EWG's Tap Water Database — 2021 UPDATE



Oakboro, Town of

Trichloroethylene, an industrial solvent and common groundwater pollutant, damages the immune system, harms the developing fetus and causes cancer. Read More.

Trichloroethylene was once commonly used to remove grease from metal parts, such as steel pipes and engines, and as a solvent in dry cleaning and carpet cleaning products. Drinking trichloroethylene-contaminated drinking water has been linked with birth defects, leukemia, and liver and kidney damage. Trichloroethylene is highly volatile and can enter indoor air through water in pipes. If trichloroethylene is present, people can inhale it while bathing, washing dishes and doing other household activities that involve water.

Click here to read more about carcinogenic VOCs.





Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)


Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
20140.514 ppb110.514 ppb
20150.563 ppb110.563 ppb
20160.667 ppb32ND - 1.10 ppb
20170.900 ppb110.900 ppb
20180.700 ppb110.700 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 trichloroethylene was defined by the state of Minnesota as health risk limit, the concentration of a contaminant that can be consumed with little or no risk to health. This health guideline protects against harm to the developing fetus and damage to the immune system.

EPA Maximum Contaminant
Level (MCL) 5 ppb

The legal limit for trichloroethylene, established in 1987, 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 and harm to the developing fetus.

ppb = parts per billion

All test results

Date Lab ID Result
2014-03-0714030882-010.514 ppb
2015-02-060.563 ppb
2016-01-08160107350.900 ppb
2016-08-0222572-011.10 ppb
2017-03-2032291-010.900 ppb
2018-03-0747802-01 0.700 ppb
2019-03-0863990-01 ND