EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE



Madison Water Works

Chloroform, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Chloroform and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. Read More.

In addition to tap water disinfection, chloroform pollution in the environment also comes from industrial discharges from pulp and paper mills, and from urban wastewater effluent. Human studies show that chloroform damages the kidneys, liver and central nervous system. In animals, chloroform causes infertility, birth defects and cancer.

Click here to read more about disinfection byproducts.





Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)


Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
20123.28 ppb330.730 ppb - 6.90 ppb
20132.45 ppb21ND - 4.90 ppb
20144.00 ppb221.10 ppb - 6.90 ppb
20151.42 ppb221.11 ppb - 1.73 ppb
20162.13 ppb221.34 ppb - 2.91 ppb
20173.45 ppb222.06 ppb - 4.84 ppb

ppb = parts per billion

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EWG Health Guideline 0.4 ppb

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.4 ppb for chloroform was proposed in 2018 by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

ppb = parts per billion

All test results

Date Lab ID Result
2012-02-16L560953-1V2.20 ppb
2012-04-25L572045-16.90 ppb
2012-12-12L611051-10.730 ppb
2013-12-10L673256-24.90 ppb
2014-10-14L727671-11.10 ppb
2014-10-23L729555-16.90 ppb
2015-12-09L806002-0021.73 ppb
2015-12-09L806002-0011.11 ppb
2016-11-09L871807-22.91 ppb
2016-11-09L871807-11.34 ppb
2017-10-11L943310-24.84 ppb
2017-10-11L943310-12.06 ppb