The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


Harris County Mud 217 - Houston, TX


Serves 2,328 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 Texas Commission on Environmental Quality . 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.
21 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.
1,510 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*
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.11.48 ppb
18.3 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
Yes
10 ppb
BenzeneBenzene is a petroleum chemical that contaminates drinking water due to emissions from petroleum and chemical industries, leaching landfills and gas storage tanks.3.16 ppb
13.44 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
5 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.0.23 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
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.0.35 ppb
0.77 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.0.04 ppb
0.35 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
Dichloromethane (methylene chloride)Dichloromethane is a widely-used paint remover, solvent and metal degreasing agent; it is discharged into the environment from the manufacture of chemicals, textiles, electronics, metals and plastics, pharmaceuticals and pesticides.0.04 ppb
0.35 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
5 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*
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.0.97 ppb
5.16 ppb
No
300 ppb
No
700 ppb
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)Total trihalomethanes constitute the sum of four disinfection byproducts: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform.0.71 ppb
1.65 ppb
No
9.8 ppb
No
80 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.0.89 ppb
5.3 ppb
No
10000 ppb
No
10000 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.0.11 ppb
0.45 ppb
No
10000 ppb
No
10000 ppb
AcetoneAcetone is a ubiquitous industrial solvent and chemical intermediate used in manufacture of plastic, fibers, cosmetics, photographic film and many other kinds of consumer goods.1.45 ppb
14.5 ppb
No
6000 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
Methyl isobutyl ketoneMethyl isobutyl ketone (4-Methyl-2-pentanone) is an industrial chemical used in the production of paints, pesticides, textiles, inks and rubber.0.12 ppb
1.15 ppb
NoLegal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
ChloroethaneChloroethane is a volatile solvent used in the manufacture of dyes, drugs, perfumes, insecticides and gasoline additives; it is also used as a refrigerant and anesthetic, and may form in tap water as a result of chlorination.0.19 ppb
1.87 ppb
NoLegal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene is a chemical intermediate, industrial solvent, and component of gasoline, coal tar and petroleum products.0.11 ppb
1.06 ppb
NoLegal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
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.0.04 ppb
0.35 ppb
No
5.7 ppb
No
80 ppb
TetrahydrofuranTetrahydrofuran is an intermediate in chemical manufacturing to produce food storage and packaging materials, rubber, resins and plastics, and is a solvent for dyes and lacquers.0.39 ppb
3.85 ppb
NoLegal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
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.0.66 ppb
5.3 ppb
No
1800 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.5.1 ppb
10.2 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.3.4 ppb
10.2 ppb
No
70 ppb
No
60 ppb
ManganeseManganese is a naturally occurring element released from mineral deposits as well as industrial use.10.5 ppb
10.5 ppb
No
50 ppb
No
50 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.411 ppb
411 ppb
No
700 ppb
No
2000 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 - 87 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-Dichloroethane, 1,2-Dichloropropane, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, 1,3-Dichloropropane, 2,2-Dichloropropane, 2-Hexanone, Acrylonitrile, Alpha particle activity, Aluminum, Aniline, Antimony (total), Beryllium (total), Bromobenzene, Bromochloroacetic acid, Bromochloromethane, Bromomethane, Butyl Acetate, Cadmium (total), Carbon tetrachloride, Chloromethane, Chromium (total), cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, cis-1,3-Dichloropropene, Copper, Cyanogen Chloride, Dalapon, Dibromomethane, Dichloroacetic acid, Dichloroacetonitrile, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Ethyl Methacrylate, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L), Hexachlorobutadiene, Iodomethane, Isopropylbenzene, Lead (total), m-Dichlorobenzene, m-Xylene, Mercury (total inorganic), Methyl ethyl ketone, Methyl methacrylate, Monobromoacetic acid, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Mtbe, n-Butylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Naphthalene, Nitrate, Nitrite, o-Chlorotoluene, o-Dichlorobenzene, p-Chlorotoluene, p-Dichlorobenzene, p-Isopropyltoluene, p-Xylene, Pentane, Phenols, Radium-228, sec-Butylbenzene, Selenium (total), Silver (total), Styrene, tert-Butylbenzene, Tetrachloroethylene, Thallium (total), Toluene, Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, trans-1,3-Dichloropropene, Trichloroacetic acid, Trichloroethylene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Vinyl 2-chloroethyl Ether, Vinyl acetate, Vinyl chloride

Pollution Summary

21Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2007)

Arsenic (total), Barium (total), Manganese, Chloroethane, Acetone, Methyl isobutyl ketone, Tetrahydrofuran, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, Monochloroacetic acid, Dibromoacetic acid, Chloroform, Bromoform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Benzene, Ethylbenzene, o-Xylene, m- & p- Xylene

2Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Ethylbenzene

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

Arsenic (total), Acetone, Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Benzene, o-Xylene, m- & p- Xylene

14Industrial Pollutants

Arsenic (total), Barium (total), Manganese, Chloroethane, Acetone, Methyl isobutyl ketone, Tetrahydrofuran, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Benzene, Ethylbenzene, o-Xylene, m- & p- Xylene

8Water Treatment and Distribution Byproducts
(pipes and fixtures, treatment chemicals and byproducts)

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

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

Arsenic (total), Barium (total), Manganese

5Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Chloroethane, Acetone, Methyl isobutyl ketone, Tetrahydrofuran, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene

EPA Violation Summary

Violation CategoryNumber of Violations
MCL and Treatment
(click see violations)
1
Monitoring
(click see violations)
1

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.