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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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City of Norfolk

EWG's drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group by the Virginia Department of Health - Office of Drinking Water, 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

  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Serves: 234,220
  • Data available: 2012—2017
  • Source: Surface water

Contaminants Detected

10

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EWG Health Guidelines fill the gap in outdated government standards.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: 206x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY4.12 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 206 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.02 ppb or less

This Utility

4.12 ppb

National Average

2.92 ppb

State Average

3.61 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

Bromodichloromethane

Potential Effect: cancer165x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY9.92 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 165 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.06 ppb or less

This Utility

9.92 ppb

National Average

5.8 ppb

State Average

6.6 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 0.06 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: cancer105x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY41.9 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 105 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.4 ppb or less

This Utility

41.9 ppb

National Average

15.1 ppb

State Average

22.8 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 0.4 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: cancer2.3x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.0456 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 2.3 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.02 ppb or less

This Utility

0.0456 ppb

National Average

0.492 ppb

State Average

0.122 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: 2.8x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.114 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 2.8 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.04 ppb or less

This Utility

0.114 ppb

National Average

1.17 ppb

State Average

0.413 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: cancer15x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY1.47 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 15 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

1.47 ppb

National Average

3.41 ppb

State Average

2.07 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: cancer83x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY16.5 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 83 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.2 ppb or less

This Utility

16.5 ppb

National Average

7.82 ppb

State Average

11.2 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: cancer358x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY35.8 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 358 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

35.8 ppb

Legal Limit

60 ppb

National Average

17.2 ppb

State Average

21.9 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: cancer356x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY53.3 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 356 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.15 ppb or less

This Utility

53.3 ppb

Legal Limit

80 ppb

National Average

30.1 ppb

State Average

32.2 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: cancer189x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY18.9 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 189 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.1 ppb or less

This Utility

18.9 ppb

National Average

6.42 ppb

State Average

9.35 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.

† 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:

Nitrate, 2,4-D

 

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-Dichloroethane, 1,2-Dichloropropane, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, 1,3-Butadiene, 1,3-Dichloropropane, 1,3-Dichloropropene, 1,4-Dioxane, 17-beta-Estradiol, 2,2-Dichloropropane, 2,3,7,8-TCDD (Dioxin), 2,4,5-T, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), 2,4-DB, 2,4-Dinitrotoluene, 2,6-Dinitrotoluene, 3,4-Dichlorobenzoic acid, 3-Hydroxycarbofuran, 4-Androstene-3,17-dione, Acenaphthene, Acenaphthylene, Acetochlor, Alachlor (Lasso), Aldicarb, Aldicarb sulfone, Aldicarb sulfoxide, Aldrin, alpha-Chlordane, alpha-Lindane, Anthracene, Antimony, Arsenic, Asbestos, Baygon (Propoxur), Bentazon (Basagran), Benzene, Benzo[a]anthracene, Benzo[a]pyrene, Benzo[b]fluoranthene, Benzo[g,h,i]perylene, Benzo[k]fluoranthene, Beryllium, beta-BHC, Bromacil, Bromobenzene, Bromochloromethane, Bromoform, Bromomethane, Butachlor, Butyl benzyl phthalate, Cadmium, Carbaryl, Carbofuran, Carbon tetrachloride, Chlordane, Chlorobenzilate, Chlorodifluoromethane, Chloroethane, Chloromethane, Chloroneb, Chlorothalonil (Bravo), Chlorpyriphos, Chromium (total), Chrysene, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, cis-1,3-Dichloropropene, Cobalt, Combined uranium, Cyanide, DCPA mono- and di-acid degradates, delta-BHC, Di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Di-n-butyl phthalate, Di-n-octyl phthalate, Diazinon (Spectracide), Dibenz[a,h]anthracene, Dibromomethane, Dicamba, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Dichlorprop, Dichlorvos, Dieldrin, Diethyl phthalate, Dimethoate, Dimethyl phthalate, Dinoseb, Diquat, Endosulfan I, Endosulfan II, Endosulfan sulfate, Endothall, Endrin, Endrin aldehyde, Equilin, Estriol, Estrone, Ethinyl estradiol, Ethylbenzene, Ethylene dibromide, Fluoranthene, Fluorene, gamma-Chlordane, Glyphosate, Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Hexachlorobutadiene, Indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene, Isophorone, Isopropyl ether, Isopropylbenzene, Lindane, m-Dichlorobenzene, Malathion, Mercury (inorganic), Methiocarb, Methomyl, Methoxychlor, Methyl ethyl ketone, Methyl isobutyl ketone, Metolachlor, Metribuzin, Molinate, Molybdenum, Monochlorobenzene (chlorobenzene), MTBE, n-Butylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Naphthalene, Nitrite, o-Chlorotoluene, o-Dichlorobenzene, Oxamyl (Vydate), p-Chlorotoluene, p-Dichlorobenzene, p-Isopropyltoluene, Para-para DDE, Para-para DDT, Para-para DDT, Paraquat, Parathion, Pentachlorophenol, Perchlorate, Perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHPA), Perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHXS), Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), Permethrin, Phenanthrene, Picloram, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Propachlor, Pyrene, Radium, combined (-226 & -228), sec-Butylbenzene, Selenium, Silver, Simazine, Styrene, tert-Butylbenzene, Testosterone, Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene), Thallium, Thiobencarb, Toluene, Toxaphene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, trans-1,3-Dichloropropene, trans-Nonachlor, Trichloroethylene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Trichlorotrifluoroethane, Trifluralin, Vanadium, Vinyl chloride, Xylenes (total)

City of Norfolk compliance with legally mandated federal standards:

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

Information in this section on City of Norfolk 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
Bromodichloromethane
Chloroform
Chromium (hexavalent)
Dibromoacetic acid
Dibromochloromethane
Dichloroacetic acid
Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
Trichloroacetic acid
OTHER CONTAMINANTS
DETECTED
1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP)
Aluminum
Atrazine
Barium
Chlorate
Dalapon
Fluoride
Hexachlorocyclopentadiene
Manganese
Monobromoacetic acid
Monochloroacetic acid
Nitrate & nitrite
Strontium

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