0.08 ppb
2.05 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
5 ppb
Radium-226Radium-226 is a radioactive element usually found around uranium deposits.0.69 pCi/L
1.4 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
5 pCi/L
Radium-228Radium-228 is a radioactive element usually found around uranium deposits.1.67 pCi/L
3.7 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
5 pCi/L
Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium)Alpha particles are a form of radiation associated with radioactive mining waste pollutants and natural sources.1.44 pCi/L
4.55 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
1,2-Dichloropropane1,2-Dichloropropane is used as a solvent and intermediate in the production of dry cleaning agent perchloroethylene; it is released as a pollutant from chemical factories, landfills, and from agricultural soil due to former use as a fumigant.<0.01 ppb
0.26 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
5 ppb
BromoformBromoform 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.<0.01 ppb
1.1 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
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.<0.01 ppb
1.1 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
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.1.23 ppb
62.82 ppb
Yes
13 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
1,2-Dichloroethane1,2-Dichloroethane is a chemical used in the production of vinyl chloride; it is released as a pollutant from industrial chemical factories.<0.01 ppb
0.07 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
5 ppb
Lead (total)Lead is a metal that enters water by corrosion of household plumbing systems, discharge of industrial pollution and erosion of natural deposits.0.24 ppb
4.85 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
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.0.64 ppb
2.75 ppb
Yes
0.7 ppb
No
60 ppb
1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP)1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane is a persistent pesticide and groundwater contaminant associated with male sterility and severe reproductive toxicity; historically used as a soil fumigant on bananas and pineapples; banned by EPA in early 1980s.<0.01 ppb
0.02 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
0.2 ppb
BenzeneBenzene is a petroleum chemical that contaminates drinking water due to emissions from petroleum and chemical industries, leaching landfills and gas storage tanks.<0.01 ppb
0.06 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
5 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.<0.01 ppb
1.7 ppb
Yes
0.4 ppb
No
80 ppb
Heptachlor epoxideHeptachlor epoxide is a beakdown product of heptachlor, a highly toxic and carcinogenic termiticide banned from most applications in the U.S. since 1988.<0.01 ppb
0.01 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
0.2 ppb
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalateDi(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate is a pollutant from rubber and industrial chemical factories and a leachate from PVC pipes; it is classified by EPA as a probable human carcinogen.0.09 ppb
2.4 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
6 ppb
Cadmium (total)Cadmium is a metal used in the steel and plastic industries; it is released from corrosion of galvanized pipes, runoff from metal refineries, waste batteries and paints; contamination from fertilizers; and erosion of natural deposits.<0.01 ppb
0.15 ppb
Yes
0.04 ppb
No
5 ppb
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)Total trihalomethanes constitute the sum of four disinfection byproducts: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform.0.19 ppb
10.2 ppb
Yes
9.8 ppb
No
80 ppb
1,1,2-Trichloroethane1,1,2-Trichloroethane is used in production of synthetic fibers, plastic wraps and adhesives; it is released as a pollutant from various chemical manufacturing factories.<0.01 ppb
0.32 ppb
Yes
0.3 ppb
No
5 ppb
Carbon tetrachlorideCarbon tetrachloride is an industrial solvent and refrigerant released as a pollutant from various chemical plants and the petroleum refining industry.<0.01 ppb
0.03 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
5 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.

Other Detected Contaminants

ContaminantAverage/
Maximum
Result
Health Limit
Exceeded
Legal Limit
Exceeded

Testing History

-Tested      -Detected      -Over Health Guidelines      -Over Legal Limit*
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.0.08 ppb
0.89 ppb
No
5.7 ppb
No
80 ppb
1,1-DichloroethyleneIndustrial chemical pollutant from manufacture of adhesives, synthetic fibers, refrigerants and plastic wraps.0.1 ppb
2.9 ppb
No
7 ppb
No
7 ppb
cis-1,2-Dichloroethylenecis-1,2-Dichloroethylene is a pollutant discharged by various industrial chemical factories from the manufacture of plastic wrap, adhesives and synthetic fiber.0.02 ppb
0.72 ppb
No
70 ppb
No
70 ppb
1,1-Dichloroethane1,1-Dichloroethane is used in industrial chemical synthesis, as a solvent for plastics, paint, varnish, and finish removers and as an insecticide/fumigant.<0.01 ppb
0.12 ppb
No
3 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
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.<0.01 ppb
0.22 ppb
No
300 ppb
No
700 ppb
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.<0.01 ppb
1.57 ppb
No
1800 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.1.39 ppm
2.9 ppm
No
10 ppm
No
10 ppm
Barium (total)Barium is a mineral that enters drinking water through drilling and mining waste runoff, discharges from chemical industries and erosion of natural deposits.51.32 ppb
480 ppb
No
700 ppb
No
2000 ppb
TrichlorofluoromethaneTrichlorofluoromethane (Freon 11) is a refrigerant, solvent, chemical intermediate and halocarbon aerosol that was banned in 2000 under the Montreal Protocol because of its ozone-depleting properties.<0.01 ppb
0.44 ppb
No
700 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
Mercury (total inorganic)Mercury is a metal from refinery and factory pollution, coal burning, landfill and agricultural runoff and erosion of natural deposits.0.05 ppb
0.65 ppb
No
1.2 ppb
No
2 ppb
2,2-Dichloropropane2,2-Dichloropropane is an intermediate used in chemical manufacturing.<0.01 ppb
0.06 ppb
NoLegal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene)Monochlorobenzene is used as a solvent in pesticides, a degreasing agent and a chemical intermediate; it is released as a pollutant from various industrial chemical factories and has been found in surface and groundwater.<0.01 ppb
0.19 ppb
No
100 ppb
No
100 ppb
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.0.35 ppb
0.98 ppb
NoNo
60 ppb
1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane is a synthetic chemical used in metal degreasing and as an intermediate in industrial chemical production.<0.01 ppb
0.05 ppb
No
1 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene is a pollutant from textile finishing factories and industrial chemical manufacturing.<0.01 ppb
0.07 ppb
No
5 ppb
No
70 ppb
CyanideCyanide is a chemical used in mining and steel/metal, plastic, and pesticide manufacturing; it is applied to roads as road salts, and small quantities occur naturally in some plants.0.44 ppb
5.75 ppb
No
80 ppb
No
200 ppb
Selenium (total)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.0.12 ppb
0.75 ppb
No
50 ppb
No
50 ppb
p-Dichlorobenzenep-Dichlorobenzene is a carcinogenic pesticide used as a fumigant, deodorant, and in manufacture of other industrial chemicals.<0.01 ppb
1.07 ppb
No
6 ppb
No
75 ppb
TolueneToluene is a pollutant from petroleum refineries and a chemical used in plastics manufacturing as well as the pharmaceutical, paint and furniture industries.<0.01 ppb
0.01 ppb
No
150 ppb
No
1000 ppb
NitriteNitrite is a chemical that enters water from fertilizer runoff, leaching septic tanks, and erosion of natural deposits.<0.01 ppm
0.02 ppm
No
1 ppm
No
1 ppm
Chromium (total)Chromium is a metal that pollutes drinking water due to discharge from steel and pulp mills and erosion of natural deposits.0.02 ppb
0.7 ppb
No
100 ppb
No
100 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.0.37 ppb
2.2 ppb
No
70 ppb
No
60 ppb
Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium)Alpha particles are a form of radiation associated with mining waste pollutants and natural sources.1.5 pCi/L
1.5 pCi/L
NoNo
15 pCi/L
Combined Uranium (pCi/L)Uranium is a radioactive element commonly found in most rocks; processed ore is used for power generation and weapons manufacture.0.1 pCi/L
0.1 pCi/L
NoNo
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.

Contaminants Not Detected - 56 chemicals

1,1,1-Trichloroethane, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane, 1,1-Dichloropropene, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,3-Dichloropropane, 1,3-Dichloropropene, 2,3,7,8-TCDD (Dioxin), 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), 2,4-d, Alachlor (Lasso), Antimony (total), Arsenic (total), Asbestos, Atrazine, Benzo[a]pyrene, Beryllium (total), Bromobenzene, Bromomethane, Carbofuran, Chlordane, Chloroethane, Chloromethane, Dalapon, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Dibromomethane, Dichloroacetic acid, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Dieldrin, Dinoseb, Diquat, Endothall, Endrin, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Glyphosate, Heptachlor, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Lindane, m-Dichlorobenzene, Methoxychlor, Monobromoacetic acid, o-Chlorotoluene, o-Dichlorobenzene, Oxamyl (Vydate), p-Chlorotoluene, Pentachlorophenol, Picloram, Simazine, Styrene, Thallium (total), Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Toxaphene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Trichloroacetic acid, Vinyl chloride

Pollution Summary

45Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2008)

Barium (total), Cadmium (total), Chromium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Heptachlor epoxide, Trichlorofluoromethane, MTBE, 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, 2,2-Dichloropropane, Monochloroacetic acid, Dibromoacetic acid, Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), Chloroform, Bromoform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Xylenes (total), p-Dichlorobenzene, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, 1,1-Dichloroethane, 1,2-Dichloroethane, Carbon tetrachloride, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Trichloroethylene, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, Tetrachloroethylene, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Radium-226, Radium-228, Combined Uranium (pCi/L)

10Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Cyanide, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Heptachlor epoxide, 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), p-Dichlorobenzene, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Ethylbenzene

12Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Cadmium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate, Nitrite, Trichlorofluoromethane, MTBE, Xylenes (total), p-Dichlorobenzene, Tetrachloroethylene, Benzene

35Industrial Pollutants

Barium (total), Cadmium (total), Chromium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Trichlorofluoromethane, MTBE, 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, 2,2-Dichloropropane, Xylenes (total), p-Dichlorobenzene, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, 1,1-Dichloroethane, 1,2-Dichloroethane, Carbon tetrachloride, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Trichloroethylene, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, Tetrachloroethylene, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Radium-226, Radium-228, Combined Uranium (pCi/L)

10Water Treatment and Distribution Byproducts
(pipes and fixtures, treatment chemicals and byproducts)

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Bromoform, Dibromoacetic acid, Monochloroacetic acid, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Cadmium (total)

13Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Nitrate, Barium (total), Lead (total), Radium-228, Radium-226, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Chromium (total), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Selenium (total), Nitrite, Mercury (total inorganic), Cyanide

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

Lead (total), Trichlorofluoromethane, MTBE, 2,2-Dichloropropane, 1,1-Dichloroethane, 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane

EPA Violation Summary

No violations were reported for this system since 2004.

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.