The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


Chandler Terrace - Portsmouth, NH


Serves 30 people - Test data available: 2004-2009

This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. 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.
8 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.
14 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.
287 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*
Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium)Alpha particles are a form of radiation associated with radioactive mining waste pollutants and natural sources.10.53 pCi/L
37.5 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
Yes
15 pCi/L
Combined Radium (-226 & -228)Radium is a radioactive element usually found around uranium deposits.4.11 pCi/L
8 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
Yes
5 pCi/L
ManganeseManganese is a naturally occurring element released from mineral deposits as well as industrial use.237.4 ppb
461.8 ppb
Yes
50 ppb
Yes
50 ppb
Combined Uranium (mg/L)Uranium is a radioactive element commonly found in most rocks; processed uranium ore is used for power generation and weapons manufacture.2.85 ppb
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
30 ppb
Radium-226Radium-226 is a radioactive element usually found around uranium deposits.1.93 pCi/L
4.1 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.1.93 pCi/L
3.9 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
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.<0.01 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
5 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.1.3 ppb
1.3 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
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*
Combined Uranium (pCi/L)Uranium is a radioactive element commonly found in most rocks; processed ore is used for power generation and weapons manufacture.2.5 pCi/L
4.6 pCi/L
NoNo
15 pCi/L
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.<0.01 ppb
0.02 ppb
No
13 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
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.<0.01 ppb
<0.01 ppb
No
70 ppb
No
70 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.0.14 ppm
0.43 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.36 ppb
41 ppb
No
700 ppb
No
2000 ppb
NitriteNitrite is a chemical that enters water from fertilizer runoff, leaching septic tanks, and erosion of natural deposits.0.01 ppm
0.06 ppm
No
1 ppm
No
1 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 - 69 chemicals

1,1,1-Trichloroethane, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, 1,2 Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, 1,2-Dichloroethane, 1,2-Dichloropropane, 2,3,7,8-TCDD (Dioxin), 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), 2,4-d, 3-Hydroxycarbofuran, Alachlor (Lasso), Aldicarb, Aldicarb sulfone, Aldicarb sulfoxide, Aldrin, Aroclor 1016, Aroclor 1221, Aroclor 1232, Aroclor 1242, Aroclor 1248, Aroclor 1254, Aroclor 1260, Atrazine, Benzene, Benzo[a]pyrene, Butachlor, Carbaryl, Carbofuran, Carbon tetrachloride, Chlordane, Dalapon, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Dicamba, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Dieldrin, Dinoseb, Diquat, Endothall, Endrin, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Glyphosate, Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Lindane, Methomyl, Methoxychlor, Metolachlor, Metribuzin, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), o-Dichlorobenzene, Oxamyl (Vydate), p-Dichlorobenzene, Pcb 1262, Pentachlorophenol, Picloram, Propachlor, Simazine, Styrene, Tetrachloroethylene, Toluene, Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Toxaphene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Vinyl chloride, Xylenes (total)

Pollution Summary

14Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2009)

Arsenic (total), Barium (total), Manganese, Nitrate, Nitrite, MTBE, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228, Combined Uranium (pCi/L)

3Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Nitrate, Nitrite

4Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Arsenic (total), Nitrate, Nitrite, MTBE

14Industrial Pollutants

Arsenic (total), Barium (total), Manganese, Nitrate, Nitrite, MTBE, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228, Combined Uranium (pCi/L)

0Water Treatment and Distribution Byproducts
(pipes and fixtures, treatment chemicals and byproducts)

11Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Arsenic (total), Barium (total), Manganese, Nitrate, Nitrite, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228, Combined Uranium (pCi/L)

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

MTBE

EPA Violation Summary

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

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.