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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene)

Status: National drinking water standard exists

 

Dry cleaning chemical tetrachloroethylene, or perc, can cause cancer. It pollutes soil and groundwater due to emissions from dry cleaning facilities, and automotive, metalworking and other industries. Read More.

The EPA considers tetrachloroethylene a likely human carcinogen. It has been linked with increased incidence of lung, breast and colon cancers. Tetrachloroethylene also damages the liver, kidneys and central nervous system. The California public health goal of 0.06 parts per billion, set to protect against cancer, is 80 times lower than the amount allowed by the federal government, which is a Maximum Contaminant Level of 5 parts per billion.

Click here to read more about carcinogenic VOCs.

2015-2017:

FOUND
FOUND ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES

47

states detected

629

utilities detected

24 million

people served

47

states over health guideline

530

utilities over health guideline

13 million

people served over health guideline

Health concerns for tetrachloroethylene

Lung cancer

Breast cancer

Colon cancer

Harm to the kidney

Harm to the liver

Harm to the central nervous system

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EWG Health Guideline 0.06 ppb

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.06 ppb for tetrachloroethylene 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.

EPA Maximum Contaminant
Level (MCL) 5 ppb

The legal limit for tetrachloroethylene, established in 1991, was based on analytical detection limits at the time that the standard was set. This limit does not fully protect against the risk of cancer due to tetrachloroethylene exposure.

ppb = parts per billion

States reporting tetrachloroethylene in drinking water

UTILITIES REPORTING ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES UTILITIES WITH CONTAMINATION
State UtilitiesPeople Served UtilitiesPeople Served
California994,523,92312110,931,487
New York20624,851382,216,451
Texas28,71071,691,065
Pennsylvania571,429,361631,514,315
Florida17863,016261,249,333
Massachusetts39706,30045807,974
Arizona11666,15112702,481
Utah6509,2066509,206
Wisconsin38547,29637503,249
Delaware3306,9086348,776
Nevada5330,3626348,362
Alabama781,94112327,851
New Jersey8136,75614260,988
Indiana8138,5489250,948
Idaho6241,7646241,764
Illinois10231,28011232,000
Connecticut7132,64511228,340
Tennessee5159,6925159,692
Minnesota7135,4947135,494
New Mexico488,7085126,585
Ohio1676,18417102,803
Colorado544,988696,453
Iowa986,478886,070
Washington1081,9851081,985
Missouri1467,6671467,667
Oregon1065,2291065,229
Nebraska533,770959,494
Kansas1052,8031052,803
Georgia946,616946,616
Kentucky745,303846,503
New Hampshire934,149934,149
Maryland530,790530,790
West Virginia1230,5191230,519
North Carolina1929,4601929,460
Hawaii225,393225,393
Oklahoma222,728424,913
Arkansas621,938723,188
Louisiana322,060322,060
Virginia417,831517,906
Mississippi112,513112,513
Alaska12528,400
South Carolina33,78033,780
Vermont21,62721,627
North Dakota11,34611,346
Montana25402540
Wyoming24552455
Rhode Island24292429
MORE
LESS

Filtering technologies that reduce tetrachloroethylene

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Activated Carbon

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Reverse Osmosis

Utilities with the highest amounts of tetrachloroethylene, 2015-2017

ALL UTILITIES
LARGE UTILITIES
UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
City Of Industry Waterworks Systems*La Puente, CA50 of 508.43 ppb7,000
Pawc HomesiteWilkes-barre, PA24 of 245.41 ppb55
Tahoe Keys Water CompanySouth Lake Tahoe, CA47 of 1425.11 ppb1,200
Newport Water WorksNewport, NH7 of 104.84 ppb5,000
West Lebanon Township Water SupplyLebanon, PA13 of 364.79 ppb910
Cdcr-high Desert State PrisonSusanville, CA76 of 874.56 ppb9,132
Lynwood Park Mutual Water CompanyCompton, CA56 of 563.75 ppb2,300
Acorn Mobile VillageEl Dorado, CA8 of 83.71 ppb100
Yarmouth Water Department*West Yarmouth, MA1 of 13.30 ppb39,635
Amarillo Mutual Water CompanyRosemead, CA25 of 253.25 ppb3,134
Commerce-city, Water DepartmentSan Jose, CA52 of 1453.11 ppb3,828
Quarryville BoroughQuarryville, PA10 of 132.94 ppb3,150
Higuera ApartmentsSan Luis Obispo, CA1 of 12.70 ppb30
Topaz Lake Water Company Inc.Gardnerville, NV8 of 92.68 ppb40
Sioux Rapids Water DepartmentStorm Lake, IA15 of 152.67 ppb775
Bellaire Public Water SystemBellaire, OH8 of 162.56 ppb4,278
Lakeside Mobile Home ParkMerrick, PA33 of 332.50 ppb40
Hillcrest Water DistrictBrewster, NY6 of 392.49 ppb305
Lynwood Water DepartmentLynwood, CA52 of 632.39 ppb71,297
Horsham Air Guard StationHorsham, PA47 of 692.36 ppb6,000
Cws Cameron AcresColumbia, SC12 of 122.26 ppb70
Pine Grove Water DistrictMaupin, OR1 of 32.17 ppb140
Gosnold Water DepartmentGosnold, MA11 of 172.15 ppb425
Security Mobile Home ParkColorado Springs, CO12 of 132.14 ppb150
City of South PasadenaSouth Pasadena, CA148 of 1482.10 ppb25,899
Holmen WaterworksHolmen, WI12 of 172.07 ppb9,000
Wright-Patterson AFB Area A PWSWright Patterson Afb, OH24 of 1031.90 ppb16,551
California Water Service - LivermoreLivermore, CA82 of 1591.77 ppb56,700
Grangeville Water DepartmentGrangeville, ID1 of 11.76 ppb3,151
Lca Emmaus Consecutive DivAllentown, PA15 of 601.73 ppb1,033
Emmaus Borough Public Water*Emmaus, PA15 of 601.73 ppb14,000
El Monte Water DepartmentEl Monte, CA81 of 1121.71 ppb22,968
City of CeresCeres, CA7 of 221.70 ppb42,666
Medfield Water DepartmentMedfield, MA30 of 621.70 ppb12,611
Tract 180 Mutual Water CompanyCudahy, CA23 of 231.69 ppb14,000
Fairview, City ofFairview, OR4 of 51.66 ppb9,077
West Grove Borough*West Grove, PA3 of 51.58 ppb2,873
Midvale City Water SystemWest Valley, UT16 of 321.57 ppb33,000
Aqua Pa Whitehaven EvanwoodWhite Haven, PA3 of 31.57 ppb60
East Pasadena Water CompanyPasadena, CA187 of 3541.50 ppb10,978
Waterloo Water Works*Waterloo, IA3 of 41.50 ppb70,070
Riverbelle Properties LLC Mobile Home ParkReno, NV5 of 91.46 ppb150
Mobile Village Inc.Battle Ground, OR2 of 31.44 ppb100
Old West CabinsJackson, WY6 of 61.43 ppb55
Ravenswood Municipal Water Works*Ravenswood, WV63 of 831.41 ppb4,245
Northern Jackson County PsdSandyville, WV63 of 831.41 ppb2,543
Oyster Bay Water DistrictOyster Bay, NY36 of 871.40 ppb8,700
Pulaski County Public Water Supply District 2Waynesville, MO12 of 161.39 ppb7,395
Hillview Water Company-oakhurst/sierra Lakes*Oakhurst, CA25 of 461.38 ppb2,805
Broadview Terrace Mutual Water CompanyOakhurst, CA25 of 461.38 ppb510

* 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 Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene), but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.

UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
Yarmouth Water Department*West Yarmouth, MA1 of 13.30 ppb39,635
Lynwood Water DepartmentLynwood, CA52 of 632.39 ppb71,297
City of South PasadenaSouth Pasadena, CA148 of 1482.10 ppb25,899
Wright-Patterson AFB Area A PWSWright Patterson Afb, OH24 of 1031.90 ppb16,551
California Water Service - LivermoreLivermore, CA82 of 1591.77 ppb56,700
Emmaus Borough Public Water*Emmaus, PA15 of 601.73 ppb14,000
El Monte Water DepartmentEl Monte, CA81 of 1121.71 ppb22,968
City of CeresCeres, CA7 of 221.70 ppb42,666
Medfield Water DepartmentMedfield, MA30 of 621.70 ppb12,611
Tract 180 Mutual Water CompanyCudahy, CA23 of 231.69 ppb14,000
Midvale City Water SystemWest Valley, UT16 of 321.57 ppb33,000
East Pasadena Water CompanyPasadena, CA187 of 3541.50 ppb10,978
Waterloo Water Works*Waterloo, IA3 of 41.50 ppb70,070
Sylacauga Utilities BoardSylacauga, AL11 of 191.37 ppb22,605
South Gate Water DepartmentSouth Gate, CA122 of 1221.36 ppb96,057
Carmichael Water DistrictCarmichael, CA30 of 491.24 ppb40,000
Mayfield Electric & Water*Mayfield, KY2 of 31.23 ppb10,024
San Gabriel County WD*Rosemead, CA36 of 431.23 ppb45,000
Del CityDel City, OK11 of 141.21 ppb22,128
Pico WDPico Rivera, CA13 of 221.17 ppb24,100
Pomona Water DepartmentPomona, CA289 of 5701.16 ppb151,713
City of PortervillePorterville, CA50 of 921.12 ppb55,107
City of McPherson*Mcpherson, KS1 of 11.10 ppb13,189
North Salt Lake City Water SystemCenterville, UT21 of 291.10 ppb16,300
Forrest City Waterworks*Forrest City, AR13 of 281.02 ppb15,220
California American Water Company - Lincoln OaksSacramento, CA66 of 1250.998 ppb46,606
City of Turlock*Turlock, CA11 of 340.996 ppb64,215
Jones County*Gray, GA6 of 90.986 ppb10,911
City of ChubbuckChubbuck, ID13 of 180.961 ppb14,125
Sun Prairie UtilitiesSun Prairie, WI17 of 250.925 ppb32,613
Brookwood Comm. Water SystemFayetteville, NC15 of 410.912 ppb15,665
Whittier Water Department*Whittier, CA158 of 2870.893 ppb49,954
City of Upland*Upland, CA1 of 100.890 ppb78,791
Madison Water Utility*Madison, WI69 of 1120.845 ppb235,000
Garfield Water DepartmentGarfield, NJ22 of 420.832 ppb30,487
City of ReedleyReedley, CA1 of 40.825 ppb24,842
CTWC - Unionville SystemClinton, CT17 of 370.734 ppb14,693
Whitman Water System*Whitman, MA5 of 60.733 ppb14,574
Grafton WaterworksGrafton, WI28 of 710.659 ppb11,745
Norwalk Water DepartmentNorwalk, CA17 of 360.626 ppb18,372
EurekaEureka, MO17 of 280.619 ppb10,000
Beacon City*Beacon, NY3 of 160.613 ppb21,080
Shrewsbury Water DepartmentShrewsbury, MA3 of 160.608 ppb35,608
Wahiawa*Honolulu, HI7 of 100.588 ppb24,798
City of Los BanosLos Banos, CA12 of 230.585 ppb37,168
San Fernando Water DepartmentSan Fernando, CA15 of 200.581 ppb23,839
Pico Rivera Water DepartmentPico Rivera, CA9 of 430.577 ppb39,000
New Philadelphia City PWSNew Philadelphia, OH30 of 720.577 ppb17,288
Peoples Water Service CompanyPensacola, FL51 of 1230.576 ppb34,352
Aqua Pennsylvania Main System*Bryn Mawr, PA39 of 1090.574 ppb747,460

* 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 Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene), but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.