Arsenic is a highly toxic chemical that can pose serious health risks when present in drinking water. In the city of Aberdeen, South Dakota, the local water utility has been dealing with the issue of arsenic contamination in tap water. This article will discuss the findings of recent tests conducted by the water utility, the guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and what this means for the residents of Aberdeen.

Arsenic Contamination and Drinking Water

Aberdeen is not the only city in South Dakota to face the problem of arsenic in its water supply. Arsenic is naturally found in the environment and can leach into groundwater, which is a common source of drinking water for many communities. When consumed in high levels, arsenic can cause various health problems, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and developmental issues in children.

The EPA has set a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for arsenic in drinking water at 10 micrograms per liter (μg/L) or parts per billion (ppb). This guideline is based on extensive research and is meant to ensure safe drinking water for the general population. It is the responsibility of water systems and utilities to regularly test their water and ensure that it meets the EPA’s standards.

The Aberdeen Water System

The Aberdeen arsenic crisis water system consists of various sources, including groundwater wells and surface water reservoirs. The Department of Environmental and Natural Resources is responsible for monitoring the quality of water in Aberdeen and ensuring that it complies with the EPA’s guidelines.

In recent years, the water utility in Aberdeen has detected levels of arsenic in the tap water that exceed the EPA’s MCL. This information is provided to the public through the Water Quality Report, which is released annually. The report shows the results of tests conducted by the water utility and provides information on the contaminants detected and their levels.

In addition to arsenic, other chemicals such as chromium have also been found in the tap water. These contaminants are typically byproducts of industrial and agricultural activities and can also pose health risks when consumed in high levels. Therefore, it is important to regularly test the water supply and address any issues promptly.

Contaminants Detected

Hey guys, guess what? We just got news that contaminants have been found in our water supply. Can you believe it? I mean, seriously, of all the things that could go wrong, this is definitely not what we need right now. I don’t know about you, but I’m not thrilled about the idea of drinking water that’s probably got all sorts of nasty stuff in it.

I mean, who knows what kind of chemicals or bacteria are lurking in there? It’s just not cool, you know? And it’s not like we can just switch to bottled water either, that stuff gets expensive real fast. I really hope they figure out what’s causing this contamination and fix it ASAP. Our health and well-being kinda depend on it. In the meantime, I guess we’ll just have to be extra careful and maybe invest in some good water filters. Stay safe, everyone!

The Role of the EPA and EWG

The EPA plays a crucial role in setting standards and guidelines for drinking water quality. Their mandate is to protect human health and the environment by ensuring that public water systems comply with regulations. The EPA regularly updates its regulations based on the latest scientific research and recommendations.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is an independent organization that provides information and resources to the public regarding environmental issues, including drinking water quality. They analyze data from various sources, including the EWG’s Drinking Water Quality Report, to inform the public about the risks and challenges associated with different water systems across the country.

The EWG’s Drinking Water Quality Report for South Dakota shows that Aberdeen’s water system has consistently exceeded the EPA’s MCL for arsenic. According to the report, the average level of arsenic in the tap water provided by the Aberdeen water utility is around 20 μg/L. This is twice the EPA’s limit and highlights the need for further action to address the issue.

Protecting Yourself from Arsenic Exposure

Given the higher-than-acceptable levels of arsenic found in the tap water in Aberdeen, it is important for residents to take measures to protect themselves from exposure. The most effective way to reduce arsenic exposure is to use a water filter specifically designed to remove this contaminant. Look for filters that are certified by organizations such as NSF International to ensure their effectiveness.

In addition to using a water filter, it is also recommended to limit exposure to arsenic from other sources, such as contaminated soil or air. This may include avoiding activities that involve contact with soil that may contain arsenic, like gardening or playing in dirt. It is also important to be aware of potential sources of airborne arsenic, such as industrial emissions or certain occupations that involve working with arsenic-containing materials.


The issue of arsenic contamination in tap water is a serious concern for the residents of Aberdeen, South Dakota. The tests conducted by the water utility and the findings presented in the EWG’s Drinking Water Quality Report highlight the need for immediate action to address this problem. It is essential for the water utility and the authorities to work together to find a solution that ensures safe drinking water for all residents of Aberdeen.

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