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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Suez

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

  • Boise, Idaho
  • Serves: 223,154
  • Data available: 2012—2017
  • Source: Surface water

Contaminants Detected

8

EXCEED
EWG HEALTH
GUIDELINES

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EWG Health Guidelines fill the gap in outdated government standards.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

Arsenic

Potential Effect: cancer716x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY2.86 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.004 ppb
LEGAL LIMIT10 ppb
DETAILS
X

Arsenic is a potent carcinogen and common contaminant in drinking water. Arsenic causes thousands of cases of cancer each year in the U.S. Click here to read more about arsenic.

Arsenic was found at 716 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.004 ppb or less

This Utility

2.86 ppb

Legal Limit

10 ppb

National Average

0.682 ppb

State Average

2.69 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 0.004 ppb for arsenic 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

agriculture icon

Agriculture

industry icon

Industry

naturally occuring icon

Naturally Occurring

Filtering Options

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

ion exchange icon

Ion Exchange

Chromium (hexavalent)

Potential Effect: cancer21x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.429 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 21 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.02 ppb or less

This Utility

0.429 ppb

National Average

0.492 ppb

State Average

0.899 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: cancer219x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY21.9 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 219 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

21.9 ppb

Legal Limit

60 ppb

National Average

17.2 ppb

State Average

6.53 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

Nitrate

Potential Effect: cancer5.7x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.794 ppm
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.14 ppm
LEGAL LIMIT10 ppm
DETAILS
X

Nitrate, a fertilizer chemical, frequently contaminates drinking water due to agricultural and urban runoff, and discharges from municipal wastewater treatment plants and septic tanks. Excessive nitrate in water can cause oxygen deprivation in infants and increase the risk of cancer. Click here to read more about nitrate.

Nitrate was found at 5.7 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.14 ppm or less

This Utility

0.794 ppm

Legal Limit

10 ppm

National Average

0.937 ppm

State Average

1.38 ppm
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2015-2017.
ppm = parts per million

Health Risks

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.14 ppm for nitrate was defined by EWG . This health guideline protects against cancer and harm to fetal growth and development.

Pollution Sources

agriculture icon

Agriculture

urban area icon

Runoff & Sprawl

naturally occuring icon

Naturally Occurring

Filtering Options

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

ion exchange icon

Ion Exchange

Radium, combined (-226 & -228)

Potential Effect: cancer8.1x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.40 pCi/L
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.05 pCi/L
LEGAL LIMIT5 pCi/L
DETAILS
X

Radium, combined (-226 & -228)

more about
this contaminant

Radium is a radioactive element that causes bone cancer and other cancers. It can occur naturally in groundwater, and oil and gas extraction activities such as hydraulic fracturing can elevate concentrations.

Radium, combined (-226 & -228) was found at 8.1 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.05 pCi/L or less

This Utility

0.4 pCi/L

Legal Limit

5 pCi/L

National Average

0.47 pCi/L

State Average

0.51 pCi/L
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2012-2017.
pCi/L = picocuries per liter

Health Risks

EWG applied the health guideline of 0.05 pCi/L, defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal for radium-226, to radium-226 and radium-228 combined. 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

Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene)

Potential Effect: cancer5.1x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.305 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.06 ppb
LEGAL LIMIT5 ppb
DETAILS
X

Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene)

more about
this contaminant

Dry cleaning chemical tetrachloroethylene, or perc, can cause cancer. It pollutes soil and groundwater due to emissions from dry cleaning facilities, and automotive, metalworking and other industries.

Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene) was found at 5.1 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.06 ppb or less

This Utility

0.305 ppb

Legal Limit

5 ppb

National Average

0.0229 ppb

State Average

0.0654 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 0.06 ppb for tetrachloroethylene 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

urban area icon

Runoff & Sprawl

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)†

Potential Effect: cancer191x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY28.7 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 191 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.15 ppb or less

This Utility

28.7 ppb

Legal Limit

80 ppb

National Average

30.1 ppb

State Average

10.3 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 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

Uranium

Potential Effect: cancer11x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY4.59 pCi/L
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.43 pCi/L
LEGAL LIMIT20 pCi/L
DETAILS
X

Uranium is a known human carcinogen. The federal legal limit for uranium is set at 30 micrograms per liter (corresponding to parts per billion), but utilities can also report uranium in picocuries per liter (pCi/L), which is a measure of radioactivity in water. EWG translated all uranium results to pCi/L using a conversion factor developed by the EPA. With this conversion approach, the limit of 30 ppb corresponds to 20 pCi/L. Drinking water with this much uranium would cause more than 4.6 cancer cases in a population of 100,000. California set a public health goal for uranium of 0.43 pCi/L.

Uranium was found at 11 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.43 pCi/L or less

This Utility

4.59 pCi/L

Legal Limit

20 pCi/L

National Average

1.09 pCi/L

State Average

3.26 pCi/L
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2012-2017.
pCi/L = picocuries per liter

Health Risks

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.43 pCi/L for uranium 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. Three most common uranium isotopes are U-234, U-235 and U-238. All isotopes of uranium are radioactive, and the total radioactivity depends on the ratio of isotopes. 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

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; radiological contaminants detected between 2012 and 2017.

† 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


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

Atrazine

 

Chemicals tested for but not detected from 2012 to 2017:

1,1,1-Trichloroethane, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethane, 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, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), 2,4-D, 4-Androstene-3,17-dione, Alachlor (Lasso), Aluminum, Antimony, Asbestos, Benzene, Benzo[a]pyrene, Beryllium, Bromochloromethane, Bromomethane, Cadmium, Carbofuran, Carbon tetrachloride, Chlordane, Chlorodifluoromethane, Chloromethane, Cobalt, Cyanide, Dalapon, Di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Dinoseb, Diquat, Endothall, Endrin, Equilin, Estriol, Estrone, Ethinyl estradiol, Ethylbenzene, Glyphosate, Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Lindane, Mercury (inorganic), Methoxychlor, Monochlorobenzene (chlorobenzene), Nitrite, o-Dichlorobenzene, Oxamyl (Vydate), p-Dichlorobenzene, Pentachlorophenol, Perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHPA), Perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHXS), Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), Picloram, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Selenium, Simazine, Styrene, Testosterone, Thallium, Toluene, Toxaphene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Vinyl chloride, Xylenes (total)

Suez compliance with legally mandated federal standards:

  • From April 2016 to March 2019, Suez complied with health-based drinking water standards.

Information in this section on Suez 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
Arsenic
Chromium (hexavalent)
Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
Nitrate
Radium, combined (-226 & -228)
Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene)
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
Uranium, combined (pCi/L)
OTHER CONTAMINANTS
DETECTED
1,1-Dichloroethylene
1,4-Dioxane
Barium
Chlorate
Chromium (total)
cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene
Ethylene dibromide
Fluoride
Manganese
Molybdenum
Strontium
Trichloroethylene
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