Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

Omaha drinking water listed as 7th worst in U.S.

See also

Residents of Omaha may be more inclined to purchase water filters after learning of the dubious safety of the city's water supply. Omaha ranked seventh on a list of the top ten U.S. cities with the lowest quality of drinking water published by Daily Finance. However, the Metropolitan Utility District disputes the results.

Researchers collected water samples from several locations throughout the city over a period of five years. The water quality was ranked based on “the percentage of chemicals found based on the number that were tested for, the total number of contaminants found, [and] the most dangerous average level of a single pollutant.”

Omaha water contained 42 out of the 148 chemicals tested for. Half of the chemicals surpassed health guidelines, and four exceeded the legal limit set by the EPA. Those detected in illegal amounts “were atrazine, trihalomethanes, nitrate and nitrite, and manganese. Atrazine is an herbicide that has been shown to cause birth defects. Nitrate is found in fertilizer, and nitrite is used for curing meat. Manganese was detected at 40 times the legal limit during one month of testing. ”

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) complied data from 45 states and 48,000 communities. Five states, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia, did not submit sufficient data and were discluded from the study. Detroit, Salt Lake City and Washington, D.C. also failed to provide enough data. The article noted that “among the contaminants [from all the data in the study] were 202 chemicals that aren't subject to any government regulation or safety standards for drinking water.”

The Metropolitan Utility District said the study reported “raw” water samples and reported them as “treated,” as well as drawing samples from an unused well. EWG admitted to the Omaha World Herald that some of the data “did not pertain to water that reached Omaha taps,” but argued that their mis-collections “might not ultimately impact the outcome of its test results.”

Advertisement

News

  • Baseball Hall of Fame
    The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown welcomes six new inductees
    Video
    Video
  • 2012 do-over
    If we were to re-do the 2012 election, a new poll suggests Romney would win
    Politics
  • Boko Haram
    Boko Haram kidnaps the wife of the vice prime minister of Cameroon
    World News
  • Ceasefire breaks
    Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu claims Hamas broke another brief ceasefire
    Gaza
  • Close call with CME
    Scientists tell how Earth survived a giant solar flare back in 2012
    Space
  • Comic-Con
    What's going on at Comic-Con? Get all the latest updates here
    Comic-Con