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The Power of Information

Drinking Water Quality Report


City of Pawtucket - Providence, RI


Serves 99,166 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 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.
10 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.
24 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.
6,289tests
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.0.08 ppb
0.7 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
5 ppb
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)Total trihalomethanes constitute the sum of four disinfection byproducts: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform.9.58 ppb
67.54 ppb
Yes
9.8 ppb
No
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.19.7 ppb
27.57 ppb
Yes
0.7 ppb
No
60 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.0.74 ppb
16 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.0.25 ppb
5 ppb
Yes
0.4 ppb
No
80 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.0.02 ppb
0.3 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
No
5 ppb
Combined Radium (-226 & -228)Radium is a radioactive element usually found around uranium deposits.0.42 pCi/L
1.85 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-228Radium-228 is a radioactive element usually found around uranium deposits.0.42 pCi/L
1.85 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
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.2.15 ppb
44 ppb
Yes
5.7 ppb
No
80 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.0.02 ppb
0.31 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*
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.2.42 ppm
5.55 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.28.82 ppb
50 ppb
No
700 ppb
No
2000 ppb
StyreneStyrene is a pollutant from plastics, rubber and other industrial chemical factories and from landfill leachate.0.02 ppb
0.5 ppb
No
100 ppb
No
100 ppb
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.0.03 ppb
0.6 ppb
No
300 ppb
No
700 ppb
TolueneToluene is a pollutant from petroleum refineries and a chemical used in plastics manufacturing as well as the pharmaceutical, paint and furniture industries.0.02 ppb
0.5 ppb
No
150 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.0.32 ppb
7.1 ppb
No
1800 ppb
No
10000 ppb
1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene is a chemical intermediate, industrial solvent, and component of gasoline, coal tar and petroleum products.0.03 ppb
0.7 ppb
NoLegal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
NaphthaleneNaphthalene is an intermediate in chemical manufacturing, a moth repellent, a fungicide, and a pollutant from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels.0.03 ppb
0.6 ppb
No
100 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
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.0.16 ppb
3.1 ppb
No
10000 ppb
No
10000 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.0.21 ppb
4 ppb
No
10000 ppb
No
10000 ppb
PyrenePyrene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) released as a pollutant from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels.<0.01 ppb
0.06 ppb
No
200 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
FluoreneFluorene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) released from the incomplete combustion of fuels including oil, gasoline, coal and wood, as well as waste materials; it is an intermediate in production of dyes and other chemicals.<0.01 ppb
0.05 ppb
No
300 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
AcenaphthyleneAcenaphthylene is a component of crude oil and coal tar, and a pollutant from petroleum refining, coal tar distillation, municipal wastewater treatment facilities and municipal waste incinerators.<0.01 ppb
0.07 ppb
NoLegal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
DacthalDacthal (DCPA) is an herbicide used on golf courses, home lawns and gardens, and strawberries, cotton, and soybeans; dacthal and its degradates are among the most commonly detected pesticide residues in drinking water wells.<0.01 ppb
0.05 ppb
No
70 ppb
Legal 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 - 124 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, 1,3-Dichloropropene, 2,2-Dichloropropane, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), 2,4-d, 2,4-Dinitrotoluene, 2,6-Dinitrotoluene, 3-Hydroxycarbofuran, Alachlor (Lasso), Aldicarb, Aldicarb sulfone, Aldicarb sulfoxide, Aldrin, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Anthracene, Antimony (total), Aroclor 1016, Aroclor 1221, Aroclor 1232, Aroclor 1242, Aroclor 1248, Aroclor 1254, Aroclor 1260, Arsenic (total), Atrazine, Benzene, Benzo[a]anthracene, Benzo[a]pyrene, Benzo[b]fluoranthene, Benzo[b]fluoranthene & Benzo[k]fluoranthene, Benzo[g,h,i]perylene, Benzo[k]fluoranthene, Beryllium (total), Bromobenzene, Bromochloromethane, Bromoform, Bromomethane, Butachlor, Butyl Benzylphthalate, Cadmium (total), Carbaryl, Carbofuran, Carbon tetrachloride, Chlordane, Chloroethane, Chloromethane, Chromium (total), Chrysene, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, cis-1,3-Dichloropropene, Cyanide, Dalapon, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di-n-butylphthalate, Dibenz[a,h]anthracene, Dibromomethane, Dicamba, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Dieldrin, Diethylphthalate, Dimethylphthalate, Dinoseb, Endrin, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L), Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Hexachlorobutadiene, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene, Isophorone, Isopropylbenzene, Lindane, m-Dichlorobenzene, Manganese, Mercury (total inorganic), Methomyl, Methoxychlor, Metolachlor, Metribuzin, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Mtbe, n-Butylbenzene, n-Hexane, n-Propylbenzene, Nitrite, o-Chlorotoluene, o-Dichlorobenzene, Oxamyl (Vydate), p-Chlorotoluene, p-Dichlorobenzene, p-Isopropyltoluene, Pentachlorophenol, Phenanthrene, Picloram, Propachlor, Radium-226, sec-Butylbenzene, Selenium (total), Silver (total), Simazine, tert-Butylbenzene, Thallium (total), Toxaphene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, trans-1,3-Dichloropropene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Vinyl chloride

Pollution Summary

24Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2009)

Barium (total), Nitrate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Dacthal, Naphthalene, Acenaphthylene, Fluorene, Pyrene, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Xylenes (total), Trichloroethylene, Tetrachloroethylene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, o-Xylene, m- & p- Xylene, Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-228

3Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Nitrate, Dacthal, Ethylbenzene

9Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Nitrate, Dacthal, Naphthalene, Fluorene, Pyrene, Xylenes (total), Tetrachloroethylene, o-Xylene, m- & p- Xylene

18Industrial Pollutants

Barium (total), Nitrate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Naphthalene, Acenaphthylene, Fluorene, Pyrene, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, Xylenes (total), Trichloroethylene, Tetrachloroethylene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, o-Xylene, m- & p- Xylene, Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-228

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

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

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

Nitrate, Barium (total), Radium-228, Combined Radium (-226 & -228)

6Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Dacthal, Naphthalene, Acenaphthylene, Fluorene, Pyrene, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene

EPA Violation Summary

Violation CategoryNumber of Violations
MCL and Treatment
(click see violations)
2
Reporting
(click see violations)
1
Monitoring
(click see violations)
3

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.