605 systems serving 1,412,179 people
  This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by water utilities in Nebraska, provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. 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.

  44 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

Contaminants detected in Nebraska 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
Lead (total) 1,386,304 1,386,304 516 516
Arsenic (total) 1,317,764 1,317,764 443 443
Bromoform 1,093,411 1,093,411 137 137
Radon 1,076,747 1,076,747 117 117
Dibromochloromethane 1,069,603 1,069,603 141 141
Bromodichloromethane 1,052,950 1,052,950 119 119
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs) 1,028,320 1,013,227 108 96
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) 1,138,184 997,752 185 76
Dichloroacetic acid 942,322 942,322 73 73
Atrazine 961,342 882,180 84 47

  Sources of Nebraska Drinking Water Contaminants

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

90 Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2008)
25 Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Cyanide, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Diquat, Simazine, Dinoseb, Metolachlor, Atrazine, Alachlor (Lasso), Butylate (Sutan), Heptachlor epoxide, 2,4-D, Bromomethane, Aldrin, Dicamba, Metribuzin, 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Chlordane, p-Dichlorobenzene, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Ethylbenzene

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

Nitrate, Copper, Nitrate & nitrite, Lead (total), Arsenic (total), Tetrachloroethylene, MTBE, Nitrite, Cadmium (total), Antimony (total), m- & p- Xylene, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Cyanide, o-Xylene, Benzene, Trichlorofluoromethane, p-Dichlorobenzene, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, 2,4-D, Naphthalene, m-Xylene, Chlordane, n-Propylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene

61 Industrial Pollutants

Aluminum, Arsenic (total), Chlorite, Barium (total), Cadmium (total), Chromium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Manganese, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Antimony (total), Asbestos, p-Isopropyltoluene, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Chloroethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, cis-1,3-Dichloropropene, Naphthalene, MTBE, Pentachlorophenol, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Dibromomethane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, n-Butylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), p-Dichlorobenzene, Vinyl chloride, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, 1,1-Dichloroethane, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, 1,2-Dichloroethane, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, Carbon tetrachloride, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Trichloroethylene, Tetrachloroethylene, Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Isopropylbenzene, m-Xylene, Styrene, o-Xylene, n-Propylbenzene, m- & p- Xylene, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228, Combined Uranium (pCi/L)

20 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, Bromochloroacetic acid, Monobromoacetic acid, Chlorite, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Cadmium (total), Chloromethane, Vinyl chloride, Asbestos, Dibromomethane, Chloroethane

21 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 (excl radon and uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Chromium (total), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Aluminum, Selenium (total), Nitrite, Radon, Chloromethane, Cyanide

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

Lead (total), p-Isopropyltoluene, Metolachlor, Butylate (Sutan), Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Bromomethane, Chloroethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, cis-1,3-Dichloropropene, Naphthalene, MTBE, Aldrin, Dibromomethane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, n-Butylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene, Dicamba, Bromochloroacetic acid, Metribuzin, 1,1-Dichloroethane, Isopropylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Radon

  Testing Summary for Nebraska

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

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in Nebraska 151
  Contaminants tested due to federal law: 95
  Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 56
  Violation Summary for Nebraska

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

Violation Type Number of Violations
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria) 674
Over maximum contaminant level, Average 381
Over maximum contaminant level, Single Sample 181
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria) 168
Public Notification Violation for National Primary Drinking Water Regulations 113
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria) 48
Failure to monitor regularly 46
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria) 26
Failure to Filter (Surface Water Treatment Rule) 9
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule 4
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination) 4
Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment Study Recommendation 2
Treatment Technique (Surface Water Treatment Rule) 1
Operations Report 1
Excess Turbidity at 0.3 NTU 1

Sources : EWG (Environmental Working Group)