Wednesday, September 21, 2016

America's Contaminated Drinking Water Map

In 1993 Erin Brockovich brought litigation against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company for the contamination of drinking water with hexavalent chromium in the California town of Hinkley. The case led to the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit.

In 2016 the drinking water of two-thirds of Americans is contaminated with the same carcinogenic chemical. The Environmental Working Group has released an interactive map which allows you to find out the levels of Chromium-6 contamination in community water utilities across the United States. The EWG's Chemical Taints in Tap Water map provides a choropleth map view of the average levels of contamination found in community water utility tests at the individual county level.

If you select a county on the map you can discover the number of water systems in the county which have tested positive for chromium-6 and the number of samples which tested positive. You can also view details on the average level of chromium-6 discovered. As a guide to reading these levels you might want to consider that California has a public health goal of a maximum of 0.02 parts per billion of chromium-6 in drinking water.
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