Database on Contaminants & Water Sources
- EPA Announces the First National Database on
Contaminants, Water Sources is Now Available
- Daily Environment Report,
- August 9, 1999, pA-1.
Protection Agency announced on August 5, 1999 that the first national database on both
regulated and unregulated contaminants in public drinking water is now available. The
agency stated that the National Contaminant Occurrence Database (NCOD) is designed to
support EPA decisions on regulating contaminants and, as a part of its right-to-know
initiative, will provide the public with heretofore inaccessible data on contaminants in
their water and the sources of that water.
The information will be used extensively for public health and
scientific purposes. However, the agency warned the public to use this information
"cautiously, since many of the contaminants occur below health effect or regulatory
levels or are rarely found." The EPA was required by the Safe Drinking Water Act
Amendments of 1996 to make such a database available by August 6.
The databases contain information from public water systems, the
U.S. Geological Survey National Water System (SDWA) on physical, chemical, microbial, and
radiological contaminants as well as other sources. Since the NCOD does not analyze data,
the EPA has said that more useful information on the quality of water may be obtained from
"consumer confidence reports." SWDA requires water utilities to send customers
annual reports on the quality of their water beginning in October.
The database in available at: http://www.epa.gov/ncod