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Uranium

Status: National drinking water standard exists

 

Uranium is a known human carcinogen. The federal legal limit for uranium is set at 30 micrograms per liter (corresponding to parts per billion), but utilities can also report uranium in picocuries per liter (pCi/L), which is a measure of radioactivity in water. EWG translated all uranium results to pCi/L using a conversion factor developed by the EPA. With this conversion approach, the limit of 30 ppb corresponds to 20 pCi/L. Drinking water with this much uranium would cause more than 4.6 cancer cases in a population of 100,000. California set a public health goal for uranium of 0.43 pCi/L. Read More.

Multiple forms of uranium can be detected in water, including uranium-234, uranium-235 and uranium-238. Uranium-234 is the most toxic form of uranium for human health.

2010-2015:

FOUND
FOUND ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES

47

states detected

7,987

utilities detected

82 million

people served

45

states over health guideline

6,572

utilities over health guideline

61 million

people served over health guideline

Health concerns for uranium

Cancer

Harm to the kidney

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

Health Guideline 0.43 pCi/L

The health guideline of 0.43 pCi/L for uranium 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. Three most common uranium isotopes are U-234, U-235 and U-238. All isotopes of uranium are radioactive, and the total radioactivity depends on the ratio of isotopes. This health guideline protects against cancer.

pCi/L = picocuries per liter.

EPA Maximum Contaminant
Level (MCL) 20 pCi/L

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

pCi/L = picocuries per liter.

States reporting uranium in drinking water

UTILITIES REPORTING ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES UTILITIES WITH CONTAMINATION
State UtilitiesPeople Served UtilitiesPeople Served
California87328,086,03392530,159,336
Florida1152,008,1622517,571,336
Texas8536,826,4049057,153,562
Arizona1575,007,2971615,047,637
Colorado3671,704,2344634,017,992
New Jersey801,843,6031383,951,777
New York254343,0463722,793,185
Nevada1542,563,7791582,569,478
Wisconsin81854,5421902,121,193
Louisiana33743,3181212,099,707
Indiana1211,569,7191862,011,788
Pennsylvania2971,569,2363901,921,416
New Mexico4661,713,1444821,744,348
Kentucky2473,532851,688,354
Utah521,438,067581,452,764
Idaho281942,0183161,002,176
Oklahoma301803,449331851,061
Montana315335,392327351,838
North Dakota128101,309166349,005
Oregon6669,53176332,034
Wyoming112289,940127316,870
Illinois7182,27631300,205
Nebraska110263,277116273,428
Connecticut21283,620239247,127
New Hampshire284114,612362243,342
Virginia2417,45246226,079
North Carolina323143,022367205,876
Kansas73181,54873181,548
South Carolina73178,04274178,127
Mississippi22,30033160,865
Maine6748,78282150,160
Minnesota19147,77821148,604
Missouri2682,36639123,765
Alaska914,5103966,690
Maryland753,406753,406
Massachusetts2737,5072943,798
Georgia5443,7205443,720
Iowa2842,6702842,670
Vermont5028,5815731,336
South Dakota2419,7772519,832
West Virginia22,304717,684
Michigan55,84489,669
Alabama0037,818
Washington73,08294,095
Hawaii11,76011,760
Ohio0011,666
Rhode Island89418941
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Utilities with the highest amounts of uranium, 2010-2015

ALL UTILITIES
LARGE UTILITIES
UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
Pine Valley Trailer ParkNewport Beach, CA1 of 159.00 pCi/L200
Alto*Alto, GA8 of 855.15 pCi/L2,500
Riviera Water SupplyRiviera, TX16 of 1649.96 pCi/L678
MaxeysMaxeys, GA2 of 248.50 pCi/L325
Strawberry Fields Mobile Home ParkPlant City, FL4 of 445.69 pCi/L250
Crestmont Farms SubdivisionAthens, GA2 of 245.00 pCi/L164
Md#07 Marina View HeightsMadera, CA4 of 444.58 pCi/L200
Pike Ranch Mutual Water CompanyOakhurst, CA3 of 343.00 pCi/L75
Sierra Cedars Community Services DistrictClovis, CA1 of 142.00 pCi/L875
Pecan Grove Mobile Home ParkSan Antonio, TX24 of 2441.56 pCi/L108
Glen Acres Water Co-opLordsburg, NM3 of 341.54 pCi/L185
Shady Oaks Mobile Home Park LLCCloivs, CA1 of 141.00 pCi/L40
Buttonwillow County Water DistrictButtonwillow, CA2 of 240.54 pCi/L1,266
Meridian Water SupplyMeridian, OK18 of 1840.17 pCi/L54
Cody Land CourtNorth Platte, NE2 of 239.50 pCi/L42
Meadow Lakes SubdivisionCrawford, GA3 of 339.33 pCi/L81
South Kingstown Nursing and RehabilitatiWest Kingston, RI5 of 538.69 pCi/L175
Csa 70-f MorongoVictorville, CA59 of 6037.68 pCi/L450
Hillview Water Company-oakhurst/sierra Lakes*Oakhurst, CA149 of 14937.50 pCi/L2,805
Benkelman, City ofBenkelman, NE15 of 1536.85 pCi/L953
Valley Estates Water & Sewer AssociationFairview, NM24 of 2436.49 pCi/L185
Hillview Water Co-raymondOakhurst, CA28 of 2835.93 pCi/L294
Antelope Peak Domestic Water Improvement DistrictChandler, AZ40 of 4035.56 pCi/L60
Jefferson LandingJefferson, NC1 of 135.50 pCi/L492
Lyman, Village ofLyman, NE2 of 234.40 pCi/L450
Merino, Town ofMerino, CO6 of 632.94 pCi/L235
Rosamond Mobilehome ParkTustin, CA24 of 2432.75 pCi/L175
Big Sheep CliffCashiers, NC3 of 332.60 pCi/L93
White PlainsWhite Plains, GA10 of 1431.67 pCi/L442
Rainbird Valley Mutual Water CompanyWeldon, CA23 of 2331.39 pCi/L188

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

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UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
City of Scottsbluff*Scottsbluff, NE15 of 1525.11 pCi/L15,030
City of Grand Island*Grand Island, NE30 of 3020.03 pCi/L49,891
City of LexingtonLexington, NE6 of 617.48 pCi/L11,000
Midvale City Water SystemWest Valley, UT20 of 2017.47 pCi/L31,000
City of North Platte*North Platte, NE10 of 1017.40 pCi/L25,000
Waterpro IncLehi, UT3 of 317.31 pCi/L28,000
Espanola Water System*Espanola, NM11 of 1116.75 pCi/L10,495
Santaquin City*Santaquin, UT4 of 416.15 pCi/L10,500
Warrington Twp Water&sew Dept*Warrington, PA23 of 2315.88 pCi/L18,400
City of Great BendGreat Bend, KS1 of 115.00 pCi/L15,840
City of SterlingSterling, CO24 of 2414.31 pCi/L13,794
City of KearneyKearney, NE11 of 1114.15 pCi/L30,000
White City WIDSalt Lake City, UT5 of 513.83 pCi/L15,800
Mission Springs WDDesert Hot Springs, CA205 of 20613.31 pCi/L34,626
City of Garden City*Garden City, KS7 of 712.63 pCi/L27,004
Farmington City Water SystemOgden, UT5 of 512.37 pCi/L21,500
Centerville City Water SystemCenterville, UT8 of 812.29 pCi/L16,000
Desert Water AgencyPalm Springs, CA66 of 6612.12 pCi/L83,710
Meridian Water DepartmentMeridian, ID55 of 6412.00 pCi/L92,000
Carson City Public Works*Carson City, NV792 of 79611.99 pCi/L56,000
Twentynine Palms Water DistrictTwentynine Palms, CA54 of 5411.66 pCi/L18,600
City of Dodge CityDodge City, KS4 of 411.40 pCi/L28,117
South Adams County Water and Sanitation District*Commerce City, CO14 of 1410.76 pCi/L51,465
California Water Service Company - Hermosa / Redondo BeachSan Jose, CA6 of 610.72 pCi/L95,605
Global Water - Santa Cruz Water Company*Tempe, AZ99 of 9910.68 pCi/L17,005
City of LiberalLiberal, KS2 of 210.40 pCi/L21,012
Murray City Water System*Magna, UT8 of 910.36 pCi/L36,000
Dona Ana MDWCA*Dona Ana, NM8 of 810.22 pCi/L11,214
City of HerefordHereford, TX6 of 610.09 pCi/L15,370
Sandy City Water System*Sandy, UT33 of 3310.08 pCi/L99,750

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

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