Water Leaf

Get To Know Water Quality – The EPA


Understanding The EPA Water Quality Standards

When discussing the quality of the municipal tap water, we at Trionics understand that the water is considered “safe to drink” as long as it meets the standards set forth by the EPA. This bears the question -Is “safe” good enough for your family and home?

Consider The following –

  1. The EPA is responsible for setting the standards for drinking water and requires water providers to test for and regulate only 88 contaminates.
    • 3 Disinfectants
    • 4 Disinfection byproducts
    • 8 Micro Organisms
    • 16 Inorganic Chemicals
    • 53 Organic Chemicals
    • 4 Radionucides
  2. There are 75,000 different chemical compounds used in our everyday enviorment.
  3. EPA Saftey levels for the 88 contaminates are based upon the potential health effects for a 175lb adult drinking only ONE chemical and does not take into account combined toxicity of two or more chemicals.
  4. Children consume 3 times the amount of fluid per pound of body weight
  5. Water Providers are allowed to average contaminate testing results over the period of a year.This means spikes can reach unhealthy levels and still remain in compliance with the EPA.
  6. In 2001, 1 out of 4 community water systems did not conduct testing or report the results for all of the monitoring required to verify the safety of thier drinking water. (Factoids: Drinking Water and Ground Water Statistics for 2001, EPA 816-K-02-004.)

While The 74,913+ chemical contaminates, that may or may not be in the tap water, there are the 88 contaminates for which the local water provider is required to look for. Missouri Consumers can find out the levels of contaminates detected in their water by clicking the link to the Missouri .gov website  and enter the county you live in at the bottom of the page. Addtionally, consumers can also visit the EPA website which provides details and warnings regarding the potential health effects from those contaminates.

Take Special Note Of The Following Pages From The EPA PDF:
1. Page 1— Warning: Sensitive subpopulations that includes infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and cancer patients.
2. Page 5—Warning: Boil Advisories and Disease causing Micro-organisms.
3. Page 5 – Warning: Nitrates and Blue Baby Syndrome.
4. Page 6– Warning: Lead exposure in tap water.
5. Page 8- Standard Water Filtration Process done by Water Providers.
6. Page 9 – Warning: Tap Water Disinfection and Cancer Causing Disinfection by-products.
7. Page 13-14— Warning: Vulnerability Assessments for Bioterrorism Preparedness and water system security.
8. Page 15-17— improving the Safety of Your Drinking Water utilizing various Water Filtration methods which are also utilized by Trionics to clean your water. (Warning: Pay special attention to the first paragraph on page 15 and then refer back to page 1 to the Warning for the Sensitive Sub-population classification and the see if you or someone in your family falls into this group.)
9. Page 18-20—Personal Well Water Safety Guidelines.
10. Page 21-22— Warning: Common Water pollutants and their impact on Water quality. Protecting Water Sources
11. Pages 23-26—The list of all 88 Contaminates that fall under the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations. According to the EPA these are the contaminants most commonly found in our source water. This List contains the contaminate, the level allowed by the EPA to be considered safe by their standards, the potential health effect from long term exposure to that contaminate and the common source’s from which that contaminate can come from (such as industrial dumping or agricultural runoff).
12. Page 27—Notes in fine print (if you really want to dig into it).
13. Page 28-29—Additional resources and publications.

Wtih all of this knowledge you probably understand that Water providers have a tough job to provide the quality of water they do now and in the quantities demanded by a thirsty public. With the tens of thousands of chemicals we now use in our everyday environment and the fact that the water filtration methods employed by local water providers are not designed to remove these kinds of potential threats. Not to mention having to utilize a decaying network of pipes. The question now becomes not whether the water is safe, but rather, is it good for your family? is it good for your home?


“The Way we guarantee safe drinking water is broken and needs to be fixed.”
—Carol Browner—
Former Chief Administrator for the U.S. EPA



About the author: H2O-admin