Florida’s Water Reports from EWG

This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by water utilities in Florida, provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. 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.


Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits


Number of Systems
At Any Level Above Health Limits At Any Level Above Health Limits
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs) 18,233,842 18,190,845 1,551 1,530
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) 18,314,986 17,145,101 1,707 1,240
Radium-226 14,675,986 14,675,986 549 549
Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium) 12,830,001 12,830,001 471 471
Arsenic (total) 12,064,710 12,064,710 688 688
Bromodichloromethane 11,673,225 11,673,225 765 765
Dibromochloromethane 11,116,078 10,592,356 756 724
Dichloroacetic acid 10,139,056 10,139,056 515 515
Radium-228 9,894,348 9,894,348 266 266
Bromoform 9,808,870 9,808,870 492 492


Water Utilities Exceeding Health Based Limits 


Chemicals tested
Chemicals found
Chemicals exceeding
health guidelines
Emerald Coast Water Utility 307,076 101 45 21
Stuart City of – Water Plant 19,000 98 34 18
Mdwasa/Rex Utilities 41,500 79 40 18
City of Tallahassee 188,000 77 37 18
Pcud-West 142,311 80 27 17
Colonial Manor Water System 2,500 79 26 17
Florida City 9,445 116 38 17
Fern Crest Utilities Inc. 5,500 79 27 16
Tampa Water Department 550,000 84 27 15
City of Coral Springs 65,000 80 27 15
City of Dania Beach 16,090 79 29 15
Corry Field-Nas 20,000 97 29 15
North Port Utilities 44,850 85 23 14
Pcud-South Central System 78,320 80 25 14
Orangewood Water System 5,937 73 22 14
Hillsborough County Water Resource Services- South Hillsborough 303,000 79 24 14
Peace River Reg Water Plant 3,301 79 24 14
Collier County Regional Wtp 134,780 79 21 14
Seacoast Utilities Authority 82,228 98 26 14
City of Pembroke Pines 156,254 80 20 14



Sources of Florida’s Drinking Water Contaminants 


103 Total Contaminants Detected (2004 – 2008)
36 Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Nitrate, Nitrate & nitrite, Arsenic (total), Selenium (total), Nitrite, 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), Atrazine, Ethylbenzene, Dalapon, Cyanide, Simazine, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), 1,2-Dichloropropane, Metolachlor, p-Dichlorobenzene, 2,4-D, Bromomethane, Heptachlor epoxide, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), o-Dichlorobenzene, Chlordane, Alachlor (Lasso), Lindane, Picloram, Dieldrin, Dinoseb, Toxaphene, Oxamyl (Vydate), Diquat, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), Methoxychlor, Endrin, Heptachlor, Carbofuran, Glyphosate, Endothall

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), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Cyanide, Benzene, Trichlorofluoromethane, p-Dichlorobenzene, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di-n-butylphthalate, 2,4-D, Chlordane, Benzo[a]pyrene, Lindane, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), Glyphosate

64 Industrial Pollutants

Aluminum, Arsenic (total), Chlorite, Barium (total), Cadmium (total), Chromium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Selenium (total), Antimony (total), Beryllium (total), Thallium (total), Asbestos, Lindane, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Chloromethane, Chloroethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, MTBE, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Di-n-butylphthalate, Pentachlorophenol, 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 2,2-Dichloropropane, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Xylenes (total), 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, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, Tetrachloroethylene, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Radium-226, Radium-228, Gross beta particle activity (mrem/yr), Gross beta particle & photon emitters (man-made), Tritium, Alpha particle activity, Strontium-90, Combined Uranium (pCi/L)

21 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, Bromate, Vinyl chloride, Asbestos, Benzo[a]pyrene, 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), Radium-228, Radium-226, Alpha particle activity, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Chromium (total), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Aluminum, Selenium (total), Nitrite, Mercury (total inorganic), Chloromethane, Cyanide, Gross beta particle activity (mrem/yr), Gross beta particle & photon emitters (man-made)

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

Lead (total), Metolachlor, Dieldrin, Chloromethane, Bromomethane, Chloroethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, MTBE, Di-n-butylphthalate, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 2,2-Dichloropropane, Bromochloroacetic acid, 1,1-Dichloroethane, 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, Tritium, Strontium-90



Florida’s Violation Summary


Violation Type Number of Violations
Over maximum contaminant level, Average 1,492
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule 590
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria) 545
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria) 402
Failure to report information to the public or state agency in the Consumer Confidence Report 330
Failure to monitor regularly 281
Failure to monitor, Routine Minor (Coliform bacteria) 240
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling 238
Inadequate reporting of information to the public 220
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria) 112
Failure to monitor, Repeat Minor (Coliform bacteria) 44
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria) 18
Over maximum contaminant level, Single Sample 15
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper 6
Public Education 4
Non-Acute maximum residual disinfectant level 1



EWG tap water database 2009. Retrieved November 18, 2016, from http://www.ewg.org/tap-water/FloridaDrinkingWaterQualityReport/