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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Middlesex Water System

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

  • Middlesex, North Carolina
  • Serves: 850
  • Data available: 2012—2017
  • Source: Groundwater

Contaminants Detected

9

EXCEED
EWG HEALTH
GUIDELINES

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EWG Health Guidelines fill the gap in outdated government standards.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

Bromodichloromethane

Potential Effect: cancer46x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY2.73 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 46 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.06 ppb or less

This Utility

2.73 ppb

National Average

5.8 ppb

State Average

8.82 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

Chlordane

Potential Effect: cancer5.2x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.157 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.03 ppb
LEGAL LIMIT2 ppb
DETAILS
X

The cancer-causing pesticide chlordane was banned in 1988. Chlordane is persistent and accumulates in the body. It is still found in the environment and in the bodies of adults and newborn babies.

Chlordane was found at 5.2 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.03 ppb or less

This Utility

0.157 ppb

Legal Limit

2 ppb

National Average

0.000272 ppb

State Average

0.000166 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 0.03 ppb for chlordane 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

urban area icon

Runoff & Sprawl

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Chloroform

Potential Effect: cancer4.9x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY1.97 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 4.9 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.4 ppb or less

This Utility

1.97 ppb

National Average

15.1 ppb

State Average

25.3 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 0.4 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

Dibromoacetic acid

Potential Effect: 24x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.967 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 24 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.04 ppb or less

This Utility

0.967 ppb

National Average

1.17 ppb

State Average

1.17 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: cancer31x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY3.10 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 31 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

3.1 ppb

National Average

3.41 ppb

State Average

4.58 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 0.1 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: cancer4x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.800 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 4 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.2 ppb or less

This Utility

0.8 ppb

National Average

7.82 ppb

State Average

11.8 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: 18x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY1.77 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 18 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

1.77 ppb

Legal Limit

60 ppb

National Average

17.2 ppb

State Average

22.7 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

Heptachlor epoxide

Potential Effect: cancer4.9x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.0296 ppb
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.006 ppb
LEGAL LIMIT0.2 ppb
DETAILS
X

Heptachlor epoxide

more about
this contaminant

Heptachlor epoxide is a breakdown product of heptachlor, a highly toxic and carcinogenic pesticide banned in the U.S. since the 1980s.

Heptachlor epoxide was found at 4.9 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.006 ppb or less

This Utility

0.0296 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 2015-2017.
ppb = parts per billion

Health Risks

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.006 ppb for heptachlor epoxide 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

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Potential Effect: cancer58x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY8.73 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 58 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.15 ppb or less

This Utility

8.73 ppb

Legal Limit

80 ppb

National Average

30.1 ppb

State Average

39.8 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

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.


Other Contaminants Tested


Middlesex Water System compliance with legally mandated federal standards:

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

Information in this section on Middlesex Water System 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
Bromodichloromethane
Chlordane
Chloroform
Dibromoacetic acid
Dibromochloromethane
Dichloroacetic acid
Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
Heptachlor epoxide
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
OTHER CONTAMINANTS
DETECTED
1,1-Dichloroethylene
Bromoform
Nitrate

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