About the University of Cincinnati Study Evaluating Drinking Water Quality for Major Metropolitan Areas

In order to ensure safe drinking water supplies, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency has established Drinking Water Standards for numerous contaminants in your drinking water. Drinking water utilities face a number of challenges in meeting these standards, and for providing clean, safe, and good-tasting water to your home. Challenges such as aging infrastructure and contamination of the source water can result in a wide range of contaminant concentrations. A study was undertaken by the University of Cincinnati to determine the overall range of contaminant concentrations in the nation’s drinking waters, and to illustrate water quality using a Scorecard that compares measured contaminant levels across U.S. metropolitan areas.

The study covered 80 major metropolitan areas from the lower 48 states, representing approximately one-hundred seventy-six million people. The most common contaminant levels were obtained from major metro area drinking water utilities’ Water Quality or Consumer Confidence Report, mailed to customers annually. From these reports, annual minimum, average, and maximum contaminant values, representing the range of values encountered by customers, were extracted. Because maximum values were most often reported by utilities, these were used in the Scorecard calculation. Read the Report about how the Scorecard was developed.