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EPA-Expo-Box (A Toolbox for Exposure Assessors)

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Water and Sediment

Overview

Water

Contaminated media to which people may be exposed include air, water and sediment, soil and dust, food, aquatic biota, and consumer products. Surface water can be contaminated by direct discharges (e.g., from industrial, commercial, agricultural, or residential sites) or indirect discharges (e.g., groundwater contaminants that have migrated to surface water; storm water runoff; settling of contaminants from the atmosphere). Pollutants in surface water can sink and contaminate sediments. Groundwater can become contaminated when pollutants in subsoil leach to groundwater. Contaminated surface water or groundwater might be used as a source of drinking water.

Exposure to contaminants in water can occur by direct ingestion (e.g., drinking water); indirect ingestion (e.g., consuming foods and drinks made with water); incidental ingestion (e.g., swallowing water while swimming); dermal contact (e.g., during showering or bathing, while swimming or wading in surface water); or inhalation (e.g., inhaling vapors during showering). Exposure to contaminants in sediment would likely occur through dermal contact (e.g., while wading or playing in water). The concentrations of contaminants in water or sediment at the point of exposure may differ from the concentration at the source as a result of fate and transport processes (e.g., dilution, biodegradation). Various tools are available for evaluating sources and releases of contaminants to water, fate and transport processes, and potential exposure concentrations. Exposure factors, calculation tools, and guidance for assessing exposure to contaminants in water are also provided.

Information about EPA’s Water Programs can be found here:
http://water.epa.gov/ and http://www.epa.gov/gateway/science/water.html

The National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWRs or primary standards) are legally enforceable standards that apply to public water systems to protect public health by limiting the levels of contaminants in drinking water. Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for various chemicals are available at:
http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm#Primary

EPA’s Watershed Assessment, Tracking & Environmental ResultS (WATERS) program provides a comprehensive listing of resources for assessing water quality:
http://www.epa.gov/waters/

Information from the US Geological Survey on water resources can be found at:
http://www.usgs.gov/water/

State, USGS, and EPA Regional water websites are provided in the following tables. Links to state, local, and regional water programs are also available here:
http://water.epa.gov/type/location/

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U.S. State Water Resources
State URLs
Alabama http://www.adem.state.al.us/programs/water/default.cnt
http://al.water.usgs.gov/
Alaska http://dec.alaska.gov/water/
http://alaska.usgs.gov/science/water/index.php
Arizona http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/water/index.html
http://az.water.usgs.gov/
Arkansas http://www.adeq.state.ar.us/water/
http://ar.water.usgs.gov/
California http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Pages/DDWEM.aspx
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/drinkingwater/Pages/default.aspx
http://ca.water.usgs.gov/
Colorado http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/wq/
http://co.water.usgs.gov/
Connecticut http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2719&q=325520&depNav_GID=1654
http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3139&q=387304&dphNav_GID=1824&dphPNavCtr=|#47062
http://ct.water.usgs.gov/
Delaware http://portal.delaware.gov/waterquality/
http://md.water.usgs.gov/
Florida http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/
http://fl.water.usgs.gov/
Georgia http://www.georgiaepd.org/Documents/wpb.html#dwp
http://ga.water.usgs.gov/
Hawaii http://hawaii.gov/health/environmental/water/index.html
http://hi.water.usgs.gov/
Idaho http://www.idwr.idaho.gov/
http://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality.aspx
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/id/nwis
Illinois http://www.epa.state.il.us/water/index.html
http://il.water.usgs.gov/
Indiana http://www.in.gov/idem/5219.htm
http://www.in.gov/dnr/water/
http://in.water.usgs.gov/
Iowa http://www.iowadnr.gov/InsideDNR/RegulatoryWater.aspx
http://ia.water.usgs.gov/
Kansas http://www.kdheks.gov/water/index.html
http://ks.water.usgs.gov/
Kentucky http://water.ky.gov/waterquality/Pages/default.aspx
http://ky.water.usgs.gov/
Louisiana http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/Default.aspx?tabid=108
http://la.water.usgs.gov/
Maine http://www.maine.gov/dep/water/index.html
http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/environmental-health/water/
http://me.water.usgs.gov/
Maryland http://www.mde.state.md.us/PROGRAMS/WATER/Pages/Programs/WaterPrograms/index.aspx
http://md.water.usgs.gov/
Massachusetts http://www.mass.gov/dep/water/laws/regulati.htm
http://ma.water.usgs.gov/
Michigan http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135-3313_3686---,00.html
http://mi.water.usgs.gov/
Minnesota http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/water/index.html
http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/water/
http://mn.water.usgs.gov/
Mississippi http://www.deq.state.ms.us/mdeq.nsf/page/SurfaceWater_home?OpenDocument
http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/44,0,76.html
http://ms.water.usgs.gov/
Missouri http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/index.html
http://mo.water.usgs.gov/
Montana http://www.deq.mt.gov/wqinfo/default.mcpx
http://deq.mt.gov/wqinfo/pws/default.mcpx
http://mt.water.usgs.gov/
Nebraska http://www.deq.state.ne.us/
http://ne.water.usgs.gov/
Nevada http://ndep.nv.gov/bwpc/index.htm
http://ndep.nv.gov/bwqp/index.htm
http://ndep.nv.gov/bsdw/index.htm
http://nevada.usgs.gov/water/
New Hampshire http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/index.htm
http://nh.water.usgs.gov/index.html
New Jersey http://www.nj.gov/dep/dwq/
http://www.state.nj.us/dep/watersupply/
http://nj.usgs.gov/
New Mexico http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/gwb/
http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/dwb/Index.htm
http://nm.water.usgs.gov/
New York http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/290.html
http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/
http://ny.water.usgs.gov/
North Carolina http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/wq
http://nc.water.usgs.gov/infodata/waterquality.html
North Dakota http://www.ndhealth.gov/wq/
http://www.ndhealth.gov/mf/dw.html
http://nd.water.usgs.gov/qw/
Ohio http://www.epa.ohio.gov/water.aspx
http://oh.water.usgs.gov/
Oklahoma http://www.deq.state.ok.us/wqdnew/
http://ok.water.usgs.gov/
Oregon http://www.oregon.gov/DEQ/WQ/
http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/DrinkingWater/Pages/index.aspx
http://or.water.usgs.gov/
Pennsylvania http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/water/6008
http://pa.water.usgs.gov/
Rhode Island http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/water/quality/index.htm
http://www.health.ri.gov/drinkingwaterquality/
http://ri.water.usgs.gov/
South Carolina http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/water/
http://sc.water.usgs.gov/
South Dakota http://denr.sd.gov/linkswaternav.aspx
http://sd.water.usgs.gov/
Tennessee http://www.tn.gov/environment/water/
http://www.tn.gov/environment/water/water-supply_drinking-water-program.shtml
http://tn.water.usgs.gov/
Texas http://www.tceq.texas.gov/agency/water_main.html
http://tx.usgs.gov/
Utah http://www.waterquality.utah.gov/
http://www.drinkingwater.utah.gov/
http://ut.water.usgs.gov/
Vermont http://www.vtwaterquality.org/
http://www.vermontdrinkingwater.org/
http://nh.water.usgs.gov/index.html
Virginia http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water.aspx
http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/ODW/
http://va.water.usgs.gov/
Washington http://www.ecy.wa.gov/water.html
http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/dw/
http://wa.water.usgs.gov/water_issues/qual.htm
West Virginia http://www.dep.wv.gov/water/Pages/default.aspx
http://www.wvdhhr.org/oehs/eed/SWAP/
http://www.wvdhhr.org/oehs/eed/
http://wv.usgs.gov/
Wisconsin http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/water.html
http://wi.water.usgs.gov/
Wyoming http://deq.state.wy.us/wqd/
http://wy.water.usgs.gov/

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U.S. EPA Regional Water Websites
EPA Region URLs
1: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont http://www.epa.gov/region1/topics/index.html
2: New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico , U.S. Virgin Islands http://www.epa.gov/region02/water/
3: Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, District of Columbia http://www.epa.gov/reg3wapd/index.htm
4: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee http://www.epa.gov/region4/water/
5: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin http://www.epa.gov/r5water/
6: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas http://www.epa.gov/region6/water/
7: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska http://www.epa.gov/region7/water/
8: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming http://www.epa.gov/region8/water/
9: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, territories of Guam and American Samoa http://www.epa.gov/region9/water/
10: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/WATER.NSF/homepage/water

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