27 systems serving 562,310 people
  This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by water utilities in North Dakota, provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the North Dakota Department of 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.

  18 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

Contaminants detected in North Dakota 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
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs) 450,529 450,529 146 146
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) 436,023 436,023 188 188
Lead (total) 385,050 385,050 96 96
Chloroform 245,677 245,677 115 115
Dichloroacetic acid 238,518 238,518 86 86
Bromodichloromethane 173,524 173,524 95 95
Dibromochloromethane 173,042 173,042 68 68
Copper 555,205 108,460 321 152
Bromate 90,599 90,599 1 1
Bromoform 80,092 80,092 48 48

  Sources of North Dakota Drinking Water Contaminants

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

29 Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2008)
5 Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Cyanide, Nitrate & nitrite, Selenium (total), Ethylbenzene

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

Arsenic (total), Copper, Cyanide, Lead (total), Nitrate & nitrite, Silver (total)

16 Industrial Pollutants

Aluminum, Bromide, Arsenic (total), Barium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Manganese, Nitrate & nitrite, Selenium (total), Silver (total), Ethylbenzene, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Combined Uranium (pCi/L)

12 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, Bromate

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

Copper, Nitrate & nitrite, Barium (total), Lead (total), Arsenic (total), Manganese, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Aluminum, Selenium (total), Bromide, Cyanide, Silver (total)

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

Bromide, Lead (total)

  Testing Summary for North Dakota

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

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in North Dakota 95
  Contaminants tested due to federal law: 83
  Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 12
  Violation Summary for North Dakota

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

Violation Type Number of Violations
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria) 129
Public Notification Violation for National Primary Drinking Water Regulations 125
Over maximum contaminant level, Average 119
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule 88
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria) 55
Inadequate reporting of information to the public 27
Failure to monitor, Routine Minor (Coliform bacteria) 17
Failure to monitor regularly 14
Treatment Technique Precursor Removal 13
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria) 10
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling 6
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria) 6
Filter Turbidity Reporting 3
Excess Turbidity at 0.3 NTU 3
Failure to monitor, Repeat Minor (Coliform bacteria) 3
Treatment Technique (Surface Water Treatment Rule) 3
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper 2
Excess Turbidity at 1 NTU 1
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination) 1
Failure to report information to the public or state agency in the Consumer Confidence Report 1

Sources : EWG (Environmental Working Group)