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Posts Tagged ‘Emerging Contaminants’

Emerging Contaminants in Your Drinking Water

Monday, April 12th, 2010

By Chris Leaf, Project Chemist, Kelso, WA

Drinking WaterImagine turning on a faucet to get a glass of water and discovering that perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, methyl tert-butyl ether, or chloromethane has flowed into your glass. These chemical compounds represent real threats to the public and are present in many public water supplies today.

In September of 2009, the EPA finalized its Contaminant Candidate List 3 (CCL3), comprised of 116 drinking water contaminants. These contaminants have already been discovered in public water systems or pose the risk of existing in public water supplies. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the EPA is required to evaluate and determine whether to regulate at least five contaminants from the CCL every five years. The EPA decides if regulations will be required based on the following criteria1:

  • The contaminant may have an adverse effect on the health of persons.
  • The contaminant is known to occur, or there is a great likelihood that the contaminant will occur in public water supplies with a frequency and at levels of public health concern.
  • In the sole judgment of the EPA Administrator, regulation of the contaminant presents a meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by public water systems.

Read more about emerging contaminants and health risks…