Frequent Questions

How will I know if I have perchlorate in my drinking water?

EPA analyzed samples from 3,865 public water systems collected between 2001 and 2005 as part of the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation 1 (UCMR1). EPA found that 160 Public Water Systems, located in 26 States and 2 territories, had at least 1 analytical detection of perchlorate over the minimum reporting level of 4 g/L. The Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation is used to collect data for contaminants suspected to be present in drinking water, but do not have health-based standards set under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Consumers interested in determining if their water system was sampled and/or had a perchlorate detection can search the UCMR1 List 1 and List 2 chemical monitoring data PivotTable located at this website. This dataset can be used to retrieve monitoring results pertaining to an area by selecting the state and contaminant of interest. You may also call your drinking water utility or state drinking water program to learn the results of past monitoring or to find out if monitoring is required in your state. Some states have issued drinking water standards for perchlorate. If there is no requirement for monitoring in your state, you can have your water analyzed by a laboratory that is certified for the analysis of perchlorate or similar compounds. An EPA website provides a list of state certification officers or links to certified laboratories in your state. The contacts provided may be able to assist you in finding an appropriate laboratory. You can also call your local public health office to determine if they are aware of any problems with perchlorate in your area.

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