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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Columbia

EWG's drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources - Public Drinking Water Program, 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

  • Columbia, Missouri
  • Serves: 100,733
  • Data available: 2012—2017
  • Source: Groundwater

Contaminants Detected

14

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EWG Health Guidelines fill the gap in outdated government standards.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

Bromochloroacetic acid

Potential Effect: 309x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY6.18 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.02 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Bromochloroacetic acid

more about
this contaminant

Bromochloroacetic acid is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Bromochloroacetic acid and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Bromochloroacetic acid was found at 309 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.02 ppb or less

This Utility

6.18 ppb

National Average

2.92 ppb

State Average

3 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 0.02 ppb for bromochloroacetic 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

Bromodichloroacetic acid

Potential Effect: 85x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY3.41 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.04 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Bromodichloroacetic acid

more about
this contaminant

Bromodichloroacetic acid is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Bromodichloroacetic acid and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Bromodichloroacetic acid was found at 85 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.04 ppb or less

This Utility

3.41 ppb

National Average

1.07 ppb

State Average

1.29 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 bromodichloroacetic 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

Bromodichloromethane

Potential Effect: cancer239x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY14.3 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 239 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.06 ppb or less

This Utility

14.3 ppb

National Average

5.8 ppb

State Average

3.91 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

Bromoform

Potential Effect: cancer3.3x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY1.66 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.5 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Bromoform, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Bromoform and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. Click here to read more about disinfection byproducts.

Bromoform was found at 3.3 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.5 ppb or less

This Utility

1.66 ppb

National Average

1.41 ppb

State Average

0.344 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 0.5 ppb for bromoform 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

Chlorodibromoacetic acid

Potential Effect: Cancer; Harm to reproduction and child development56x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY1.12 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.02 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Chlorodibromoacetic acid

more about
this contaminant

Chlorodibromoacetic acid is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Chlorodibromoacetic acid was found at 56 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.02 ppb or less

This Utility

1.12 ppb

National Average

0.279 ppb

State Average

0.286 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 0.02 ppb for chlorodibromoacetic 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

Chloroform

Potential Effect: cancer44x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY17.8 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 44 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.4 ppb or less

This Utility

17.8 ppb

National Average

15.1 ppb

State Average

13.5 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: cancer63x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY1.25 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 63 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.02 ppb or less

This Utility

1.25 ppb

National Average

0.492 ppb

State Average

1.2 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 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

Dibromoacetic acid

Potential Effect: 73x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY2.93 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 73 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.04 ppb or less

This Utility

2.93 ppb

National Average

1.17 ppb

State Average

0.459 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: cancer97x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY9.74 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 97 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

9.74 ppb

National Average

3.41 ppb

State Average

1.7 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 0.1 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: cancer50x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY10.00 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 50 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.2 ppb or less

This Utility

10 ppb

National Average

7.82 ppb

State Average

10.7 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 0.2 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)

Potential Effect: 180x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY18.0 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 180 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

18 ppb

Legal Limit

60 ppb

National Average

17.2 ppb

State Average

13.7 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: cancer292x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY43.8 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 292 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.15 ppb or less

This Utility

43.8 ppb

Legal Limit

80 ppb

National Average

30.1 ppb

State Average

20.8 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

Tribromoacetic acid

Potential Effect: 5.6x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.226 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.04 ppb
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Tribromoacetic acid

more about
this contaminant

Tribromoacetic acid is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Tribromoacetic acid was found at 5.6 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.04 ppb or less

This Utility

0.226 ppb

National Average

0.213 ppb

State Average

0.213 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 tribromoacetic 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

Trichloroacetic acid

Potential Effect: cancer36x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY3.63 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 36 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

3.63 ppb

National Average

6.42 ppb

State Average

2.6 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 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


Chemicals tested for but not detected from 2012 to 2017:

1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, 1,1-Dichloropropene, 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), 1,2-Dichloroethane, 1,2-Dichloropropane, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, 1,3-Butadiene, 1,3-Dichloropropane, 1,4-Dioxane, 17-beta-Estradiol, 2,2-Dichloropropane, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), 2,4-D, 3-Hydroxycarbofuran, 4-Androstene-3,17-dione, Alachlor (Lasso), Aldicarb, Aldicarb sulfone, Aldicarb sulfoxide, Aldrin, Aluminum, Antimony, Arsenic, Atrazine, Benzene, Beryllium, Bromobenzene, Bromochloromethane, Bromomethane, Butachlor, Cadmium, Carbaryl, Carbofuran, Carbon tetrachloride, Chlorate, Chlordane, Chlorodifluoromethane, Chlorodifluoromethane, Chloroethane, Chloromethane, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, cis-1,3-Dichloropropene, Cobalt, Cyanazine (Bladex), Dalapon, Dibromomethane, Dicamba, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Dieldrin, Dinoseb, Endrin, Equilin, Estriol, Estrone, Ethinyl estradiol, Ethylbenzene, Ethylene dibromide, Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Hexachlorobutadiene, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Isopropylbenzene, Lindane, m-Dichlorobenzene, Mercury (inorganic), Methomyl, Methoxychlor, Metolachlor, Metribuzin, Monochloroacetic acid, Monochlorobenzene (chlorobenzene), MTBE, n-Butylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Naphthalene, o-Chlorotoluene, o-Dichlorobenzene, Oxamyl (Vydate), p-Chlorotoluene, p-Dichlorobenzene, p-Isopropyltoluene, Pentachlorophenol, Perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHPA), Perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHXS), Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), Picloram, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Propachlor, Radium, combined (-226 & -228), sec-Butylbenzene, Selenium, Silver, Simazine, Styrene, tert-Butylbenzene, Testosterone, Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene), Thallium, Toluene, Toxaphene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, trans-1,3-Dichloropropene, Trichloroethylene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Trifluralin, Vinyl chloride, Xylenes (total)

Columbia compliance with legally mandated federal standards:

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

Information in this section on Columbia 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
Bromochloroacetic acid
Bromodichloroacetic acid
Bromodichloromethane
Bromoform
Chlorodibromoacetic acid
Chloroform
Chromium (hexavalent)
Dibromoacetic acid
Dibromochloromethane
Dichloroacetic acid
Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
Tribromoacetic acid
Trichloroacetic acid
OTHER CONTAMINANTS
DETECTED
Barium
Chromium (total)
Fluoride
Manganese
Molybdenum
Monobromoacetic acid
Nitrate & nitrite
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