National Drinking Water Database

Enter your zip code to find reports on the quality of your local drinking water, including reports of failure to meet regulations.

This database was developed by the Environmental Working Group (a donor-supported nonprofit) because politics kept getting in the way of the EPA when they tried to do their job.

You may be surprised to know that federal and state regulations do not cover most potential pollution in drinking water – so the reported failures you may see when you look at your local drinking water supply do not come close to capturing the big picture. ( A page will be developed explaining this whole issue as soon as we get a volunteer to write it.  If you are interested in helping with this, filled out the Contact Us form.)

You can access the data by clicking here:  National Drinking Water Database.  Before you begin, you might want to review the “how to use the site” instructions below.


When the report card of violations for North Carolina came up, we wondered about the health impact on our families (these are just 4 of dozens of criteria).

  • Failure to Monitor Regularly ………………………..  19,062

  • Over maximum contaminant level, average…..  1,450

  • Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform)…1,160

  • Failure to report information to the public………..678

Again, using the entire state of North Carolina as an example, here is a sample of what we found when we searched sources of drinking water contaminants:

  • Unregulated Contaminants (EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tap water for these contaminants)  35

  • Agricultural Pollutants (pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms) 33

  • Sprawl and Urban Pollutants (road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)  27

  • Industrial Pollutants    76

  • Naturally Occurring  (naturally present but impacted by agriculture or industrial development) 22

 To see your local situation, enter a zip code.

If you suspect that pollution may be at the root of a local problem, you can go to the menu at the top of this page labeled “Borrow Tools Here” and locate what you need to collect samples and perform tests.  Elsewhere on the website you will find contact information for other Pollution Detectives who can help you get started.

Written by Francis Koster, Ed. D.

Edited by Shannon Garrick, a student at Catawba College on January 13, 2017