“Water is the driver of nature.”
~ Leonardo da Vinci
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National Primary Drinking Water Standards

Primary (Health Related) Organic Contaminants

Contaminant

MCLG

MCL

WQA Recommended Treatment Methods

Potential Health Effects from Ingestion of Water

Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water

2,4,5-TP (silvex)

  • 0.05 mg/L
  • 0.05 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Herbicide residue
  • Cancelled in 1983

2,4-D

  • 0.07 mg/L
  • 0.07 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Herbicide runoff

Acrylamide

  • zero
  • 0.0005 mg/L (action level)
  • Control of water treatment chemicals and surfaces in contact with water
  • Cancer
  • Nervous system effects
  • Polymers used in sewage/waste water treatment

Adipates (diethylhexyl)

  • 0.4 mg/L
  • 0.4 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Air Stripping
  • Decreased body weight
  • Reproductive difficulties
  • Leaching from PVC plumbing systems
  • Discharge from chemical factories

Alachlor

  • zero
  • 0.002 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Eye, liver, kidney or spleen problems
  • Anemia
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Runoff from herbicide on row crops

Atrazine

  • 0.003 mg/L
  • 0.003 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Cardiovascular system problems
  • Reproductive difficulties
  • Mammary gland tumors
  • Runoff from herbicide used on row crops

Benzene

  • zero
  • 0.005 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Air Stripping
  • Cancer
  • Some foods
  • Gas, drugs, pesticide, paint, plastic industries

Benzo(a)pyrene PAH

  • zero
  • 0.0002 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Cancer
  • Reproductive difficulties
  • Coal tar coatings
  • Burning organic matter
  • Volcanoes and fossil fuels

Bromate

  • zero
  • 0.010 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Cancer
  • Ozonation by-product

Carbofuran

  • 0.04 mg/L
  • 0.04 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Problems with blood or nervous systems
  • Reproductive difficulties
  • Soil fumigant
  • Restricted in some areas

Carbon tetrachloride

  • zero
  • 0.005 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Air Stripping
  • Cancer
  • Liver problems
  • Solvents and their degradation products

Chloramines (as Cl2)

  • 4 mg/L
  • 4 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Eye/nose irritation
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Anemia
  • Water additive used to control microbes

Chlordane

  • zero
  • 0.002 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Cancer
  • Liver problems
  • Nervous system problems
  • Leaching from soil treatment for termites

Chlorite

  • 0.8 mg/L
  • 1.0 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Developmental neurotoxicity
  • Red blood cell effects
  • Chlorine dioxide by-product

Chlorobenzene

  • 0.1 mg/L
  • 0.1 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Air Stripping
  • Nervous system problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Waste solvent from metal degreasing processes

Dalapon

  • 0.2 mg/L
  • 0.2 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Kidney effects
  • Runoff from herbicide

Dibromochloropropane (DBCP)

  • zero
  • 0.0002 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Air Stripping
  • Cancer
  • Runoff/leaching from soil fumigant

Dichlorobenzene (ortho-)

  • 0.6 mg/L
  • 0.6 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Air Stripping
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Blood cell damage
  • Paints
  • Engine cleaning compounds
  • Dyes
  • Chemical wastes

Dichlorobenzene (para-)

  • 0.075 mg/L
  • 0.075 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping
  • Cancer
  • Room and water deodorants and "mothballs"

Dichloroethane (1,2-)

  • zero
  • 0.005 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping
  • Cancer
  • Leaded gas, fumigants, paints

Dichloroethylene (1,1-)

  • 0.007 mg/L
  • 0.007 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping
  • Cancer, liver and kidney effects
  • Plastics, dyes, perfumes, paints

Dichloroethylene (cis-1,2-)

  • 0.07 mg/L
  • 0.07 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping
  • Liver, kidney, nervous, circulatory system effects
  • Waste industrial extraction solvents

Dichloroethylene (trans-1,2-)

  • 0.1 mg/L
  • 0.1 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping
  • Liver, kidney, nervous, circulatory system effects
  • Waste industrial extraction solvents

Dichloromethane (methylene chloride)

  • zero
  • 0.005 mg/L
  • Air Stripping
  • Cancer
  • Paint stripper, metal degreaser, propellant, extractant

Dichloropropane (1,2-)

  • zero
  • 0.005 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping
  • Liver, kidney effects; cancer
  • Soil fumigant; waste industrial solvents

Diethylhexyl phathalate

  • zero
  • 0.006 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Cancer
  • PVC and other plastics

Dinoseb

  • 0.007 mg/L
  • 0.007 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Thyroid, reproductive organ damage
  • runoff of herbicide from crop and noncrop applications

Dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD)

  • zero
  • 0.00000003 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Cancer
  • Chemical production by-product; impurity in herbicides

Diquat

  • 0.02 mg/L
  • 0.02 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Liver, kidney, eye effects
  • Runoff of herbicide on land and aquatic weeds

Endothall

  • 0.1 mg/L
  • 0.1 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Liver, kidney, gastrointestinal effects
  • Herbicide on crops, land/aquatic weeds; rapidly degraded

Endrin

  • 0.002 mg/L
  • 0.002 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Liver, kidney, heart damage
  • Pesticide on insects, rodents, birds; restricted since 1980

Epichlorohydrin

  • zero
  • 0.002 mg/L (action level)
  • Control of water treatment chemicals and surfaces in contact with water
  • Cancer
  • Water treatment chemicals; waste epoxy resins, coatings

Ethylbenzene

  • 0.7 mg/L
  • 0.7 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping
  • Liver, kidney, nervous system effects
  • Gasoline; insecticides; chemical manufacturing wastes

Ethylene dibromide (EDB)

  • zero
  • 0.00005 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping
  • Cancer
  • Leaded gas additives; leaching of soil fumigant

Glyphosate

  • 0.7 mg/L
  • 0.7 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon Oxidation
  • Liver, kidney damage
  • Herbicide on grasses, weeds, brush

Haloacetic Acids (HAA5)

  • zero - Dichloroacetic acid
  • 0.02 mg/L - Trichloroacetic acid
  • 0.07 mg/L - Monochloroacetic acid
  • N/A - Bromoacetic acid
  • N/A - Dibromoacetic acid
  • 0.060 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Cancer and other effects
  • Drinking water chlorination by-products

Heptachlor

  • zero
  • 0.0004 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Cancer
  • Leaching of insecticide for termites, very few crops

Heptachlor epoxide

  • zero
  • 0.0002 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Cancer
  • Biodegradation of heptachlor

Hexachlorobenzene

  • zero
  • 0.001 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Cancer
  • Pesticide production waste by-product

Hexachlorocyclopentadiene (HEX)

  • 0.05 mg/L
  • 0.05 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping
  • Kidney, stomach damage
  • Pesticide production intermediate

Lindane

  • 0.0002 mg/L
  • 0.0002 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Liver, kidney, nervous system, immune system, and circulatory system effects
  • Insecticide on cattle, lumber, gardens; restricted in 1983

Methoxychlor

  • 0.04 mg/L
  • 0.04 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Growth, liver, kidney, and nervous system effects
  • Insecticide for fruits, vegetables, alfalfa, livestock, pets

Oxamyl (vydate)

  • 0.2 mg/L
  • 0.2 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Kidney damage
  • Insecticide on apples, potatoes, tomatoes

Pentachlorophenol

  • zero
  • 0.001 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Cancer; liver and kidney effects
  • Wood preservatives, herbicides, cooling tower wastes

Picloram

  • 0.5 mg/L
  • 0.5 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Kidney, liver damage
  • Herbicide on broadleaf and woody plants

Polychlorinated byphenlys (PCBs)

  • zero
  • 0.0005 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Cancer
  • Coolant oils from electrical transformers; plasticizers

Simazine

  • 0.004 mg/L
  • 0.004 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Cancer
  • Herbicide on grass sod, some crops, aquatic algae

Styrene

  • 0.1 mg/L
  • 0.1 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping
  • Liver, nervous system
  • Plastics, rubber, resin, drug damage industries; leachate from city landfills

Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)

  • zero
  • 0.005 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping
  • Cancer
  • Improper disposal of dry cleaning and other solvents

Toluene

  • 1 mg/L
  • 1 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping
  • Liver, kidney, nervous system and circulatory system effects
  • Gasoline additive; manufacturing and solvent operations

Toxaphene

  • zero
  • 0.003 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon
  • Cancer
  • Insecticide on cattle, cotton, soybeans; cancelled in 1982

Trichlorobenzene (1,2,4)

  • 0.07 mg/L
  • 0.07 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping
  • Liver, kidney damage
  • Herbicide production; dye carrier

Trichloroethane (1,1,1-)

  • 0.2 mg/L
  • 0.2 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping
  • Liver, nervous system effects
  • Adhesives, aerosols. textiles, paints, inks, metal degreasers

Trichloroethane (1,1,2-)

  • 0.003 mg/L
  • 0.005 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping
  • Kidney, liver, nervous system damage
  • Solvent in rubber, other organic products; chemical production wastes

Trichloroethylene (TCE)

  • zero
  • 0.005 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping
  • Cancer
  • Textiles, adhesives and metal degreasers

Trihalomethanes (Total THMs)

  • zero - Bromodichloromethane
  • zero - Bromoform
  • 0.06 mg/L - Dibromochloromethane
  • 0.07 mg/L - Chloroform
  • 0.080 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping; Ultrafiltration(20%-90%); Reverse Osmosis(20%-90%)
  • Cancer and other effects
  • Drinking water chlorination by-products

Vinyl chloride

  • zero
  • 0.002 mg/L
  • Air Stripping
  • Cancer
  • May leach from PVC pipe; formed by solvent breakdown

Xylenes (total)

  • 10 mg/L
  • 10 mg/L
  • Activated Carbon; Air Stripping
  • Liver, kidney, nervous system effects
  • By-product of gasoline refining; paints, inks detergents

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