The Environmental Working Group (EWG) says rural water systems have high levels of nitrates. A new report and database released by EWG this week found that the 30 utilities with the distinction of the highest nitrate contamination in tests between 2010 and 2015 all exceeded the legal limit. And all 30 served small populations in rural, farm-based economies, according to Politico. The research says that nitrates, a chemical from animal waste or agricultural fertilizers, was detected in more than 1,800 water systems in 2015, serving seven million people in 48 states above the level that research by the National Cancer Institute shows increases the risk of cancer – a level just half of the federal government’s legal limit for nitrate in drinking water. EWG’s recently released national Tap Water Database allows users to search by zip code and learn about tap water quality. EWG researchers spent the last two years collecting data from state agencies and the EPA for drinking water tests conducted from 2010 to 2015 by 48,712 water utilities in all 50 states and D.C.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.