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EWG's Tap Water Database

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Nitrate

Status: National drinking water standard exists

 

Nitrate, a fertilizer chemical, frequently contaminates drinking water due to agricultural and urban runoff, and discharges from municipal wastewater treatment plants and septic tanks. Excessive nitrate in water can cause oxygen deprivation in infants and increase the risk of cancer. Click here to read more about nitrate.

2015:

FOUND
FOUND ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES

49

states detected

23,270

utilities detected

216 million

people served

36

states over health guideline

1,460

utilities over health guideline

5.9 million

people served over health guideline

Health concerns for nitrate

Cancer

Harm to fetal growth and child development

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

Health Guideline 5 ppm

The health guideline of 5 ppm for nitrate was defined by EWG based on studies by scientists at the National Cancer Institute and other independent researchers. This health guideline protects against cancer and harm to fetal growth and development.

ppm = parts per million.

EPA Maximum Contaminant
Level (MCL) 10 ppm

The enforceable federal standard that defines the highest level of a contaminant allowed in drinking water.

ppm = parts per million.

EPA Maximum Contaminant
Level Goal (MCLG)10 ppm

A non-enforceable federal health guideline. For cancer-causing chemicals, these health goals are typically set to zero.

ppm = parts per million.

States reporting nitrate in drinking water

UTILITIES REPORTING ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES UTILITIES WITH CONTAMINATION
State UtilitiesPeople Served UtilitiesPeople Served
California3083,285,5471,75432,405,560
Texas11483,9493,98025,737,270
New York3891,6261,43718,706,234
Florida1711,3071,01316,352,343
Illinois86184,6859999,757,539
Pennsylvania146242,4921,2649,000,315
Massachusetts69,2374538,842,365
Ohio1517,8586548,831,973
Arizona85403,9106736,120,364
Tennessee361,2223526,104,414
Washington9552,2261,4135,219,874
Alabama004035,062,637
Colorado3774,3816554,674,190
Maryland3297,2251884,666,567
New Jersey91,9051894,341,835
Kentucky27,9743394,321,845
Indiana2023,7164814,280,229
Wisconsin28158,1004563,320,922
South Carolina21,4684153,156,581
Minnesota2375,4224563,132,441
Missouri00832,981,999
Utah610,9053742,871,115
Oregon2017,1045242,845,730
Kansas143118,5417632,696,205
Connecticut112,6104062,672,917
Nevada713,4041502,566,264
Virginia00512,554,635
Iowa71687,8274781,782,765
Hawaii143911,459,157
West Virginia620,3753201,310,997
Idaho3922,0105051,036,909
Oklahoma0060972,299
North Carolina4122,007683923,374
Delaware3682,549106874,146
Mississippi00158706,633
District Of Columbia003644,822
New Hampshire2288220464,615
Arkansas23,758120428,282
Rhode Island23,95753420,960
Maine41,787197360,936
Vermont2270247305,261
Georgia0010269,456
Louisiana004219,993
Wyoming0017105,784
Michigan00335,378
Alaska00832,108
Montana1653824,079
North Dakota001219,852
New Mexico00113,000
South Dakota001110,072
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Utilities with the highest amounts of nitrate, 2015

ALL UTILITIES
LARGE UTILITIES
UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
Eola Water Supply CorporationEola, TX2 of 229.4 ppm113
Apple Ave. Ws #03Greenfield, CA1 of 127.8 ppm60
Rodriguez Labor CampDelano, CA2 of 224.1 ppm110
City of WeinertWeinert, TX4 of 422.4 ppm208
Papago Butte Domestic Water Improvement DistrictMaricopa, AZ1 of 121.0 ppm500
Beverly Grand Mutual WaterArroyo Grande, CA4 of 420.9 ppm108
Sierra Mutual Water CompanyPorterville, CA4 of 420.7 ppm39
Pretty Prairie, City ofPretty Prairie, KS5 of 520.6 ppm681
San Vicente Mutual Water CompanySoledad, CA10 of 1019.0 ppm90
Iverson & Jacks Apartments WsSalinas, CA1 of 118.7 ppm150
San Miguel Ws #01Royal Oaks, CA6 of 618.5 ppm100
Lake Morena Views Mw CompanyCampo, CA3 of 318.1 ppm360
Wheeler Municipal Water SystemWheeler, TX4 of 417.7 ppm1,651
Turkey Municipal Water System*Turkey, TX4 of 417.3 ppm421
Thunderbird Farms Domestic Water Improvement DistrictMaricopa, AZ6 of 617.0 ppm1,600
El Camino Water Company Inc.Spreckels, CA3 of 316.8 ppm90
Arrow Creek Trailer CourtWorden, MT1 of 116.4 ppm65
Hamilton EstatesCarmel, IN1 of 116.1 ppm90
Sol Y MarPharr, TX4 of 415.8 ppm103
La Verne WDLa Verne, CA69 of 6915.6 ppm32,230
Franklin Water Systems 3Southlake, TX12 of 1215.4 ppm92
Peak PropertiesMidland, TX4 of 415.1 ppm99
Son Shine PropertiesEdison, CA4 of 415.0 ppm438
Soults Mutual Water CompanyTulare, CA4 of 414.8 ppm120
Northside Water Supply CorporationVernon, TX4 of 414.7 ppm225
Klondike Independent School DistrictLamesa, TX4 of 414.6 ppm231
San Joaquin Estates Mutual Water CompanyBakersfield, CA3 of 314.5 ppm165
South Midland County Water SystemsMidland, TX2 of 214.5 ppm165
Grassland Water Supply CorporationTahoka, TX4 of 414.4 ppm55
Greenwood Terrace Mobile Home SubdivisionLas Cruces, TX4 of 414.4 ppm120

* This water utility supplies finished drinking water to at least one other water utility. The purchasing utility is not required to test for or report Nitrate, but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.

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UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
La Verne WDLa Verne, CA69 of 6915.6 ppm32,230
Chelan County PUD 1Wenatchee, WA1 of 19.17 ppm13,170
Ottumwa Water Works*Ottumwa, IA4 of 48.20 ppm25,023
Plover WaterworksPlover, WI12 of 128.07 ppm12,420
City of WascoWasco, CA41 of 418.06 ppm21,170
City of ShafterShafter, CA19 of 197.88 ppm16,928
City of AtwaterAtwater, CA115 of 1157.60 ppm29,050
City of Vernon*Vernon, TX4 of 47.52 ppm11,686
San Fernando Water DepartmentSan Fernando, CA1 of 17.20 ppm23,839
Cedar Falls Municipal Water Utilities*Cedar Falls, IA22 of 257.09 ppm39,260
Des Moines Water Works*Des Moines, IA35 of 357.09 ppm233,020
Pella Water Works Department*Pella, IA4 of 47.03 ppm10,352
Goodyear Water Department*Goodyear, AZ20 of 206.94 ppm34,000
City of DinubaDinuba, CA56 of 566.75 ppm23,666
Aqua Illinois-Vermilion County*Danville, IL4 of 46.68 ppm38,000
Boone Water Works*Boone, IA12 of 126.63 ppm12,909
University Water System*Iowa City, IA12 of 126.55 ppm26,684
City of BurkburnettBurkburnett, TX5 of 56.53 ppm10,927
Janesville Water UtilityJanesville, WI14 of 146.49 ppm62,720
City of CeresCeres, CA46 of 476.39 ppm42,666
City of Los BanosLos Banos, CA40 of 406.39 ppm37,168
Liberty Water Lpsco*Avondale, AZ24 of 246.38 ppm45,298
City of Chino Hills*Chino Hills, CA64 of 646.33 ppm75,655
City of Turlock*Turlock, CA74 of 746.33 ppm64,215
Waterloo Water Works*Waterloo, IA32 of 326.33 ppm70,070
City of MantecaManteca, CA203 of 2036.33 ppm66,451
Newhall CWD-NewhallSanta Clarita, CA7 of 76.29 ppm12,487
Johnson UtilitiesScottsdale, AZ9 of 96.29 ppm62,158
Westbury WDWestbury, NY46 of 476.28 ppm20,500
Riverside Highland Water Company*Grand Terrace, CA10 of 106.23 ppm14,500

* This water utility supplies finished drinking water to at least one other water utility. The purchasing utility is not required to test for or report Nitrate, but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.

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