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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Gadsden Water Works and Sewer Board

EWG's drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, as well as information from the U.S. EPA Enforcement and Compliance History database (ECHO). For the latest quarter assessed by the U.S. EPA (January 2019 - March 2019), tap water provided by this water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.

Utility Details

  • Gadsden, Alabama
  • Serves: 44,637
  • Data available: 2012—2017
  • Source: Surface water

Contaminants Detected

8

EXCEED
EWG HEALTH
GUIDELINES

19 Total Contaminants

  • Legal does not necessarily equal safe. Getting a passing grade from the federal government does not mean the water meets the latest health guidelines.
  • Legal limits for contaminants in tap water have not been updated in almost 20 years.
  • The best way to ensure clean tap water is to keep pollution out of source water in the first place.

Legal ≠ Safe

EWG Health Guidelines fill the gap in outdated government standards.

The federal government’s legal limits are not health-protective. The EPA has not set a new tap water standard in almost 20 years, and some standards are more than 40 years old.

Contaminants Detected

Bromodichloromethane

Potential Effect: cancer130x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY7.83 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.06 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Bromodichloromethane

more about
this contaminant

Bromodichloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Bromodichloromethane and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. Click here to read more about disinfection byproducts.

Bromodichloromethane was found at 130 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.06 ppb or less

This Utility

7.83 ppb

National Average

5.77 ppb

State Average

2.2 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2015-2017.
ppb = parts per billion

Health Risks

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.06 ppb for bromodichloromethane 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.

Pollution Sources

water treatment icon

Treatment Byproducts

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Chloroform

Potential Effect: cancer28x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY11.3 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.4 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

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.

Chloroform was found at 28 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.4 ppb or less

This Utility

11.3 ppb

National Average

15 ppb

State Average

6.5 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2015-2017.
ppb = parts per billion

Health Risks

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.

Pollution Sources

water treatment icon

Treatment Byproducts

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Chromium (hexavalent)

Potential Effect: cancer7.7x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.154 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.02 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Chromium (hexavalent)

more about
this contaminant

Chromium (hexavalent) is a carcinogen that commonly contaminates American drinking water. Chromium (hexavalent) in drinking water may be due to industrial pollution or natural occurrences in mineral deposits and groundwater. Read more about chromium (hexavalent).

Chromium (hexavalent) was found at 7.7 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.02 ppb or less

This Utility

0.154 ppb

National Average

0.492 ppb

State Average

0.133 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2012-2017.
ppb = parts per billion

Health Risks

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.02 ppb for chromium (hexavalent) 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.

Pollution Sources

industry icon

Industry

naturally occuring icon

Naturally Occurring

Filtering Options

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

ion exchange icon

Ion Exchange

Dibromochloromethane

Potential Effect: cancer45x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY4.51 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.1 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Dibromochloromethane

more about
this contaminant

Dibromochloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Dibromochloromethane and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. Click here to read more about disinfection byproducts.

Dibromochloromethane was found at 45 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

4.51 ppb

National Average

3.42 ppb

State Average

0.781 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2015-2017.
ppb = parts per billion

Health Risks

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.1 ppb for dibromochloromethane 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.

Pollution Sources

water treatment icon

Treatment Byproducts

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHPA)

Potential Effect: 18x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY17.5 ppt
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE1 ppt
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHPA)

more about
this contaminant

Perfluoroheptanoic acid is a member of a group of perfluorinated chemicals used in many consumer products. Perfluorinated chemicals can cause serious health effects, including cancer, endocrine disruption, accelerated puberty, liver and immune system damage, and thyroid changes. These chemicals are persistent in the environment and they accumulate in people. Click here to read more about perfluorinated chemicals.

Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHPA) was found at 18 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

1 ppt or less

This Utility

17.5 ppt

National Average

0.161 ppt

State Average

0.469 ppt
NO LEGAL LIMIT
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2012-2017.
ppt = parts per trillion

Health Risks

The EWG Health Guideline of 1 ppt for perfluoroheptanoic acid was defined by EWG based on studies by Phillipe Grandjean of Harvard University and many other independent researchers who found reduced effectiveness of vaccines and adverse impacts on mammary gland development from exposure to PFOA and PFOS, the two PFAS most widely detected in drinking water. This health guideline based on studies by Phillipe Grandjean of Harvard University and many other independent researchers who found reduced effectiveness of vaccines and adverse impacts on mammary gland development from exposure to PFOA and PFOS, the two PFAS most widely detec.

Pollution Sources

industry icon

Industry

urban area icon

Runoff & Sprawl

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)

Potential Effect: 35x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY35.0 ppt
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE1 ppt
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)

more about
this contaminant

Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is a member of a group of perfluorinated chemicals used in many consumer products. PFOS and other perfluorinated chemicals can cause serious health effects, including cancer, endocrine disruption, accelerated puberty, liver and immune system damage, and thyroid changes. These chemicals are persistent in the environment and they accumulate in people. Click here to read more about perfluorinated chemicals.

Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was found at 35 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

1 ppt or less

This Utility

35 ppt

National Average

0.664 ppt

State Average

1.38 ppt
NO LEGAL LIMIT
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2012-2017.
ppt = parts per trillion

Health Risks

The EWG Health Guideline of 1 ppt for PFOS was defined by EWG based on studies by Phillipe Grandjean of Harvard University and many other independent researchers who found reduced effectiveness of vaccines and adverse impacts on mammary gland development from exposure to PFOA and PFOS, the two PFAS most widely detected in drinking water. This health guideline applies to the entire class of PFAS detected in water.

Pollution Sources

industry icon

Industry

urban area icon

Runoff & Sprawl

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)

Potential Effect: cancer30x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY30.0 ppt
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE1 ppt
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)

more about
this contaminant

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a member of a group of perfluorinated chemicals used in many consumer products. PFOA and other perfluorinated chemicals can cause serious health effects, including cancer, endocrine disruption, accelerated puberty, liver and immune system damage, and thyroid changes. These chemicals are persistent in the environment and they accumulate in people. Click here to read more about perfluorinated chemicals.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was found at 30 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

1 ppt or less

This Utility

30 ppt

National Average

0.283 ppt

State Average

1 ppt
NO LEGAL LIMIT
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2012-2017.
ppt = parts per trillion

Health Risks

The EWG Health Guideline of 1 ppt for PFOA was defined by EWG based on studies by Phillipe Grandjean of Harvard University and many other independent researchers who found reduced effectiveness of vaccines and adverse impacts on mammary gland development from exposure to PFOA and PFOS, the two PFAS most widely detected in drinking water. This health guideline applies to the entire class of PFAS detected in water.

Pollution Sources

industry icon

Industry

urban area icon

Runoff & Sprawl

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Potential Effect: cancer174x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY26.1 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.15 ppb
LEGAL LIMIT80 ppb
DETAILS
X

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

more about
this contaminant

Trihalomethanes are cancer-causing contaminants that form during water treatment with chlorine and other disinfectants. The total trihalomethanes group includes four chemicals: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane and bromoform.

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) was found at 174 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.15 ppb or less

This Utility

26.1 ppb

Legal Limit

80 ppb

National Average

30.1 ppb

State Average

28.6 ppb
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2015-2017.
ppb = parts per billion

Health Risks

The health guideline of 0.15 parts per billion, or ppb, for the group of four trihalomethanes, or THM4/TTHM, was defined in a peer-reviewed scientific study by EWG and represents a one-in-one-million lifetime cancer risk level.

Pollution Sources

water treatment icon

Treatment Byproducts

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Includes chemicals detected in 2015-2017 for which annual utility averages exceeded an EWG-selected health guideline established by a federal or state public health authority; chemicals detected under the EPA's Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 3) program in 2013 to 2015 (and subsequent testing when available), for which annual utility averages exceeded a health guideline established by a federal or state public health authority.


Other Contaminants Tested


Contaminants detected between 2012 and 2014 and were not part of EPA's UCMR-3 testing program or radiologicals:

Barium

 

Chemicals tested for but not detected from 2012 to 2017:

1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, 1,1-Dichloropropene, 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), 1,2-Dichloroethane, 1,2-Dichloropropane, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, 1,3-Butadiene, 1,3-Dichloropropane, 1,3-Dichloropropene, 2,2-Dichloropropane, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), 2,4-D, 3-Hydroxycarbofuran, Alachlor (Lasso), Aldicarb, Aldicarb sulfone, Aldicarb sulfoxide, Aldrin, Antimony, Arsenic, Atrazine, Benzene, Benzo[a]pyrene, Beryllium, Bromobenzene, Bromochloromethane, Bromomethane, Butachlor, Cadmium, Carbaryl, Carbofuran, Carbon tetrachloride, Chlorate, Chlordane, Chlorodifluoromethane, Chloroethane, Chloromethane, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Cobalt, Cyanide, Dalapon, Di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Dibromomethane, Dicamba, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Dieldrin, Dinoseb, Diquat, Endothall, Endrin, Ethylbenzene, Ethylene dibromide, Glyphosate, Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Hexachlorobutadiene, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Isopropylbenzene, Lindane, m-Dichlorobenzene, Mercury (inorganic), Methomyl, Methoxychlor, Metolachlor, Metribuzin, Molybdenum, Monochlorobenzene (chlorobenzene), MTBE, n-Butylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Naphthalene, Nitrite, o-Chlorotoluene, o-Dichlorobenzene, Oxamyl (Vydate), p-Chlorotoluene, p-Dichlorobenzene, p-Isopropyltoluene, Pentachlorophenol, Perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), Perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHXS), Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), Picloram, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Propachlor, Radium, combined (-226 & -228), sec-Butylbenzene, Selenium, Silver, Simazine, Styrene, tert-Butylbenzene, Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene), Thallium, Toluene, Toxaphene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Vinyl chloride, Xylenes (total)

Gadsden Water Works and Sewer Board compliance with legally mandated federal standards:

  • From April 2016 to March 2019, Gadsden Water Works and Sewer Board complied with health-based drinking water standards.

Information in this section on Gadsden Water Works and Sewer Board comes from the U.S. EPA Enforcement and Compliance History Online database (ECHO).

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS UTILITY

Water Filters That Can Reduce Contaminant Levels

ContaminantActivated Carbonactivated carbonReverse Osmosisreverse osmosisIon Exchangeion exchange
CONTAMINANTS ABOVE
HEALTH GUIDELINES
Bromodichloromethane
Chloroform
Chromium (hexavalent)
Dibromochloromethane
Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHPA)
Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
OTHER CONTAMINANTS
DETECTED
1,4-Dioxane
Aluminum
Bromoform
Chromium (total)
Fluoride
Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
Manganese
Nitrate
Nitrate & nitrite
Strontium
Vanadium

Take Action

Contact Your Local Official

One of the best ways to push for cleaner water is to hold accountable the elected officials who have a say in water quality – from city hall and the state legislature to Congress all the way to the Oval Office – by asking questions and demanding answers.

LEARN MORE

Filter Out Contaminants

Check out our recommendations for filters to protect your water against the detected contaminants.

EWG’S WATER FILTER GUIDE