Farming and tap water
For millions of Americans, tap water comes with an unwanted dose of toxic contaminants that come from the use of pesticides, fertilizers, animal wastes and other substances in farming. These contaminants are associated with short-term health hazards like acute gastro-intestinal illnesses and long-term health threats like different types of cancer, thyroid disease, endocrine disruption and birth defects. Farm pollution does not just contaminate drinking water for people living in farm country – people in downstream cities also have these dangerous substances in their water.
Nitrate contaminates drinking water in cities across the country
Drinking water supplies for almost 60 million people living in major cities and other urban areas throughout the U.S. are contaminated with elevated levels of nitrate.
Nitrate pollution of drinking water is getting worse
In farm country, nitrate pollution of drinking water for more than 20 million Americans is getting worse.
Toxic algae plague water
Toxic algae threaten critical sources of drinking water across the country.
Manure overload threatens water
Factory farms pose serious threats to public health.
Nitrate threatens Latino Californians
In California, Latinos are more likely to be drinking nitrate-polluted tap water.
Iowa’s private wells are contaminated
Iowa’s private wells are contaminated by nitrate and bacteria from farm runoff.
Interactive graphic: Farm pollution from field to tap
Pesticides, fertilizers, animal waste and other substances flow off farm fields and end up in our drinking water.
EWG’s farming & agriculture area of focus
EWG pushes for commonsense farming practices that protect our drinking water.
Disinfection byproducts linked to cancer
Hundreds of disinfection byproducts formed in drinking water when water is treated can damage DNA and increase the risk of cancer.