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Drinking Water Quality Report


Council Bluffs Water Works - Council Bluffs, IA


Serves 61,324 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 Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 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.
9 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.
1 chemicals
0.5
Pollutants FoundThe total number of contaminants detected since 2004, according to data provided by the state water agency.
17 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.
2,362tests
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.43.52 ppb
85.5 ppb
Yes
9.8 ppb
Yes
80 ppb
Dichloroacetic acidDichloroacetic 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.10.12 ppb
20.5 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
60 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.14.81 ppb
31.88 ppb
Yes
0.7 ppb
No
60 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.27.16 ppb
58 ppb
Yes
5.7 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.10.72 ppb
18.5 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
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.5.3 ppb
8.2 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.0.41 ppb
1.03 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
Lead (total)Lead is a metal that enters water by corrosion of household plumbing systems, discharge of industrial pollution and erosion of natural deposits.0.98 ppb
2.82 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
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.0.5 ppb
1 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*
Trichloroacetic acidTrichloroacetic 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.3.81 ppb
9.25 ppb
No
20 ppb
No
60 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.0.9 ppb
2 ppb
NoNo
60 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.2.02 ppm
5.1 ppm
No
10 ppm
No
10 ppm
ChloriteChlorite is a disinfection byproduct resulting from water treatment with chlorine dioxide, or from the use of chlorine dioxide as a bleaching agent for cellulose, paper pulp, flour and oils.122.78 ppb
196.67 ppb
No
800 ppb
No
1000 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.0.11 ppb
2 ppb
No
70 ppb
No
60 ppb
CopperCopper is a naturally occuring metal and drinking water contaminant that enters tap water by corrosion of household plumbing systems and erosion of natural deposits.36.32 ppb
90 ppb
No
300 ppb
No
1000 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.0.22 ppb
0.6 ppb
No
1800 ppb
No
10000 ppb
p-Dichlorobenzenep-Dichlorobenzene is a carcinogenic pesticide used as a fumigant, deodorant, and in manufacture of other industrial chemicals.0.83 ppb
3.3 ppb
No
6 ppb
No
75 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 - 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, 1,2,3-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, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), 2,4-d, Alachlor (Lasso), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Antimony (total), Atrazine, Barium (total), Benzene, Benzo[a]pyrene, Bromobenzene, Bromochloromethane, Bromomethane, Cadmium (total), Carbon tetrachloride, Chloroethane, Chloromethane, Chromium (total), cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Dalapon, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Dibromomethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Dinoseb, Ethylbenzene, Hexachlorobutadiene, Isopropylbenzene, m-Dichlorobenzene, Mercury (total inorganic), Monobromoacetic acid, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), n-Butylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Naphthalene, o-Chlorotoluene, o-Dichlorobenzene, p-Chlorotoluene, p-Isopropyltoluene, Pentachlorophenol, Picloram, sec-Butylbenzene, Selenium (total), Simazine, Styrene, tert-Butylbenzene, Tetrachloroethylene, Thallium (total), Toluene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Vinyl chloride

Pollution Summary

17Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2009)

Arsenic (total), Chlorite, Copper, Lead (total), Nitrate, Monochloroacetic acid, Dichloroacetic acid, Trichloroacetic acid, Dibromoacetic acid, Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromoform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Xylenes (total), p-Dichlorobenzene

3Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Nitrate, p-Dichlorobenzene

6Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Arsenic (total), Copper, Lead (total), Nitrate, Xylenes (total), p-Dichlorobenzene

6Industrial Pollutants

Arsenic (total), Chlorite, Lead (total), Nitrate, Xylenes (total), p-Dichlorobenzene

11Water Treatment and Distribution Byproducts
(pipes and fixtures, treatment chemicals and byproducts)

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Dichloroacetic acid, Trichloroacetic acid, Bromoform, Dibromoacetic acid, Monochloroacetic acid, Chlorite

4Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Nitrate, Copper, Lead (total), Arsenic (total)

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

Lead (total)

EPA Violation Summary

Violation CategoryNumber of Violations
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.