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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Benzene

Status: National drinking water standard exists

 

Benzene is a known human carcinogen. It also damages blood cells and the nervous system. Emissions from petroleum processing, hazardous waste landfills and underground storage tanks contaminate drinking water with benzene. Read More.

To protect against cancer risks, California set a public health goal for benzene in drinking water at 0.15 parts per billion, 30 times lower than the federal legal limit of 5 parts per billion.

Click here to read more about carcinogenic VOCs.

2015-2017:

FOUND
FOUND ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES

28

states detected

120

utilities detected

2.7 million

people served

18

states over health guideline

51

utilities over health guideline

221,000

people served over health guideline

Health concerns for benzene

Cancer

Harm to blood cells

Harm to the central nervous system

Harm to child development

Harm to the immune system

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EWG Health Guideline 0.15 ppb

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.15 ppb for benzene 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 benzene, established in 1987, was based on analytical detection limits at the time that the standard was set. This limit may not fully protect against the risk of cancer due to benzene exposure.

ppb = parts per billion

States reporting benzene in drinking water

UTILITIES REPORTING ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES UTILITIES WITH CONTAMINATION
State UtilitiesPeople Served UtilitiesPeople Served
Texas1762,377311,153,066
Florida25,04515599,327
Virginia003155,515
Alabama12,8804134,388
New York817,77810121,778
Tennessee195,501195,501
New Jersey3550865,809
Minnesota11,963560,343
Idaho00159,001
California113,800650,396
Connecticut00137,267
Pennsylvania12,014426,868
Louisiana00326,121
Ohio00223,688
Wisconsin00315,104
South Carolina00210,513
Alaska0018,375
Wyoming18,00018,000
Georgia63,13763,137
Utah21,86021,860
Oklahoma11,84011,840
New Hampshire11,68811,688
North Carolina287831,295
Missouri11,08911,089
Iowa17851785
Colorado001383
Vermont00184
Washington154280
MORE
LESS

Filtering technologies that reduce benzene

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

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Reverse Osmosis

Utilities with the highest amounts of benzene, 2015-2017

ALL UTILITIES
LARGE UTILITIES
UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
New Franklin PWSNew Franklin, MO1 of 16.45 ppb1,089
Wright City Water Supply Corporation 1Troup, TX3 of 32.51 ppb1,242
Bethel Ash Water Supply Corporation Bethel PlantAthens, TX5 of 111.68 ppb195
Pineora Water SystemSavannah, GA12 of 121.38 ppb94
Tignall Water SystemTignal, GA2 of 61.28 ppb835
City of Jacinto CityJacinto City, TX5 of 61.28 ppb10,500
Wakefield S/dRaleigh, NC12 of 151.22 ppb391
Dalhart Municipal Water SystemDalhart, TX4 of 131.12 ppb8,256
Linda County Water DistrictMarysville, CA26 of 491.10 ppb13,800
Treichel Woods EstatesPinehurst, TX3 of 30.933 ppb183
Picnic Grove Mobile HomesMalaga, NJ20 of 250.861 ppb250
Northwest Harris County Municipal Utility District 23Bellaire, TX7 of 120.800 ppb3,528
Hart Municipal Water SystemHart, TX3 of 30.797 ppb1,198
Parkton, Town ofParkton, NC2 of 30.743 ppb487
EphesusRoopville, GA6 of 110.664 ppb1,352
Harris County Municipal Utility District 11Houston, TX1 of 40.625 ppb3,345
AdrianAdrian, GA4 of 90.611 ppb664
Comanche County Rural Water District #2Elgin, OK1 of 90.536 ppb1,840
Blooming PrairieBlooming Prairie, MN1 of 10.500 ppb1,963
Ferron - Castle Valley Special Service District*Castledale, UT13 of 440.473 ppb1,660
Clawson Water SystemCastledale, UT13 of 440.473 ppb200
West Bend Water DepartmentWest Bend, IA1 of 20.450 ppb785
City of RefugioRefugio, TX4 of 90.444 ppb3,960
Jackson, Town OfJackson, WY3 of 70.433 ppb8,000
Tarkington Special Utility DistrictCleveland, TX5 of 120.350 ppb4,031
Jackson Water SystemJackson, TN26 of 1420.333 ppb95,501
Stoney Field Mobile Home ParkPittsford, NJ7 of 70.324 ppb200
City of Bay CityBay City, TX6 of 190.311 ppb17,614
Parker Little River Water SystemAcworth, GA1 of 60.283 ppb114
Hunters Creek Mobile Home ParkOrchard Park, NY20 of 410.272 ppb150
Powder Mill EstatesTomball, TX1 of 30.267 ppb342
Garden Court MutualPort Orchard, WA1 of 30.263 ppb54
Blue Mountain Lake Utility AssociationBushkill, PA1 of 50.260 ppb2,014
Riverwood EstatesClayton, NY1 of 20.250 ppb30
Indiantown CompanyIndiantown, FL1 of 20.250 ppb5,000
M J C Water Supply CorporationPattonville, TX1 of 70.246 ppb942
City of HallettsvilleHallettsville, TX3 of 110.236 ppb2,585
Long`s Mobile Home ParkFayetteville, GA1 of 30.213 ppb78
Oak Grove Mobile Home ParkWall, NJ1 of 10.210 ppb100
Rollinsford Water and SewerRollinsford, NH2 of 130.208 ppb1,688
Hudson House AlfHudson, FL1 of 10.200 ppb45
Midland City Water Department*Midland City, AL1 of 30.177 ppb2,880
Fleetwood Manor Water DistrictWappingers Falls, NY1 of 360.171 ppb564
Chelsea Ridge ApartmentsAlbany, NY1 of 360.171 ppb2,303
Glenham Water DistrictFishkill, NY1 of 360.171 ppb2,246
Beacon Hills Water DistrictFishkill, NY1 of 360.171 ppb999
Blodgett Water DistrictFishkill, NY1 of 360.171 ppb149
Fishkill Village*Fishkill, NY1 of 360.171 ppb11,337
Harris County Municipal Utility District 304*Houston, TX1 of 30.167 ppb4,158
Quailwood Water SystemHouston, TX1 of 30.167 ppb48

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

UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
City of Jacinto CityJacinto City, TX5 of 61.28 ppb10,500
Linda County Water DistrictMarysville, CA26 of 491.10 ppb13,800
Jackson Water SystemJackson, TN26 of 1420.333 ppb95,501
City of Bay CityBay City, TX6 of 190.311 ppb17,614
Fishkill Village*Fishkill, NY1 of 360.171 ppb11,337
Western Virginia Water Authority*Roanoke, VA3 of 270.117 ppb155,000
Saint Louis ParkSt. Louis Park, MN8 of 300.0897 ppb45,505
City of Norco*Norco, CA2 of 140.0821 ppb27,160
Swta - Main System*Allentown, PA1 of 180.0500 ppb16,000
City of SaginawSaginaw, TX1 of 170.0465 ppb20,500
City of CrowleyCrowley, TX1 of 170.0465 ppb14,800
City of BurlesonBurleson, TX1 of 170.0465 ppb43,960
City of Forest HillForest Hill, TX1 of 170.0465 ppb13,689
City of Fort Worth*Fort Worth, TX1 of 170.0465 ppb806,380
City of Haltom CityHaltom City, TX1 of 170.0465 ppb42,640
City of SouthlakeSouthlake, TX1 of 170.0465 ppb30,144
City of KellerKeller, TX1 of 170.0465 ppb44,620
Dothan Utilities*Dothan, AL4 of 660.0429 ppb90,069
Minden Water SystemMinden, LA2 of 180.0422 ppb16,950
Miramar (East & West) PlantsMiramar, FL1 of 60.0417 ppb128,729
AlexandriaAlexandria, MN4 of 350.0403 ppb12,415
Aqua NJ - Eastern DivisionHamilton, NJ2 of 150.0313 ppb12,000
Wallingford Water DepartmentWallingford, CT1 of 170.0294 ppb37,267
City of Idaho FallsIdaho Falls, ID1 of 140.0250 ppb59,001
Lee County Utilities*Fort Myers, FL1 of 70.0143 ppb236,944
New Philadelphia City PWSNew Philadelphia, OH1 of 720.0111 ppb17,288
South Alabama Utilities Water SystemCitronelle, AL1 of 600.00950 ppb39,249
HempsteadHempstead, NY2 of 1790.00670 ppb56,000
City of Tallahassee*Tallahassee, FL1 of 280.00643 ppb193,927
Cedarburg L & W CommissionCedarburg, WI2 of 720.00472 ppb11,900
Hammonton Water DepartmentHammonton, NJ1 of 180.00333 ppb12,153
Monroe Twp MUAWilliamstown, NJ1 of 1560.00314 ppb36,100
Hicksville WDHicksville, NY1 of 6830.000791 ppb48,000

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