The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


Erie City Water Authority - Erie, PA


Serves 180,000 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 Pennsylvania 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.
5 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.
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.
1,677 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 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.13.61 ppb
39.6 ppb
Yes
0.7 ppb
No
60 ppb
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)Total trihalomethanes constitute the sum of four disinfection byproducts: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform.31.99 ppb
64 ppb
Yes
9.8 ppb
No
80 ppb
Radium-228Radium-228 is a radioactive element usually found around uranium deposits.0.47 pCi/L
1.8 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
No
5 pCi/L
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.0.11 ppb
1.5 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
Radium-226Radium-226 is a radioactive element usually found around uranium deposits.0.06 pCi/L
0.51 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*
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.0.25 ppm
0.54 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.20.42 ppb
22 ppb
No
700 ppb
No
2000 ppb
AluminumAluminum is a metal released from metal refineries and mining operations.106.39 ppb
190 ppb
No
200 ppb
No
200 ppb
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.0.02 ppb
0.1 ppb
No
0.15 ppb
No
3 ppb
Chromium (total)Chromium is a metal that pollutes drinking water due to discharge from steel and pulp mills and erosion of natural deposits.1.43 ppb
6.8 ppb
No
100 ppb
No
100 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.0.26 ppb
3.1 ppb
No
50 ppb
No
50 ppb
Antimony (total)Antimony is a metal that enters water from petroleum refinery pollution, fire retardants, ceramics, electronics and solder.0.29 ppb
3.5 ppb
No
5.6 ppb
No
6 ppb
ManganeseManganese is a naturally occurring element released from mineral deposits as well as industrial use.1 ppb
10 ppb
No
50 ppb
No
50 ppb
Strontium-90Strontium-90 is a radioactive pollutant from nuclear fallout and possibly weapons and power production.0.43 pCi/L
0.43 pCi/L
NoLegal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
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 - 73 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, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), 2,4-d, 3-Hydroxycarbofuran, Alachlor (Lasso), Aldicarb, Aldicarb sulfone, Aldicarb sulfoxide, Aldrin, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Arsenic (total), Benzene, Benzo[a]pyrene, Beryllium (total), Butachlor, Cadmium (total), Carbaryl, Carbofuran, Carbon tetrachloride, Chlordane, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Cyanide, Dalapon, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Dicamba, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Dieldrin, Dinoseb, Diquat, Endothall, Endrin, Ethylbenzene, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Glyphosate, Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L), Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Lindane, Mercury (total inorganic), Methomyl, Methoxychlor, Metolachlor, Metribuzin, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Nitrite, o-Dichlorobenzene, Oxamyl (Vydate), p-Dichlorobenzene, Pentachlorophenol, Picloram, Propachlor, Silver (total), Simazine, Styrene, Tetrachloroethylene, Thallium (total), Toluene, Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Toxaphene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, Vinyl chloride, Xylenes (total)

Pollution Summary

14Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2009)

Aluminum, Barium (total), Chromium (total), Manganese, Nitrate, Selenium (total), Antimony (total), Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Atrazine, Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Radium-226, Radium-228, Strontium-90

3Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Nitrate, Selenium (total), Atrazine

2Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Nitrate, Antimony (total)

11Industrial Pollutants

Aluminum, Barium (total), Chromium (total), Manganese, Nitrate, Selenium (total), Antimony (total), Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Radium-226, Radium-228, Strontium-90

3Water Treatment and Distribution Byproducts
(pipes and fixtures, treatment chemicals and byproducts)

Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

8Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Aluminum, Barium (total), Chromium (total), Manganese, Nitrate, Selenium (total), Radium-226, Radium-228

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

Strontium-90

EPA Violation Summary

Violation CategoryNumber of Violations
MCL and Treatment
(click see violations)
2
Reporting
(click see violations)
2
Monitoring
(click see violations)
6

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.