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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Louisville Water Company

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

  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Serves: 764,769
  • Data available: 2012—2017
  • Source: Surface water

Contaminants Detected

6

EXCEED
EWG HEALTH
GUIDELINES

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EWG Health Guidelines fill the gap in outdated government standards.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

Chlorite

Potential Effect: change in blood chemistry6.7x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY333.9 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE50 ppb
LEGAL LIMIT1,000 ppb
DETAILS
X

Chlorite is a disinfection byproduct resulting from water treatment with chlorine dioxide. Chlorite decreases hemoglobin levels and causes other hematologic effects.

Chlorite was found at 6.7 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

50 ppb or less

This Utility

333.9 ppb

Legal Limit

1,000 ppb

National Average

214.8 ppb

State Average

333.4 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 50 ppb for chlorite 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 change in blood chemistry.

Pollution Sources

industry icon

Industry

water treatment icon

Treatment Byproducts

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Chromium (hexavalent)

Potential Effect: cancer4x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.0806 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 4 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.02 ppb or less

This Utility

0.0806 ppb

National Average

0.492 ppb

State Average

0.123 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

Nitrate

Potential Effect: cancer4.6x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.646 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 4.6 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.14 ppm or less

This Utility

0.646 ppm

Legal Limit

10 ppm

National Average

0.938 ppm

State Average

0.712 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

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)

Potential Effect: cancer5x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY5.00 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 5 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

1 ppt or less

This Utility

5 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

Radium, combined (-226 & -228)

Potential Effect: cancer11x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.54 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 11 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.05 pCi/L or less

This Utility

0.54 pCi/L

Legal Limit

5 pCi/L

National Average

0.47 pCi/L

State Average

0.75 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

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Potential Effect: cancer144x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY21.6 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 144 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.15 ppb or less

This Utility

21.6 ppb

Legal Limit

80 ppb

National Average

30.1 ppb

State Average

40.5 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; radiological contaminants detected between 2012 and 2017.


Other Contaminants Tested


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

Nitrate and nitrite, Atrazine

 

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), Aldicarb, Aldicarb sulfone, Aldicarb sulfoxide, Antimony, Arsenic, Asbestos, Barium, Benzene, Benzo[a]pyrene, Beryllium, Bromochloromethane, Bromomethane, Cadmium, Carbofuran, Carbon tetrachloride, Chlordane, Chlorodifluoromethane, Chloromethane, Chromium (total), cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Cobalt, Combined uranium, Cyanide, Dalapon, Di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Dinoseb, Diquat, Endothall, Endrin, Equilin, Estriol, Estrone, Ethylbenzene, Ethylene dibromide, Glyphosate, Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Lindane, Manganese, 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), Picloram, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Selenium, Simazine, Styrene, Testosterone, Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene), Thallium, Toluene, Toxaphene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, Vinyl chloride, Xylenes (total)

Louisville Water Company compliance with legally mandated federal standards:

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

Information in this section on Louisville Water Company 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
Chlorite
Chromium (hexavalent)
Nitrate
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
Radium, combined (-226 & -228)
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
OTHER CONTAMINANTS
DETECTED
1,4-Dioxane
Aluminum
Chlorate
Ethinyl estradiol
Fluoride
Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
Molybdenum
Silver
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