We often don’t think about what’s in our water when it comes out of the faucet clear and without dirty particles.

But a report released Wednesday paints a different picture for even the clearest of water. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its annual report which indicates a presence of harmful contaminants in the Georgia water supply that can cause cancer, developmental issues in children, problems in pregnancy and other serious health conditions.

Health limits and legal limits are set separately and often conflict, which is why 10 contaminants were found in 30 facilities around the state.

And one of the facilities listed in the report of contamination is in Statesboro, Ga.

Radium, a cancer causing agent, was reported in the water in Mill Creek Estates, though tap water provided by this water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.

EWG reports the presence of the radium from naturally occurring sources and from industry-related runoff.

EWG also reported that from January to March 2017, this water utility was in violation of monitoring for contaminants, reporting monitoring tests to state agencies, and notifying consumers as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The full report for Mill Creek Estates is here. 

“There are more than 250 contaminants across our nation’s drinking water,” said Nneka Leiba, director of Health Living Science at EWG. “About 160 of those are unregulated. And that’s a big concern, because if a chemical is unregulated, that means it can be present in our water at any level — and be legal.”

The EWG is an independent nonprofit organization that used outside scientists to assess chemicals and water samples across the country.

The complete list of locations cited is below:

In Georgia, EWG tracked 10 contaminants across the state’s water supply. The following 10 contaminants have been detected above health limits:

  • Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) which are linked to bladder cancer, skin cancer and fetal development issues
  • Chloroform which is linked to cancer and fetal development issues
  • Bromodichloromethane which is linked to harm to child and fetuses, as well as reproductive difficulties
  • Radium-228 which is linked to cancer
  • Dibromochloromethane which is linked to cancer and harm to fetuses
  • Bromate which is linked to cancer
  • Chromium (hexavalent) which is linked to cancer, liver damage and productive system damages
  • Dichloroacetic acid, increases the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy
  • Trichloroacetic acid, increases the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy
  • Chlorate, which impairs thyroid function, making chlorate exposure most harmful during pregnancy and childhood

EWG has released a public database cataloguing contaminants in water systems in every state in the country — the first comprehensive database of its kind that took two years to build. First select the state where you live, and you’ll see state-level data. For more local information, enter your zip code.


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Jessica Szilagyi
Jessica Szilagyi is a Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers."


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