The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


Willow River - Sturgeon Lake, MN


Serves 107 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 Minnesota Department of Health- Environmental Health Division. 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.
4 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.
15 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.
353 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*
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.0.65 ppb
1.2 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
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.1.04 ppb
2 ppb
Yes
0.4 ppb
No
80 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.1.17 ppb
4.05 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
80 ppb
Alpha particle activityAlpha particles are a form of radiation released from mining waste pollutants and natural sources.6.9 pCi/L
6.9 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
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*
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.0.21 ppb
0.4 ppb
No
5.7 ppb
No
80 ppb
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)Total trihalomethanes constitute the sum of four disinfection byproducts: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform.3.07 ppb
7.05 ppb
No
9.8 ppb
No
80 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.0.25 ppb
1 ppb
No
10000 ppb
No
10000 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.0.3 ppb
1 ppb
No
1800 ppb
No
10000 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.0.24 ppb
1 ppb
No
10000 ppb
No
10000 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.1.85 ppb
1.9 ppb
NoNo
60 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.0.93 ppb
1.9 ppb
No
70 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.84 ppb
85.3 ppb
No
700 ppb
No
2000 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.0.04 ppb
0.2 ppb
No
300 ppb
No
700 ppb
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. 5.75 ppb
23 ppb
No
4000 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
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
0.07 ppm
No
10 ppm
No
10 ppm
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 - 70 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, Acetone, Allyl Chloride (3-chloro-1-propene), Antimony (total), Arsenic (total), Benzene, Beryllium (total), Bromobenzene, Bromochloromethane, Bromomethane, Cadmium (total), Carbon tetrachloride, Chloroethane, Chloromethane, Chromium (total), cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, cis-1,3-Dichloropropene, Dibromomethane, Dichloroacetic acid, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Dichlorofluoromethane, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Ethyl ether, Hexachlorobutadiene, Isopropylbenzene, m-Dichlorobenzene, Mercury (total inorganic), Methyl isobutyl ketone, Monobromoacetic acid, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Mtbe, n-Butylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Naphthalene, o-Chlorotoluene, o-Dichlorobenzene, p-Chlorotoluene, p-Dichlorobenzene, p-Isopropyltoluene, sec-Butylbenzene, Selenium (total), Styrene, tert-Butylbenzene, Tetrachloroethylene, Tetrahydrofuran, Thallium (total), Toluene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, trans-1,3-Dichloropropene, Trichloroacetic acid, Trichloroethylene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Trichlorotrifluoroethane, Vinyl chloride

Pollution Summary

15Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2008)

Barium (total), Nitrate, Methyl ethyl ketone, Monochloroacetic acid, Dibromoacetic acid, Chloroform, Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Xylenes (total), Ethylbenzene, o-Xylene, m- & p- Xylene, Bromoform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Alpha particle activity

2Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Nitrate, Ethylbenzene

5Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

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

8Industrial Pollutants

Barium (total), Nitrate, Methyl ethyl ketone, Xylenes (total), Ethylbenzene, o-Xylene, m- & p- Xylene, Alpha particle activity

7Water Treatment and Distribution Byproducts
(pipes and fixtures, treatment chemicals and byproducts)

Monochloroacetic acid, Dibromoacetic acid, Chloroform, Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Bromoform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane

3Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Barium (total), Nitrate, Alpha particle activity

1Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Methyl ethyl ketone

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.