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EWG's Tap Water Database

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MTBE

Status: No national drinking water standard exists

 

MTBE was used as gasoline oxygenation additive to boost the octane number. In 2005, MTBE was replaced by ethanol as a gasoline additive. MTBE causes cancers in rats.

2015:

FOUND
FOUND ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES

22

states detected

291

utilities detected

4.8 million

people served

1

states over health guideline

1

utilities over health guideline

8,256

people served over health guideline

Health concerns for MTBE

Cancer

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

Health Guideline 13 ppb

The health guideline of 13 ppb for MTBE was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

ppb = parts per billion.

States reporting MTBE in drinking water

UTILITIES REPORTING ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES UTILITIES WITH CONTAMINATION
State UtilitiesPeople Served UtilitiesPeople Served
New York00302,197,545
New Jersey00691,045,595
California009482,169
Delaware0012312,753
Massachusetts0023299,044
Wisconsin0025132,160
Pennsylvania00669,013
South Carolina001563,116
Missouri001241,311
Maryland001740,440
Virginia00728,352
Arkansas00628,331
Georgia00827,269
Connecticut00415,768
Illinois00614,590
Oklahoma00311,562
Texas18,25649,755
Iowa0036,881
New Hampshire00234,955
Vermont0054,048
Maine003170
Utah0010
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Utilities with the highest amounts of MTBE, 2015

ALL UTILITIES
LARGE UTILITIES
UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
Dalhart Municipal Water SystemDalhart, TX3 of 450.5 ppb8,256
Woodbine Municipal Utilities AuthorityWoodbine, NJ1 of 110.1 ppb2,800
River Lake SubdivisionMequon, WI1 of 18.10 ppb100
Cassatt Water Kershaw-lee Company RWACassatt, SC4 of 58.02 ppb24,879
Deforest WaterworksDeforest, WI2 of 37.93 ppb9,400
City of Los BanosLos Banos, CA4 of 47.65 ppb37,168
MarstonMarston, MO2 of 26.98 ppb600
TalbottonTalbotton, GA1 of 16.30 ppb738
Whispering Pines Mobile Home ParkNew Castle, MD2 of 25.70 ppb325
S & P Properties LLCMansfield, CT1 of 15.60 ppb42
Theresa WaterworksTheresa, WI2 of 25.45 ppb1,262
KennettKennett, MO9 of 155.36 ppb11,500
Lakewood Twp MUALakewood, NJ9 of 95.35 ppb17,400
Shore Memorial HospitalNassawadox, VA4 of 55.18 ppb620
Walnut Grove No. 1Rockville, VA1 of 15.00 ppb290
Atkinson WoodsAtkinson, NH1 of 14.90 ppb140
Picnic Grove Mobile HomesMalaga, NJ8 of 84.85 ppb250
Twin Coach / Edgeway Mobile HomesLakeville, MA4 of 44.75 ppb134
Portageville*Portageville, MO13 of 164.67 ppb3,250
Ocean PinesBerlin, MD1 of 14.40 ppb11,890
Metropolitan Water District*South Jordan, UT4 of 44.39 ppb0
Miner*Miner, MO7 of 114.33 ppb984
Norcross Mobile Home VillageFarmington Hills, GA2 of 44.28 ppb543
Maryland American Water Company*Bel Air, MD10 of 113.98 ppb13,200
Shermans Valley Apartments Perlo IIILoysville, PA9 of 93.81 ppb25
Klondike Independent School DistrictLamesa, TX3 of 33.67 ppb231
LawrencevilleLawrenceville, GA5 of 63.60 ppb24,000
Browns Lake Mobile Home CtBurlington, WI2 of 23.55 ppb225
Millstone ApartmentsHarpswell, ME1 of 13.30 ppb97
Fairton Oaks M H CommunityBrick, NJ1 of 12.95 ppb207

* 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 MTBE, but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.

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UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
Cassatt Water Kershaw-lee Company RWACassatt, SC4 of 58.02 ppb24,879
City of Los BanosLos Banos, CA4 of 47.65 ppb37,168
KennettKennett, MO9 of 155.36 ppb11,500
Lakewood Twp MUALakewood, NJ9 of 95.35 ppb17,400
Ocean PinesBerlin, MD1 of 14.40 ppb11,890
Maryland American Water Company*Bel Air, MD10 of 113.98 ppb13,200
LawrencevilleLawrenceville, GA5 of 63.60 ppb24,000
Waunakee WaterworksWaunakee, WI6 of 62.80 ppb12,097
City of WaynesboroWaynesboro, VA1 of 12.50 ppb21,006
California Water Service (CWS) - SalinasSan Jose, CA1 of 422.10 ppb106,858
NJ American Water - Atlantic CountyVoorhees, NJ2 of 132.05 ppb120,000
Manchester Twp Water Utility - Western*Manchester, NJ2 of 31.30 ppb15,163
Southeast Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority*Cedar Knolls, NJ4 of 191.05 ppb62,050
Yarmouth Water Department*West Yarmouth, MA1 of 10.820 ppb39,635
City of Torrance Water DepartmentTorrance, CA3 of 160.738 ppb145,438
Collingswood Water DeparCollingswood, NJ6 of 80.726 ppb20,002
Dennis Water DistrictSouth Dennis, MA2 of 20.715 ppb65,000
Merchantville PennsaukenCamden City, NJ4 of 210.616 ppb47,144
Breezy Hill WD*Graniteville, SC4 of 110.590 ppb13,692
Garfield Water DepartmentGarfield City, NJ9 of 150.439 ppb30,487
Forrest City Waterworks*Forrest City, AR4 of 80.425 ppb15,220
Aqua NJ - Hamilton Square*Hamilton, NJ10 of 170.406 ppb39,128
Orleans Water DepartmentOrleans, MA3 of 120.367 ppb17,670
Concord Water DepartmentConcord, MA1 of 70.343 ppb16,663
New York American Water - Sea Cliff*Merrick, NY8 of 190.333 ppb15,000
Bridgeton City Water DepartmentBridgeton, NJ1 of 20.300 ppb22,770
East Lyme Water & Sewer CommissionEast Lyme, CT4 of 160.294 ppb15,245
Artesian Water Company*Newark, DE10 of 400.294 ppb301,000
United Water RahwayHighland Lakes, NJ8 of 120.280 ppb27,300
Vineland Water & Sewer UtilityVineland, NJ16 of 250.278 ppb33,000

* 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 MTBE, but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.

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