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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Shawnee County Rural Water District 3c

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

  • Topeka, Kansas
  • Serves: 1,785
  • Data available: 2012—2017
  • Source: Purchased surface water

Contaminants Detected

13

EXCEED
EWG HEALTH
GUIDELINES

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EWG Health Guidelines fill the gap in outdated government standards.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

Atrazine*

Potential Effect: harm to the developing fetus5.9x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.585 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.1 ppb
LEGAL LIMIT3 ppb
DETAILS
X

Atrazine is a herbicide commonly detected in drinking water that comes from cornfield and other agricultural runoff. It is a hormone disrupter that harms the male and female reproductive systems of people and wildlife.

Atrazine was found at 5.9 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

0.585 ppb

Legal Limit

3 ppb

National Average

0.0219 ppb

State Average

0.289 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 atrazine was defined by EWG based on epidemiological studies of human exposure to atrazine in drinking water.. This health guideline protects against harm to the developing fetus, harm to the reproductive system and hormone disruption.

Pollution Sources

agriculture icon

Agriculture

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Bromodichloromethane

Potential Effect: cancer218x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY13.1 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 218 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.06 ppb or less

This Utility

13.1 ppb

National Average

5.8 ppb

State Average

7.69 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: cancer106x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY42.4 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 106 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.4 ppb or less

This Utility

42.4 ppb

National Average

15.1 ppb

State Average

12.7 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: cancer5.2x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.104 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 5.2 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.02 ppb or less

This Utility

0.104 ppb

National Average

0.492 ppb

State Average

0.771 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

Desethylatrazine*

Potential Effect: harm to the developing fetus8.7x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.867 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.1 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Desethylatrazine, or deethylatrazine, and desisopropylatrazine are formed from the degradation of atrazine, a herbicide associated with hormonal disruption in people and wildlife.

Desethylatrazine was found at 8.7 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

0.867 ppb

National Average

0.0558 ppb

State Average

0.118 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 desethylatrazine was defined by EWG based on epidemiological studies of human exposure to atrazine in drinking water. This health guideline protects against harm to the developing fetus, harm to the reproductive system and hormone disruption.

Pollution Sources

agriculture icon

Agriculture

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Desisopropylatrazine*

Potential Effect: harm to the developing fetus4x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.397 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.1 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Desisopropylatrazine

more about
this contaminant

Desethylatrazine, or deethylatrazine, and desisopropylatrazine are formed from the degradation of atrazine, a herbicide associated with hormonal disruption in people and wildlife.

Desisopropylatrazine was found at 4 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

0.397 ppb

National Average

0.022 ppb

State Average

0.0476 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 desisopropylatrazine was defined by EWG based on epidemiological studies of human exposure to atrazine in drinking water.. This health guideline protects against harm to the developing fetus, harm to the reproductive system and hormone disruption.

Pollution Sources

agriculture icon

Agriculture

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Dibromoacetic acid

Potential Effect: 71x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY2.83 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.04 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Dibromoacetic acid

more about
this contaminant

Dibromoacetic acid, one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards, is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. Click here to read more about disinfection byproducts.

Dibromoacetic acid was found at 71 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.04 ppb or less

This Utility

2.83 ppb

National Average

1.17 ppb

State Average

2.58 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 0.04 ppb for dibromoacetic acid 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

Dibromochloromethane

Potential Effect: cancer42x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY4.18 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 42 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

4.18 ppb

National Average

3.41 ppb

State Average

5.47 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

Dichloroacetic acid

Potential Effect: cancer239x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY47.9 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.2 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Dichloroacetic acid

more about
this contaminant

Dichloroacetic acid, one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards, is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. Click here to read more about disinfection byproducts.

Dichloroacetic acid was found at 239 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.2 ppb or less

This Utility

47.9 ppb

National Average

7.82 ppb

State Average

6.75 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 0.2 ppb for dichloroacetic acid was proposed in 2020 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.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

Haloacetic acids (HAA5)†

over legal limit
THIS UTILITY63.1 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 631 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

63.1 ppb

Legal Limit

60 ppb

National Average

17.2 ppb

State Average

16.4 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: cancer11x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY1.50 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 11 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.14 ppm or less

This Utility

1.5 ppm

Legal Limit

10 ppm

National Average

0.937 ppm

State Average

1.41 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

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)†

Potential Effect: cancer364x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY54.5 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 364 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.15 ppb or less

This Utility

54.5 ppb

Legal Limit

80 ppb

National Average

30.1 ppb

State Average

30.1 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

Trichloroacetic acid

Potential Effect: cancer217x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY21.7 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.1 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Trichloroacetic acid

more about
this contaminant

Trichloroacetic acid, one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards, is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. Click here to read more about disinfection byproducts.

Trichloroacetic acid was found at 217 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

21.7 ppb

National Average

6.42 ppb

State Average

3.21 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 trichloroacetic acid was proposed in 2020 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.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

Includes chemicals detected in 2015-2017 for which annual utility averages exceeded the federal Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL); 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.

*This water utility buys or otherwise receives some or all of its finished water from City of Topeka. Tap water results marked with an * are from the supplying utility.

† 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:

1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene

 

Shawnee County Rural Water District 3c compliance with legally mandated federal standards:

  • From April 2016 to March 2019, Shawnee County Rural Water District 3c complied with health-based drinking water standards.
  • 12 QUARTERS
    in violation of any federal drinking water standard from April 2016 to March 2019
  • Over the last 3 years this water utility has spent
    1 QUARTER
    in significant violation of federal drinking water standards

Information in this section on Shawnee County Rural Water District 3c 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
Atrazine
Bromodichloromethane
Chloroform
Chromium (hexavalent)
Desethylatrazine
Desisopropylatrazine
Dibromoacetic acid
Dibromochloromethane
Dichloroacetic acid
Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
Nitrate
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
Trichloroacetic acid
OTHER CONTAMINANTS
DETECTED
Acetochlor
Aluminum
Barium
Bromoform
Chlorate
Chlorodifluoromethane
Chromium (total)
Fluoride
Manganese
Metolachlor
Metribuzin
Molybdenum
Monobromoacetic acid
Monochloroacetic acid
Selenium
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