fbpx
0
Your Cart

National Primary Drinking Water Regulations List of Contaminants

The National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) is a set of standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States to protect public health by ensuring the safety of drinking water. These regulations identify a number of contaminants that may pose health risks if found in significant concentrations in drinking water. It’s important to note that the presence of these contaminants doesn’t necessarily imply immediate danger, but their levels should be kept below the established maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) to ensure safety.

We have identified the necessary treatment methods for each contaminant and provided a source for you to cross reference. When dealing with these contaminants you should always consult an expert before making any decisions.

If you find this table to contain too much information, you can view a list of the most common contaminates.

TypeContaminantMax. Contaminant Level Goal (ppm)Max. Contaminant Level (ppm)
-or-
Required Treatment Technique
Potential Health Effects from Long-Term Exposure Above the MCL (unless specified as short-term)Sources of Contaminant in Drinking WaterConsumer Treatment MethodOfficial Sources
MicroorganismsCryptosporidium0Treatment TechniqueGastrointestinal illness (such as diarrhea, vomiting, and cramps)Human and animal fecal wasteBoiling water, UV light treatment, microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis system, distillation, Ozone treatmentCDC, CDC, EPA
MicroorganismsGiardia lamblia0Treatment Technique (99.9% removal/inactivation)Gastrointestinal illness (such as diarrhea, vomiting, and cramps)Human and animal fecal wasteBoiling water, UV light treatment, microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis system, distillation, chlorination, Ozone treatmentCDC, CDC, EPA
MicroorganismsHeterotrophic plate count (HPC)n/a<= 500 bacterial colonies per mLHPC has no health effects; it is an analytic method used to measure the variety of bacteria that are common in water. The lower the concentration of bacteria in drinking water, the better maintained the water system is.HPC measures a range of bacteria that are naturally present in the environmentRegular cleaning and disinfection of water storage and distribution systemsCDC
MicroorganismsLegionella0Treatment Technique (no limit, but considered controlled if Giardia and viruses removed/inactivated)Legionnaire’s Disease, a type of pneumoniaFound naturally in water; multiplies in heating systemsHeat (temperatures above 60°C/140°F), chlorination, UV light treatment, ozone.CDC, EPA
MicroorganismsTotal Coliforms (including fecal coliform and E. Coli)
Quick reference guide
Rule Summary
0No more than 5% of samples test positive for coliform in a monthUsed to indicate whether potentially harmful bacteria are presentColiforms are naturally present in the environment; as well as feces; fecal coliforms and E. coli only come from human and animal fecal waste.Chlorination, UV light treatment, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis systems, distillation, ozone treatmentCDC, CDC
MicroorganismsTurbidityn/aTreatment Technique (<0.3 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit)Higher turbidity levels are often associated with higher levels of disease-causing microorganisms such as viruses, parasites and some bacteria. These organisms can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.Soil runoffFiltration systemsEPA
MicroorganismsViruses (enteric)0Treatment Technique (99.9% removal/inactivation)Gastrointestinal illness (such as diarrhea, vomiting, and cramps)Human and animal fecal wasteBoiling water, UV light treatment, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, distillationCDC, CDC, EPA
Disinfection ByproductsBromate00.01Increased risk of cancerByproduct of drinking water disinfectionActivated Carbon Filtration, AerationEPA, EPA
Disinfection ByproductsChlorite0.81Anemia; nervous system effects in infants and young childrenByproduct of drinking water disinfectionActivated Carbon Filtration, AerationEPA, EPA
Disinfection ByproductsHaloacetic acids (HAA5)Varies depending on specific HAA50.06Increased risk of cancerByproduct of drinking water disinfectionActivated Carbon Filtration, AerationEPA, EPA
Disinfection ByproductsTotal Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)Varies depending on specific TTHM0.08Liver, kidney or central nervous system problems; increased risk of cancerByproduct of drinking water disinfectionActivated Carbon Filtration, AerationEPA, EPA
DisinfectantsChloramines (as Cl2)44Eye/nose irritation; stomach discomfort, anemiaWater additive used to control microbesActivated Carbon Filtration, Reverse Osmosis, Boiling, DistillationEPA
DisinfectantsChlorine (as Cl2)44Eye/nose irritation; stomach discomfortWater additive used to control microbesActivated Carbon Filtration, Reverse Osmosis, Boiling, DistillationEPA
DisinfectantsChlorine dioxide (as ClO2)0.80.8Anemia; nervous system effects in infants and young childrenWater additive used to control microbesActivated Carbon Filtration, Reverse Osmosis, Boiling, DistillationEPA
Inorganic ChemicalsAntimony0.0060.006Increase in blood cholesterol; decrease in blood sugar, lung and heart damageDischarge from petroleum refineries; fire retardants; ceramics; electronics; solderReverse Osmosis, Activated AluminaEPA, CDC
Inorganic ChemicalsArsenic00.01Skin damage or problems with circulatory systems, and may have increased risk of getting cancerErosion of natural deposits; runoff from orchards and cotton farms, runoff from glass and electronics production wastesReverse Osmosis, Activated Alumina, Distillation, Ion Exchange, GFO/GFHCDC, NSF, EPA, CDC
Inorganic ChemicalsAsbestos (fiber > 10 micrometers)7 million fibers per liter (MFL)7 MFLIncreased risk of developing benign intestinal polyps, possible link to stomach cancerDecay of asbestos cement in water mains; erosion of natural depositsReverse Osmosis, Activated CarbonNSF, WHO
Inorganic ChemicalsBarium22Increase in blood pressureDischarge of drilling wastes; discharge from metal refineries; erosion of natural depositsReverse Osmosis, Distillation, Ion ExchangeCDC, NSF, EPA
Inorganic ChemicalsBeryllium0.0040.004Intestinal lesionsDischarge from metal refineries and coal-burning factories; discharge from electrical, aerospace, and defense industriesReverse Osmosis, Activated AluminaEPA
Inorganic ChemicalsCadmium0.0050.005Kidney damageCorrosion of galvanized pipes; erosion of natural deposits; discharge from metal refineries; runoff from waste batteries and paintsReverse Osmosis, Distillation, Activated CarbonCDC, NSF
Inorganic ChemicalsChromium (total)0.10.1Allergic dermatitisDischarge from steel and pulp mills; erosion of natural depositsReverse Osmosis, DistillationCDC, NSF
Inorganic ChemicalsCopper1.3Treatment Technique on Corrosiveness of Water
Action Level=1.3ppm
Short term exposure: Gastrointestinal distress
Long term exposure: Liver or kidney damage
People with Wilson’s Disease should consult their personal doctor if the amount of copper in their water exceeds the action level
Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural depositspH Adjustment, Ion Exchange, Reverse OsmosisCDC, NSF, EPA
Inorganic ChemicalsCyanide (as free cyanide)0.20.2Nerve damage, heart or thyroid problemsDischarge from steel/metal factories; discharge from plastic and fertilizer factoriesReverse Osmosis, Activated Carbon, Ion ExchangeCDC, EPA
Inorganic ChemicalsFluoride44Bone disease (pain and tenderness of the bones); Children may get mottled teethWater additive which promotes strong teeth; erosion of natural deposits; discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factoriesActivated Alumina, Reverse Osmosis, DistillationCDC, NSF, EPA
Inorganic ChemicalsLead0Treatment Technique on Corrosiveness of Water
Action Level=0.015
Infants and children: Delays in physical or mental development; children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities
Adults: Kidney problems; high blood pressure
Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural depositsReverse Osmosis, Distillation, Activated Carbon, pH adjustmentCDC, NSF, EPA
Inorganic ChemicalsMercury (inorganic)0.0020.002Kidney damageErosion of natural deposits; discharge from refineries and factories; runoff from landfills and croplandsActivated Carbon, Reverse Osmosis DistillationEPA, Nature
Inorganic ChemicalsNitrate (measured as Nitrogen)1010Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome.Runoff from fertilizer use; leaking from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural depositsReverse Osmosis, Distillation, Ion Exchange, Biological treatmentCDC, NSF, EPA
Inorganic ChemicalsNitrite (measured as Nitrogen)11Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrite in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome.Runoff from fertilizer use; leaking from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural depositsReverse Osmosis, DistillationNSF
Inorganic ChemicalsSelenium0.050.05Hair or fingernail loss; numbness in fingers or toes; circulatory problemsDischarge from petroleum refineries; erosion of natural deposits; discharge from minesReverse Osmosis, Activated Carbon, Ion Exchange, Activated AluminaCDC, NSF, EPA
Inorganic ChemicalsThallium0.00050.002Hair loss; changes in blood; kidney, intestine, or liver problemsLeaching from ore-processing sites; discharge from electronics, glass, and drug factoriesActivated Carbon, Reverse Osmosis, Activated AluminaEPA
Organic ChemicalsAcrylamide0Treatment Technique, cannot use concentration higher than 0.05% at a dose of 1mg/LNervous system or blood problems; increased risk of cancerAdded to water during sewage/wastewater treatmentActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsAlachlor00.002Eye, liver, kidney or spleen problems; anemia; increased risk of cancerRunoff from herbicide used on row cropsActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic ChemicalsAtrazine0.0030.003Cardiovascular system or reproductive problemsRunoff from herbicide used on row cropsActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic ChemicalsBenzene00.005Anemia; decrease in blood platelets; increased risk of cancerDischarge from factories; leaching from gas storage tanks and landfillsActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsBenzo(a)pyrene (PAHs)00.0002Reproductive difficulties; increased risk of cancerLeaching from linings of water storage tanks and distribution linesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsCarbofuran0.040.04Problems with blood, nervous system, or reproductive systemLeaching of soil fumigant used on rice and alfalfaActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic ChemicalsCarbon tetrachloride00.005Liver problems; increased risk of cancerDischarge from chemical plants and other industrial activitiesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsChlordane00.002Liver or nervous system problems; increased risk of cancerResidue of banned termiticideActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsChlorobenzene0.10.1Liver or kidney problemsDischarge from chemical and agricultural chemical factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic Chemicals2,4-D0.070.07Kidney, liver, or adrenal gland problemsRunoff from herbicide used on row cropsActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic ChemicalsDalapon0.20.2Minor kidney changesRunoff from herbicide used on rights of wayActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic Chemicals1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP)00.0002Reproductive difficulties; increased risk of cancerRunoff/leaching from soil fumigant used on soybeans, cotton, pineapples, and orchardsActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic Chemicalso-Dichlorobenzene0.60.6Liver, kidney, or circulatory system problemsDischarge from industrial chemical factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic Chemicalsp-Dichlorobenzene0.0750.075Anemia; liver, kidney or spleen damage; changes in bloodDischarge from industrial chemical factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic Chemicals1,2-Dichloroethane00.005Increased risk of cancerDischarge from industrial chemical factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic Chemicals1,1-Dichloroethylene0.0070.007Liver problemsDischarge from industrial chemical factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic Chemicalscis-1,2-Dichloroethylene0.070.07Liver problemsDischarge from industrial chemical factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic Chemicalstrans-1,2-Dichloroethylene0.10.1Liver problemsDischarge from industrial chemical factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic ChemicalsDichloromethane00.005Liver problems; increased risk of cancerDischarge from drug and chemical factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic Chemicals1,2-Dichloropropane00.005Increased risk of cancerDischarge from industrial chemical factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic ChemicalsDi(2-ethylhexyl) adipate0.40.4Weight loss, liver problems, or possible reproductive difficulties.Discharge from chemical factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsDi(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate00.006Reproductive difficulties; liver problems; increased risk of cancerDischarge from rubber and chemical factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsDinoseb0.0070.007Reproductive difficultiesRunoff from herbicide used on soybeans and vegetablesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic ChemicalsDioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD)00.00000003Reproductive difficulties; increased risk of cancerEmissions from waste incineration and other combustion; discharge from chemical factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsDiquat0.020.02CataractsRunoff from herbicide useActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsEndothall0.10.1Stomach and intestinal problemsRunoff from herbicide useActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsEndrin0.0020.002Liver problemsResidue of banned insecticideActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsEpichlorohydrin0Treatment Technique, cannot use concentration higher than 0.01% at a dose of 20mg/LIncreased cancer risk, stomach problemsDischarge from industrial chemical factories; an impurity of some water treatment chemicalsActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsEthylbenzene0.70.7Liver or kidneys problemsDischarge from petroleum refineriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsEthylene dibromide00.00005Problems with liver, stomach, reproductive system, or kidneys; increased risk of cancerDischarge from petroleum refineriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic ChemicalsGlyphosate0.70.7Kidney problems; reproductive difficultiesRunoff from herbicide useActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsHeptachlor00.0004Liver damage; increased risk of cancerResidue of banned termiticideActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic ChemicalsHeptachlor epoxide00.0002Liver damage; increased risk of cancerBreakdown of heptachlorActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic ChemicalsHexachlorobenzene00.001Liver or kidney problems; reproductive difficulties; increased risk of cancerDischarge from metal refineries and agricultural chemical factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsHexachlorocyclopentadiene0.050.05Kidney or stomach problemsDischarge from chemical factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic ChemicalsLindane0.00020.0002Liver or kidney problemsRunoff/leaching from insecticide used on cattle, lumber, gardensActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic ChemicalsMethoxychlor0.040.04Reproductive difficultiesRunoff/leaching from insecticide used on fruits, vegetables, alfalfa, livestockActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic ChemicalsOxamyl (Vydate)0.20.2Slight nervous system effectsRunoff/leaching from insecticide used on apples, potatoes, and tomatoesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsPolychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)00.0005Skin changes; thymus gland problems; immune deficiencies; reproductive or nervous system difficulties; increased risk of cancerRunoff from landfills; discharge of waste chemicalsActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsPentachlorophenol00.001Liver or kidney problems; increased cancer riskDischarge from wood preserving factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic ChemicalsPicloram0.50.5Liver problemsHerbicide runoffActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsSimazine0.0040.004Problems with bloodHerbicide runoffActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsStyrene0.10.1Liver, kidney, or circulatory system problemsDischarge from rubber and plastic factories; leaching from landfillsActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic ChemicalsTetrachloroethylene00.005Liver problems; increased risk of cancerDischarge from factories and dry cleanersActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsToluene11Nervous system, kidney, or liver problemsDischarge from petroleum factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsToxaphene00.003Kidney, liver, or thyroid problems; increased risk of cancerRunoff/leaching from insecticide used on cotton and cattleActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic Chemicals2,4,5-TP (Silvex)0.050.05Liver problemsResidue of banned herbicideActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic Chemicals1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene0.070.07Changes in adrenal glandsDischarge from textile finishing factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic Chemicals1,1,1-Trichloroethane0.20.2Liver, nervous system, or circulatory problemsDischarge from metal degreasing sites and other factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic Chemicals1,1,2-Trichloroethane0.0030.005Liver, kidney, or immune system problemsDischarge from industrial chemical factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic ChemicalsTrichloroethylene00.005Liver problems; increased risk of cancerDischarge from metal degreasing sites and other factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
Organic ChemicalsVinyl chloride00.002Increased risk of cancerLeaching from PVC pipes; discharge from plastic factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, EPA
Organic ChemicalsXylenes (total)1010Nervous system damageDischarge from petroleum and chemical factoriesActivated carbon filtration, Reverse Osmosis, AerationEPA, NSF, EPA
RadionuclidesAlpha particles015 picocuries per Liter (pCi/L)Increased risk of cancerErosion of natural deposits of certain minerals that are radioactiveReverse Osmosis, Alum TreatmentEPA, EPA
RadionuclidesBeta particles and photon emitters04 millirems per yearIncreased risk of cancerDecay of natural and man-made deposits of certain minerals that are radioactiveReverse Osmosis, Alum TreatmentEPA, EPA
RadionuclidesRadium 226 and Radium 228 (combined)05 pCi/LIncreased risk of cancerErosion of natural depositsIon Exchange, Reverse Osmosis, Alum TreatmentEPA, CDC, NSF
RadionuclidesUranium030 ug/LIncreased risk of cancer, kidney toxicityErosion of natural depositsIon Exchange, Reverse Osmosis, Alum TreatmentEPA, EPA
View the original EPA tables
Build Your System

Contact to Listing Owner

Captcha Code
My cart
Your cart is empty.

Looks like you haven't made a choice yet.