32 systems serving 1,285,582 people
  This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by water utilities in West Virginia, provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the State water agency. 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.

The state water agency did not respond to requests for water quality tests conducted after 2006. Results from earlier data requests are shown below.

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.

  7 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

Contaminants detected in West Virginia 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
Arsenic (total) 11,688 11,688 12 12
Cadmium (total) 7,001 7,001 5 5
Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium) 1,536 1,536 2 2
Radium-228 1,462 1,462 1 1
Thallium (total) 3,867 1,455 6 5
Dichloroacetic acid 1,355 1,355 1 1
Dibromochloromethane 1,355 1,355 1 1

  Sources of West Virginia Drinking Water Contaminants

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

19 Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2005)
5 Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Cyanide, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total)

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

Arsenic (total), Cadmium (total), Cyanide, Nitrate, Nitrite, Silver (total), Antimony (total)

15 Industrial Pollutants

Aluminum, Arsenic (total), Barium (total), Cadmium (total), Chromium (total), Cyanide, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Silver (total), Antimony (total), Beryllium (total), Thallium (total), Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Radium-228

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

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Dibromochloromethane, Dichloroacetic acid, Monochloroacetic acid, Cadmium (total)

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

Nitrate, Barium (total), Arsenic (total), Radium-228, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Chromium (total), Aluminum, Selenium (total), Nitrite, Cyanide, Silver (total)

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

  Testing Summary for West Virginia

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

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in West Virginia 128
  Contaminants tested due to federal law: 81
  Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 47
  Violation Summary for West Virginia

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

Violation Type Number of Violations
Failure to monitor regularly 7,493
Public Notification Violation for National Primary Drinking Water Regulations 1,042
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria) 623
Failure to report information to the public or state agency in the Consumer Confidence Report 464
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule 432
Over maximum contaminant level, Average 301
Inadequate reporting of information to the public 152
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling 132
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination) 129
Failure to monitor, Routine Minor (Coliform bacteria) 90
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria) 47
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria) 38
Filter Turbidity Reporting 29
Treatment Technique (Surface Water Treatment Rule) 24
Treatment Technique No Certif. Operator 14
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination) 13
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper 10
Failure to monitor, Repeat Minor (Coliform bacteria) 7
Operations Report 6
Excess Turbidity at 0.3 NTU 5
Treatment Technique w/o State Prior Approval 3
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria) 2
Excess Turbidity at 1 NTU 2
Failure to Filter (Surface Water Treatment Rule) 2

Sources : EWG (Environmental Working Group)