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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Rainbow City Utilities 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

  • Rainbow City, Alabama
  • Serves: 11,748
  • Data available: 2012—2017
  • Source: Purchased surface water

Contaminants Detected

6

EXCEED
EWG HEALTH
GUIDELINES

11 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EWG Health Guidelines fill the gap in outdated government standards.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

Haloacetic acids (HAA5)†

Potential Effect: cancer76x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY7.63 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.1 ppb
LEGAL LIMIT60 ppb
DETAILS
X

Haloacetic acids (HAA5)

more about
this contaminant

Haloacetic acids are formed when disinfectants such as chlorine are added to tap water. The group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards includes monochloroacetic acid, dichloroacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid, monobromoacetic acid and dibromoacetic acid.

Haloacetic acids (HAA5) was found at 76 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

7.63 ppb

Legal Limit

60 ppb

National Average

17.2 ppb

State Average

17.8 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 EWG Health Guideline of 0.1 ppb for the group of five haloacetic acids, or HAA5, was defined in a peer-reviewed scientific study by EWG and represents a on-in-a-million lifetime cancer risk level. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Pollution Sources

water treatment icon

Treatment Byproducts

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS)

Potential Effect: 25x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY25.0 ppt
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE1 ppt
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS)

more about
this contaminant

Perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS) 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.

Perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS) was found at 25 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

1 ppt or less

This Utility

25 ppt

National Average

0.502 ppt

State Average

0.18 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 perfluorobutane sulfonate 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

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHPA)

Potential Effect: 10x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY10.00 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 10 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

1 ppt or less

This Utility

10 ppt

National Average

1.18 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 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

Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)

Potential Effect: 15x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY15.0 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 15 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

1 ppt or less

This Utility

15 ppt

National Average

3.6 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: cancer4,286x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY30.0 ppt
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.007 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 4,286 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.007 ppt or less

This Utility

30 ppt

National Average

2.41 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 0.007 ppt for PFOA was defined by 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

urban area icon

Runoff & Sprawl

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)†

Potential Effect: cancer121x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY18.2 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 121 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.15 ppb or less

This Utility

18.2 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.



† HAA5 is a contaminant group that includes monochloroacetic acid, dichloroacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid, monobromoacetic acid and dibromoacetic acid. TTHM is a contaminant group that includes bromodichloromethane, bromoform, chloroform and dibromochloromethane.

Other Contaminants Tested


Rainbow City Utilities Board compliance with legally mandated federal standards:

  • From April 2016 to March 2019, Rainbow City Utilities Board complied with health-based drinking water standards.

Information in this section on Rainbow City Utilities 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
Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
Perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS)
Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHPA)
Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
OTHER CONTAMINANTS
DETECTED
1,4-Dioxane
Chlorate
Chromium (hexavalent)
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