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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Palm Beach County Water Utilities

EWG's drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 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

  • West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Serves: 529,876
  • Data available: 2012—2017
  • Source: Groundwater

Contaminants Detected

4

EXCEED
EWG HEALTH
GUIDELINES

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EWG Health Guidelines fill the gap in outdated government standards.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

Chlorate

Potential Effect: harm to the thyroid2.2x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY461.9 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE210 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Chlorate forms in drinking water as a byproduct of disinfection. Chlorate impairs thyroid function, making chlorate exposure most harmful during pregnancy and childhood.

Chlorate was found at 2.2 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

210 ppb or less

This Utility

461.9 ppb

National Average

114.4 ppb

State Average

270.2 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 210 ppb for chlorate was defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as a benchmark for testing under the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule program. This health guideline protects against hormone disruption.

Pollution Sources

agriculture icon

Agriculture

industry icon

Industry

water treatment icon

Treatment Byproducts

Chromium (hexavalent)

Potential Effect: cancer5.3x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.105 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 5.3 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.02 ppb or less

This Utility

0.105 ppb

National Average

0.492 ppb

State Average

0.109 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

Haloacetic acids (HAA5)

Potential Effect: 211x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY21.1 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 211 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

21.1 ppb

Legal Limit

60 ppb

National Average

17.2 ppb

State Average

19.3 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

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Potential Effect: cancer269x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY40.4 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 269 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.15 ppb or less

This Utility

40.4 ppb

Legal Limit

80 ppb

National Average

30.1 ppb

State Average

33.5 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:

Mercury (inorganic)

 

Chemicals tested for but not detected from 2012 to 2017:

1,1,1-Trichloroethane, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), 1,2-Dichloroethane, 1,2-Dichloropropane, 1,3-Butadiene, 17-beta-Estradiol, 2,3,7,8-TCDD (Dioxin), 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), 2,4-D, 4-Androstene-3,17-dione, Alachlor (Lasso), Antimony, Arsenic, Asbestos, Atrazine, Benzene, Benzo[a]pyrene, Beryllium, Bromochloromethane, Bromomethane, Cadmium, Carbofuran, Carbon tetrachloride, Chlordane, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Cobalt, Dalapon, Di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Dinoseb, Diquat, Endothall, Endrin, Equilin, Estriol, Estrone, Ethinyl estradiol, Ethylbenzene, Ethylene dibromide, Glyphosate, Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Lindane, Methoxychlor, o-Dichlorobenzene, p-Dichlorobenzene, Pentachlorophenol, Perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHPA), Perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHXS), Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Radium, combined (-226 & -228), Selenium, Silver, Simazine, Styrene, Testosterone, Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene), Thallium, Toluene, Toxaphene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, Vinyl chloride, Xylenes (total)

Palm Beach County Water Utilities compliance with legally mandated federal standards:

  • From April 2016 to March 2019, Palm Beach County Water Utilities complied with health-based drinking water standards.

Information in this section on Palm Beach County Water Utilities 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
Chlorate
Chromium (hexavalent)
Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
OTHER CONTAMINANTS
DETECTED
1,4-Dioxane
Aluminum
Barium
Chlorodifluoromethane
Chloromethane
Chromium (total)
Cyanide
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate
Fluoride
Manganese
Molybdenum
Monochlorobenzene (chlorobenzene)
Nitrate
Nitrite
Oxamyl (Vydate)
Picloram
Strontium
Uranium, combined (pCi/L)
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