The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


City of Westminster - Westminster, MD


Serves 33,278 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 Maryland Department of Environment. 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.
17 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.
3 chemicals
0.5
Pollutants FoundThe total number of contaminants detected since 2004, according to data provided by the state water agency.
31 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.
2,427 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*
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.7.67 ppm
12.8 ppm
Yes
10 ppm
Yes
10 ppm
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)Total trihalomethanes constitute the sum of four disinfection byproducts: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform.38.74 ppb
93 ppb
Yes
9.8 ppb
Yes
80 ppb
Ethylene dibromide (EDB)Ethylene dibromide is a a pollutant from petroleum refineries that was formerly used as gasoline additive and a pesticide suspended from use by EPA in 1984.<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
Yes
0.05 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.1.75 ppb
4 ppb
Yes
0.4 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.7.69 ppb
16.25 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
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.29.28 ppb
73.75 ppb
Yes
5.7 ppb
No
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.16.35 ppb
33 ppb
Yes
0.7 ppb
No
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.7.54 ppb
19.25 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
60 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.0.58 ppb
2.2 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
Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium)Alpha particles are a form of radiation associated with radioactive mining waste pollutants and natural sources.2.2 pCi/L
6 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
RadonRadon is a radioactive breakdown product of radium and uranium in soil, rock and water; it is often present in groundwater.2445.83 pCi/L
4450 pCi/L
Yes
1.5 pCi/L
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
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.0.02 ppb
0.4 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
80 ppb
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.0.21 ppb
1.7 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
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.0.1 ppb
0.81 ppb
Yes
0.04 ppb
No
5 ppb
Radium-228Radium-228 is a radioactive element usually found around uranium deposits.0.18 pCi/L
0.9 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
Combined Radium (-226 & -228)Radium is a radioactive element usually found around uranium deposits.0.09 pCi/L
0.35 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-226Radium-226 is a radioactive element usually found around uranium deposits.0.12 pCi/L
0.35 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
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*
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.8.12 ppb
13.5 ppb
No
20 ppb
No
60 ppb
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.36.89 ppb
69.85 ppb
No
700 ppb
No
2000 ppb
Chromium (total)Chromium is a metal that pollutes drinking water due to discharge from steel and pulp mills and erosion of natural deposits.1.68 ppb
4.8 ppb
No
100 ppb
No
100 ppb
Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L)Beta particles are a form of radiation frequently associated with nuclear testing and radioactive mineral deposits.1.9 pCi/L
5 pCi/L
NoNo
15 pCi/L
AtrazineAtrazine is an endocrine-disrupting herbicide used on corn, sugarcane and sorghum; it is associated with adverse reproductive effects and toxicity to the immune system.<0.01 ppb
0.07 ppb
No
0.15 ppb
No
3 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.0.36 ppb
1.03 ppb
No
13 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
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.0.01 ppb
0.25 ppb
NoNo
60 ppb
MetolachlorMetolachlor is an herbicide applied on corn, soybeans, peanuts, cotton and pod crops.<0.01 ppb
0.1 ppb
No
700 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
2,4-D2,4-D is a chlorophenol herbicide used on row crops, lawns and golf courses.<0.01 ppb
0.06 ppb
No
20 ppb
No
70 ppb
DalaponDalapon is an herbicide used on roads, railway tracks and other rights of way.0.09 ppb
0.62 ppb
No
200 ppb
No
200 ppb
Thallium (total)Thallium is a highly toxic metal that contaminates the environment due to leaching from ore-processing sites, discharge from electronics, glass, and drug factories and historical use as rodenticide<0.01 ppb
0.06 ppb
No
0.1 ppb
No
2 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.0.48 ppb
3.8 ppb
No
50 ppb
No
50 ppb
NitriteNitrite is a chemical that enters water from fertilizer runoff, leaching septic tanks, and erosion of natural deposits.<0.01 ppm
0.01 ppm
No
1 ppm
No
1 ppm
ManganeseManganese is a naturally occurring element released from mineral deposits as well as industrial use.16 ppb
16 ppb
No
50 ppb
No
50 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 - 92 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, 1,3-Dichloropropene, 2,2-Dichloropropane, 2,4,5-t, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), 3-Hydroxycarbofuran, Alachlor (Lasso), Aldicarb, Aldicarb sulfone, Aldicarb sulfoxide, Aldrin, Antimony (total), Benzene, Benzo[a]pyrene, Beryllium (total), Bromobenzene, Bromochloromethane, Bromomethane, Butachlor, Carbaryl, Carbofuran, Carbon tetrachloride, Chlordane, Chloroethane, Chloromethane, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Dibromomethane, Dicamba, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Dieldrin, Dinoseb, Endrin, Ethylbenzene, Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Hexachlorobutadiene, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Isopropylbenzene, Lindane, m-Dichlorobenzene, m-Xylene, Mercury (total inorganic), Methomyl, Methoxychlor, Metribuzin, Monobromoacetic acid, Monochloroacetic acid, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), n-Butylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Naphthalene, o-Chlorotoluene, o-Dichlorobenzene, o-Xylene, Oxamyl (Vydate), p-Chlorotoluene, p-Dichlorobenzene, p-Isopropyltoluene, p-Xylene, Pentachlorophenol, Picloram, Propachlor, sec-Butylbenzene, Simazine, Styrene, tert-Butylbenzene, Tetrachloroethylene, Toluene, Toxaphene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Vinyl chloride, Xylenes (total)

Pollution Summary

31Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2007)

Barium (total), Chromium (total), Manganese, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Thallium (total), Dalapon, Metolachlor, Atrazine, 2,4-D, MTBE, Trichloroacetic acid, Dibromoacetic acid, Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L), Arsenic (total), Cadmium (total), Nitrate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Dichloroacetic acid, Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromoform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Radon, Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228

9Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Nitrite, Selenium (total), Dalapon, Metolachlor, Atrazine, 2,4-D, Arsenic (total), Nitrate, Ethylene dibromide (EDB)

7Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Nitrite, Dalapon, 2,4-D, MTBE, Arsenic (total), Cadmium (total), Nitrate

17Industrial Pollutants

Barium (total), Chromium (total), Manganese, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Thallium (total), MTBE, Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L), Arsenic (total), Cadmium (total), Nitrate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228

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

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Dichloroacetic acid, Trichloroacetic acid, Bromoform, Dibromoacetic 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), Arsenic (total), Manganese, Radium-228, Radium-226, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L), Chromium (total), Selenium (total), Nitrite, Radon

3Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Metolachlor, MTBE, Radon

EPA Violation Summary

Violation CategoryNumber of Violations
MCL and Treatment
(click see violations)
3
Monitoring
(click see violations)
5

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.