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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2021 UPDATE

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Piney Point

EWG's drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group by the Maryland Department of the 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 2021 - March 2021), tap water provided by this water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.

Utility Details

  • St. Mary's County, Maryland
  • Serves: 672
  • Data available: 2014-2019
  • Source: Groundwater

Contaminants Detected

8

EXCEED
EWG HEALTH
GUIDELINES

10 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EWG Health Guidelines fill the gap in outdated government standards.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: cancer1,363x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY5.45 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 1,363 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.004 ppb or less

This Utility

5.45 ppb

Legal Limit

10 ppb

National Average

0.647 ppb

State Average

0.136 ppb
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2017-2019.
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

Benzo[a]pyrene

Potential Effect: cancer10x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.0700 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.007 ppb
LEGAL LIMIT0.2 ppb
DETAILS
X

Benzo[a]pyrene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, or PAH, released from combustion of fossil fuels and waste incinerators. PAHs increase the risk of cancer; damage the immune, nervous and reproductive systems; and can harm developing fetuses.

Benzo[a]pyrene was found at 10 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.007 ppb or less

This Utility

0.07 ppb

Legal Limit

0.2 ppb

National Average

ppb

State Average

ppb
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2017-2019.
ppb = parts per billion

Health Risks

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.007 ppb for benzo[a]pyrene 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

urban area icon

Runoff & Sprawl

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Bromodichloromethane

Potential Effect: cancer48x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY2.90 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 48 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.06 ppb or less

This Utility

2.9 ppb

National Average

5.79 ppb

State Average

3.92 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2017-2019.
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: cancer21x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY8.50 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 21 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.4 ppb or less

This Utility

8.5 ppb

National Average

15.5 ppb

State Average

13.2 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2017-2019.
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

Dibromochloromethane

Potential Effect: cancer14x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY1.40 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 14 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

1.4 ppb

National Average

3.29 ppb

State Average

0.862 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2017-2019.
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

Endrin

over legal limit
THIS UTILITY2.33 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.3 ppb
LEGAL LIMIT2 ppb
DETAILS
X

Endrin is a banned organochlorine insecticide that is persistent and bioaccumulative. Endrin damages the nervous, immune and reproductive systems in people. It also harms fish, birds and other wildlife.

Endrin was found at 7.8 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.3 ppb or less

This Utility

2.33 ppb

Legal Limit

2 ppb

National Average

ppb

State Average

0.00031 ppb
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2017-2019.
ppb = parts per billion

Health Risks

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.3 ppb for endrin 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 to the heart and blood vessels.

Pollution Sources

agriculture icon

Agriculture

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Haloacetic acids (HAA5)†

Potential Effect: cancer41x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY4.10 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 41 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

4.1 ppb

Legal Limit

60 ppb

National Average

17.1 ppb

State Average

28.2 ppb
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2017-2019.
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 one-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: cancer79x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY11.9 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 79 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.15 ppb or less

This Utility

11.9 ppb

Legal Limit

80 ppb

National Average

29.7 ppb

State Average

40.3 ppb
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2017-2019.
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 2017-2019 for which annual utility averages exceeded the federal Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL); chemicals detected in 2017-2019 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. HAA9 is a contaminant group that includes the chemicals in HAA5 and bromochloroacetic acid, bromodichloroacetic acid, chlorodibromoacetic acid and tribromoacetic acid. TTHM is a contaminant group that includes bromodichloromethane, bromoform, chloroform and dibromochloromethane.


Other Contaminants Tested


Piney Point compliance with legally mandated federal standards:

  • From April 2019 to March 2021, Piney Point complied with health-based drinking water standards.
  • 1 QUARTER
    in violation of any federal drinking water standard from April 2019 to March 2021

Information in this section on Piney Point 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
Benzo[a]pyrene
Bromodichloromethane
Chloroform
Dibromochloromethane
Endrin
Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
OTHER CONTAMINANTS
DETECTED
Barium
Fluoride

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