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Drinking Water Quality Report


United Water New York - Pearl River, NY


Serves 225,000 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 New York Department of Health- Bureau of Public Water Supply 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.
18 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.
4 chemicals
0.5
Pollutants FoundThe total number of contaminants detected since 2004, according to data provided by the state water agency.
38 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.
64,519tests
420

Contaminants Exceeding Health Guidelines

ContaminantAverage/
Maximum
Result
Health Limit
Exceeded
Legal Limit
Exceeded

Testing History

-Tested      -Detected      -Over Health Guidelines      -Over Legal Limit*
TetrachloroethyleneTetrachloroethylene (perc) is a common soil and groundwater contaminant used in dry cleaning and as a solvent in automotive and metalworking factories and other industries.1.05 ppb
12.1 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
Yes
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.2.05 ppb
18 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
ManganeseManganese is a naturally occurring element released from mineral deposits as well as industrial use.15.39 ppb
540 ppb
Yes
50 ppb
Yes
50 ppb
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.0.32 ppb
5.5 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
Yes
5 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.1.5 ppb
14.7 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.0.54 ppb
4.27 ppb
Yes
0.4 ppb
No
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.3.9 ppb
40.5 ppb
Yes
5.7 ppb
No
80 ppb
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)Total trihalomethanes constitute the sum of four disinfection byproducts: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform.6.89 ppb
55.33 ppb
Yes
9.8 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.0.21 ppb
6.52 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
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.5.37 ppb
10.39 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.11.93 ppb
27.26 ppb
Yes
0.7 ppb
No
60 ppb
Radium-228Radium-228 is a radioactive element usually found around uranium deposits.0.3 pCi/L
0.87 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
Combined Radium (-226 & -228)Radium is a radioactive element usually found around uranium deposits.0.73 pCi/L
1.27 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-226Radium-226 is a radioactive element usually found around uranium deposits.0.26 pCi/L
0.57 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
Alpha particle activityAlpha particles are a form of radiation released from mining waste pollutants and natural sources.0.37 pCi/L
2.22 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
15 pCi/L
Cadmium (total)Cadmium is a metal used in the steel and plastic industries; it is released from corrosion of galvanized pipes, runoff from metal refineries, waste batteries and paints; contamination from fertilizers; and erosion of natural deposits.0.03 ppb
2.7 ppb
Yes
0.04 ppb
No
5 ppb
ChlordaneChlordane is a persistent insecticide/termiticide that is likely carcinogenic to humans and has been banned in the U.S. since 1988.<0.01 ppb
0.17 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
2 ppb
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.0.12 ppb
5.4 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
6 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*
Nitrate & nitriteNitrate and nitrite enter water from fertilizer runoff, leaching from septic tanks, and erosion of natural deposits.1.46 ppm
3.33 ppm
No
10 ppm
No
10 ppm
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.1.45 ppm
3.33 ppm
No
10 ppm
No
10 ppm
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.0.16 ppb
2.4 ppb
No
70 ppb
No
70 ppb
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.6.79 ppb
15.82 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.0.38 ppb
1.46 ppb
NoNo
60 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.190.17 ppb
490 ppb
No
700 ppb
No
2000 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.2.06 ppb
25.43 ppb
No
70 ppb
No
60 ppb
NitriteNitrite is a chemical that enters water from fertilizer runoff, leaching septic tanks, and erosion of natural deposits.<0.01 ppm
0.04 ppm
No
1 ppm
No
1 ppm
Chromium (total)Chromium is a metal that pollutes drinking water due to discharge from steel and pulp mills and erosion of natural deposits.1 ppb
5.35 ppb
No
100 ppb
No
100 ppb
TrichlorofluoromethaneTrichlorofluoromethane (Freon 11) is a refrigerant, solvent, chemical intermediate and halocarbon aerosol that was banned in 2000 under the Montreal Protocol because of its ozone-depleting properties.<0.01 ppb
0.89 ppb
No
700 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium)Alpha particles are a form of radiation associated with mining waste pollutants and natural sources.1.82 pCi/L
2.62 pCi/L
NoNo
15 pCi/L
DichlorodifluoromethaneDichlorodifluoromethane (Freon 12) is a chlorofluorocarbon refrigerant and aerosol spray propellant; it was banned under the Montreal Protocol as of 2000 because of its ozone-depleting properties.0.01 ppb
1.3 ppb
No
1000 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L)Beta particles are a form of radiation frequently associated with nuclear testing and radioactive mineral deposits.1.86 pCi/L
3.61 pCi/L
NoNo
15 pCi/L
trans-1,2-Dichloroethylenetrans-1,2-Dichloroethylene is a synthetic chemical used as a solvent, refrigerant, and in the production of pharmaceuticals; it is released as pollutant from various industrial chemical factories.<0.01 ppb
1.06 ppb
No
100 ppb
No
100 ppb
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
1.6 ppb
No
13 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
Monobromoacetic acidMonobromoacetic 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.0.03 ppb
1 ppb
NoNo
60 ppb
BromochloromethaneBromochloromethane is a tap water disinfection byproduct; it is also used as an intermediate in chemical manufacturing and a fire extinguishing agent.<0.01 ppb
0.19 ppb
No
50 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
1,1-DichloroethyleneIndustrial chemical pollutant from manufacture of adhesives, synthetic fibers, refrigerants and plastic wraps.<0.01 ppb
0.15 ppb
No
7 ppb
No
7 ppb
Beryllium (total)Beryllium is a metal associated with metal refineries and combustion of fossil fuels, especially coal burning; it is released into the environment from electrical, aerospace and defense industries.0.01 ppb
1 ppb
No
1 ppb
No
4 ppb
DalaponDalapon is an herbicide used on roads, railway tracks and other rights of way.0.03 ppb
1.6 ppb
No
200 ppb
No
200 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 - 101 chemicals

1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethane, 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, 2,2-Dichloropropane, 2,3,7,8-TCDD (Dioxin), 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), 2,4-d, 3,3-Dichlorobenzidine, 3-Hydroxycarbofuran, Alachlor (Lasso), Aldicarb, Aldicarb sulfone, Aldicarb sulfoxide, Aldrin, Antimony (total), Aroclor 1016, Aroclor 1221, Aroclor 1232, Aroclor 1242, Aroclor 1248, Aroclor 1254, Aroclor 1260, Atrazine, Benzene, Benzo[a]pyrene, Bromobenzene, Bromomethane, Butachlor, Carbaryl, Carbofuran, Carbon tetrachloride, Chloroethane, Chloromethane, cis-1,3-Dichloropropene, Copper, Cyanide, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Dibromomethane, Dicamba, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Dieldrin, Dinoseb, Diquat, Endothall, Endrin, Ethylbenzene, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Glyphosate, Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Hexachlorobutadiene, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Isopropylbenzene, Lindane, m-Dichlorobenzene, m-Xylene, Mercury (total inorganic), Methomyl, Methoxychlor, Metolachlor, Metribuzin, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), n-Butylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Naphthalene, o-Chlorotoluene, o-Dichlorobenzene, o-Xylene, Oxamyl (Vydate), p-Chlorotoluene, p-Dichlorobenzene, p-Isopropyltoluene, p-Xylene, Pentachlorophenol, Picloram, Propachlor, sec-Butylbenzene, Selenium (total), Silver (total), Simazine, Styrene, tert-Butylbenzene, Thallium (total), Toluene, Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Toxaphene, trans-1,3-Dichloropropene, Vinyl chloride

Pollution Summary

38Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2009)

Arsenic (total), Barium (total), Cadmium (total), Chromium (total), Manganese, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Beryllium (total), Dalapon, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, MTBE, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Bromochloromethane, Monochloroacetic acid, Dichloroacetic acid, Trichloroacetic acid, Monobromoacetic acid, Dibromoacetic acid, Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromoform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Chlordane, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, Tetrachloroethylene, Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228, Alpha particle activity, Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L)

6Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Dalapon, Chlordane

10Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Arsenic (total), Cadmium (total), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Dalapon, Trichlorofluoromethane, MTBE, Chlordane, Tetrachloroethylene

25Industrial Pollutants

Arsenic (total), Barium (total), Cadmium (total), Chromium (total), Manganese, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Beryllium (total), Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, MTBE, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Bromochloromethane, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, Tetrachloroethylene, Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228, Alpha particle activity, Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L)

14Water 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, Monobromoacetic acid, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Cadmium (total), Bromochloromethane

13Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Nitrate, Nitrate & nitrite, Barium (total), Arsenic (total), Manganese, Radium-228, Radium-226, Alpha particle activity, Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L), Chromium (total), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Nitrite

4Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Dichlorodifluoromethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, MTBE, Bromochloromethane

EPA Violation Summary

Violation CategoryNumber of Violations
MCL and Treatment
(click see violations)
1
Monitoring
(click see violations)
2

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.