The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


Portsmouth Water & Fire District - Newport, RI


Serves 16,270 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 Rhode Island Department of Health. 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.
6 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.
2 chemicals
0.5
Pollutants FoundThe total number of contaminants detected since 2004, according to data provided by the state water agency.
8 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.
183 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 trihalomethanes (TTHMs)Total trihalomethanes constitute the sum of four disinfection byproducts: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform.95.91 ppb
134.55 ppb
Yes
9.8 ppb
Yes
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.99.25 ppb
99.25 ppb
Yes
5.7 ppb
Yes
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.26.36 ppb
44.53 ppb
Yes
0.7 ppb
No
60 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.2 ppb
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
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.25.35 ppb
25.35 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.7.95 ppb
7.95 ppb
Yes
0.4 ppb
No
80 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*
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.1.34 ppm
1.34 ppm
No
10 ppm
No
10 ppm
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
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 - 67 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, Antimony (total), Arsenic (total), Barium (total), Benzene, Beryllium (total), Bromobenzene, Bromochloromethane, Bromomethane, Cadmium (total), Carbon tetrachloride, Chloroethane, Chloromethane, Chromium (total), cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Copper, Cyanide, Dibromomethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Ethylbenzene, Hexachlorobutadiene, Isopropylbenzene, Lead (total), m-Dichlorobenzene, Manganese, Mercury (total inorganic), Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Mtbe, n-Butylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Naphthalene, o-Chlorotoluene, o-Dichlorobenzene, p-Chlorotoluene, p-Dichlorobenzene, p-Isopropyltoluene, sec-Butylbenzene, Selenium (total), Silver (total), Styrene, tert-Butylbenzene, Tetrachloroethylene, Thallium (total), Toluene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Vinyl chloride, Xylenes (total)

Pollution Summary

8Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2008)

Nitrate, Nitrite, Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromoform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

2Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Nitrate, Nitrite

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

Nitrate, Nitrite

2Industrial Pollutants

Nitrate, Nitrite

6Water Treatment and Distribution Byproducts
(pipes and fixtures, treatment chemicals and byproducts)

Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromoform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

2Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Nitrate, Nitrite

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.