388 systems serving 656,078 people
  This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by water utilities in Maine, provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services- Division of Environmental Health. It is part of EWG's national database that includes 47,667 drinking water utilities and 20 million test results from 45 states and the District of Columbia. Water utilities nationwide detected more than 300 pollutants between 2004 and 2009. More than half of these chemicals are unregulated, legal in any amount. Despite this widespread contamination, the federal government invests few resources in protecting rivers, reservoirs, and groundwater from pollution in the first place. The information below summarizes drinking water quality for this state..

Water Utilities
Population Served
Detected Chemicals
Exceed health guidelines*
Exceed Legal Limits*
Unregulated chemicals detected
* Water utilities are noted as exceeding the legal limit if any test is above the maximum contaminant level (MCL). Most MCLs are based on annual averages so exceeding the MCL for one test does not necessarily indicate that the system is out of compliance.

  39 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

Contaminants detected in Maine drinking water above health guidelines, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis of data obtained from state water authorities.

Number of Systems
At Any Level Above Health Limits At Any Level Above Health Limits
Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium) 532,412 532,412 224 224
Dichloroacetic acid 511,309 511,309 83 83
Arsenic (total) 492,443 492,443 229 229
Bromodichloromethane 438,660 438,660 135 135
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) 598,903 402,562 178 93
Chloroform 589,999 395,949 155 88
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs) 376,535 376,535 86 86
1,2,3-Trichloropropane 315,886 315,886 38 38
Lead (total) 238,190 238,190 195 195
Trichloroacetic acid 362,188 207,343 73 48

  Sources of Maine Drinking Water Contaminants

The contaminants identified in Maine drinking water come from a wide variety of sources, including agriculture, industry, water treatment plants, and polluted storm runoff from urban areas.

74 Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2009)
12 Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Nitrate, Nitrate & nitrite, Arsenic (total), Selenium (total), Nitrite, Ethylbenzene, Dalapon, Cyanide, Dicamba, Metribuzin, Hexazinone, Parathion (ethyl)

26 Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Nitrate, Copper, Nitrate & nitrite, Lead (total), Arsenic (total), Tetrachloroethylene, MTBE, Nitrite, Xylenes (total), Dalapon, Cadmium (total), Antimony (total), Mercury (total inorganic), m- & p- Xylene, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Cyanide, o-Xylene, Benzene, Silver (total), Trichlorofluoromethane, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di-n-butylphthalate, Naphthalene, Diethylphthalate, bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Phenanthrene

55 Industrial Pollutants

Aluminum, Bromide, Arsenic (total), Chlorite, Barium (total), Cadmium (total), Chromium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Manganese, Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Silver (total), Antimony (total), Thallium (total), Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, Naphthalene, MTBE, Nitrobenzene, Phenanthrene, Diethylphthalate, Di-n-butylphthalate, bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, Bromochloromethane, Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, Carbon tetrachloride, Trichloroethylene, 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, Tetrachloroethylene, Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, o-Xylene, m- & p- Xylene, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Uranium-238, Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228, Alpha particle activity, Combined Uranium (pCi/L)

16 Water Treatment and Distribution Byproducts
(pipes and fixtures, treatment chemicals and byproducts)

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Dichloroacetic acid, Trichloroacetic acid, Bromoform, Dibromoacetic acid, Monochloroacetic acid, Monobromoacetic acid, Chlorite, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Cadmium (total), Chloromethane, Bromochloromethane

25 Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Nitrate, Copper, Nitrate & nitrite, Barium (total), Lead (total), Arsenic (total), Manganese, Radium-228, Radium-226, Alpha particle activity, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Chromium (total), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Aluminum, Selenium (total), Nitrite, Radon, Bromide, Mercury (total inorganic), Chloromethane, Cyanide, Uranium-238, Silver (total)

22 Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Bromide, Lead (total), Hexazinone, Parathion (ethyl), Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, Naphthalene, MTBE, Nitrobenzene, Phenanthrene, Diethylphthalate, Di-n-butylphthalate, bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, Bromochloromethane, Dicamba, Metribuzin, 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, Radon, Uranium-234 (pCi/L)

  Testing Summary for Maine

The federal government has set standards for some of the pollutants found in tap water supplies.

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in Maine 187
  Contaminants tested due to federal law: 96
  Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 91
  Violation Summary for Maine

Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards in Maine since 2004.

Violation Type Number of Violations
Failure to monitor regularly 896
Over maximum contaminant level, Average 445
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria) 326
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria) 150
Inadequate reporting of information to the public 109
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling 100
Failure to report information to the public or state agency in the Consumer Confidence Report 92
Improper Treatment Techniques 37
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule 35
Initial Water Quality Parameter Monitoring and Reporting 30
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper 25
Over maximum contaminant level, Single Sample 25
Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment Study Recommendation 20
Public Education 18
Treatment Technique (Surface Water Treatment Rule) 11
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria) 7
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria) 6
Failure to monitor: Check/Repeat/Confirmation sampling 6
Failure to monitor, Routine Minor (Coliform bacteria) 5
Failure to monitor, Repeat Minor (Coliform bacteria) 4
Failure to Filter (Surface Water Treatment Rule) 4
Excess Turbidity at 0.3 NTU 2
Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment Installation/Demonstration 2
Water Quality Program Entry Point Non-Compliance 1
Lead Service Line Replacement 1
Public Notification Violation for National Primary Drinking Water Regulations 1
Initial, Follow-up, or Routine Source Water Treatment Monitoring and Reporting 1

Sources : EWG (Environmental Working Group)