EWG's Tap Water Database — 2021 UPDATE


Carbon tetrachloride

Status: National drinking water standard exists


Carbon tetrachloride, a volatile carcinogenic solvent, has been used in industrial chemical production and as a dry cleaning ingredient. Read More.

Carbon tetrachloride is no longer permitted in products intended for home use in the U.S. In the past, it was widely used as a dry cleaning ingredient, fire extinguishing chemical, pesticide and chemical intermediate for manufacturing refrigerants. Carbon tetrachloride does not break down easily and can remain in groundwater for years. In addition to increasing cancer risk, carbon tetrachloride harms the liver and causes central nervous system depression, irregular heart rate, and kidney damage. Maternal exposure to carbon tetrachloride in drinking water has been associated with a risk of birth defects.

Click here to read more about carcinogenic VOCs.




states detected


utilities detected

3.1 million

people served


states over health guideline


utilities over health guideline

1.4 million

people served over health guideline

Health concerns for carbon tetrachloride


Harm to the liver

Harm to the central nervous system

Harm to the kidney

Decrease in fertility

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EWG Health Guideline 0.1 ppb

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.1 ppb for carbon tetrachloride was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

EPA Maximum Contaminant
Level (MCL) 5 ppb

The legal limit for carbon tetrachloride, established in 1987, was based on analytical detection limits at the time that the standard was set. This limit does not fully protect against the risk of cancer due to carbon tetrachloride exposure.

ppb = parts per billion

States reporting carbon tetrachloride in drinking water

State UtilitiesPeople Served UtilitiesPeople Served
New Jersey110010420,184
New York957,47219326,842
North Carolina77,18589,005
West Virginia0013,528
New Mexico12,02112,021
New Hampshire001625

Filtering technologies that reduce carbon tetrachloride

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Activated Carbon

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Reverse Osmosis

Utilities with the highest amounts of carbon tetrachloride, 2017-2019

UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
Garber Municipal AuthorityGarber, OK13 of 136.21 ppb845
CullomCullom, IL1 of 24.83 ppb563
Melody Manor SubdivisionReeds Spring, MO1 of 44.18 ppb71
Pueblo Heights Mobile Home ParkGlobe, AZ2 of 72.41 ppb400
Route 66 HomesCuba, MO1 of 72.27 ppb35
Rustic Ridge Mobile Home ParkBunn, NC8 of 132.05 ppb117
Rose CreekRose Creek, MN3 of 71.69 ppb400
Riley`s Mobile Home ParkChapel Hill, NC1 of 121.50 ppb65
Ridgewood Mobile Home ParkChapel Hill, NC2 of 41.45 ppb135
Kress Municipal Water SystemKress, TX16 of 311.43 ppb715
Belfast Township Muni AuthorityNeedmore, PA5 of 71.40 ppb276
Sherwood Forest Water CompanySherwood Forest, MD1 of 11.31 ppb1,200
Greenfield Public Works AuthorityGreenfield, OK10 of 111.21 ppb123
Geary*Geary, OK10 of 111.21 ppb1,258
Upland, Village ofUpland, NE5 of 121.12 ppb176
Bicknell Municipal UtilitiesFreelandville, IN1 of 101.10 ppb4,064
Ponderosa Community Services DistrictSpringville, CA2 of 141.08 ppb200
Bladen, Village ofBladen, NE3 of 81.08 ppb237
Raymond, Village ofWaverly, NE7 of 160.831 ppb220
Hicksville WDHicksville, NY318 of 1,3920.746 ppb48,000
Treasure IslandBurlingame, CA2 of 40.725 ppb2,400
San Francisco City Water System*Burlingame, CA2 of 40.725 ppb800,000
Pierceton Water WorksPierceton, IN1 of 20.700 ppb1,100
Guilford Lake EstatesTallmadge, OH1 of 30.693 ppb125
Morrisville State CollegeMadison, NY12 of 200.660 ppb3,450
Lower Rio Grande Public Water Works Authority East MesaAnthony, NM5 of 130.635 ppb2,021
Claflin, City ofClaflin, KS8 of 220.582 ppb612
Lincoln Avenue Water CompanyAltadena, CA26 of 970.551 ppb16,000
Shade Tree AcresDenver, NC4 of 60.508 ppb28
Copeland, City ofCopeland, KS3 of 50.502 ppb298
SIRWA #2 (Creston)*Creston, IA1 of 10.500 ppb18,510
Lenox Water SupplyLenox, IA1 of 10.500 ppb1,407
Oak Ridge Mobile Home ParkAllenhurst, GA1 of 30.500 ppb81
Mount Ayr Water Treatment PlantMount Ayr, IA1 of 10.500 ppb1,691
Bingham Woods Mobile Home ParkChapel Hill, NC1 of 30.500 ppb190
Diagonal Water DepartmentDiagonal, IA1 of 10.500 ppb330
Kellerton Water SupplyKellerton, IA1 of 10.500 ppb315
Murray Water WorksMurray, IA1 of 10.500 ppb756
Bedford Water WorksBedford, IA1 of 10.500 ppb1,485
Ausable Heights Water SystemKeeseville, NY1 of 10.500 ppb46
SebekaSebeka, MN1 of 10.450 ppb676
Cmu - Lake CarolineCanton, MS1 of 110.408 ppb5,066
Lee Villa Mobile Home ParkAdrian, MI4 of 50.400 ppb283
New Madrid County Public Water Supply District 5Gideon, MO3 of 140.384 ppb2,200
Rocky River Plantation S/d*Charlotte, NC1 of 60.383 ppb264
Mcmillian Acres S/dHarrisburg, NC1 of 60.383 ppb71
Utilities Inc. - North Folsom HillsMandeville, LA2 of 80.378 ppb81
Echols County Water AuthorityStatenville, GA9 of 180.371 ppb824
Morrowville, City ofMorrowville, KS4 of 150.368 ppb76
Washington County Rural Water District 1*Hanover, KS4 of 150.368 ppb1,093

* This water utility supplies finished drinking water to at least one other water utility. The purchasing utility is not required to test for or report Carbon tetrachloride, but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.

UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
Hicksville WDHicksville, NY318 of 1,3920.746 ppb48,000
San Francisco City Water System*Burlingame, CA2 of 40.725 ppb800,000
Lincoln Avenue Water CompanyAltadena, CA26 of 970.551 ppb16,000
SIRWA #2 (Creston)*Creston, IA1 of 10.500 ppb18,510
City of Salina*Salina, KS1 of 30.313 ppb46,716
City of Mount Holly*Mount Holly, NC1 of 100.280 ppb17,780
City of Odessa*Odessa, TX1 of 60.240 ppb97,802
Ector County Utility DistrictOdessa, TX1 of 60.240 ppb15,300
City of Brenham*Brenham, TX2 of 90.211 ppb15,716
City of Mercedes*Mercedes, TX1 of 90.211 ppb15,700
Sioux City Water Supply*Sioux City, IA1 of 50.200 ppb82,759
City of Heath PWSHeath, OH1 of 30.167 ppb10,000
Lakeshore Swartz Water SystemWest Monroe, LA2 of 120.125 ppb11,330
North Monroe Et Al Water SystemWest Monroe, LA2 of 120.125 ppb10,866
Monroe Water System*Monroe, LA2 of 120.125 ppb52,572
Auburn Water SystemCrestview, FL7 of 150.117 ppb25,344
City of Denison*Denison, TX1 of 100.111 ppb22,682
Tinker AFB Bio-env Eng*Tinker Afb, OK1 of 580.110 ppb24,645
Rockingham, City ofRockingham, NC1 of 100.110 ppb13,233
Cal/Am Water Company - San MarinoRosemead, CA96 of 6250.107 ppb40,804
Pennsylvania American Norristown*Norristown, PA1 of 80.1000 ppb86,700
Pasadena*Pasadena, CA142 of 1,3540.0893 ppb165,740
Bethpage WDBethpage, NY67 of 9410.0871 ppb33,000
St Charles*St. Charles, IL1 of 190.0789 ppb33,264
City of San JuanSan Juan, TX1 of 120.0750 ppb30,027
Harris County MUD 167Houston, TX1 of 120.0750 ppb10,999
IL American-granite City*Belleville, IL1 of 70.0714 ppb40,541
East Montgomery Utility DistrictClarksville, TN1 of 110.0713 ppb16,812
Grafton WaterworksGrafton, WI2 of 1450.0703 ppb11,745
Gloucester City W DepartmentGloucester City, NJ1 of 250.0680 ppb12,460
South Bethany*Newark, DE1 of 160.0669 ppb15,771
McAllen Public UtilityMcallen, TX1 of 150.0667 ppb173,388
City of LivingstonLivingston, TX1 of 90.0667 ppb11,692
Assumption Parish Waterworks District 1*Napoleonville, LA2 of 180.0656 ppb22,862
Bladen County Water Dist-West Bladen*Elizabethtown, NC1 of 770.0649 ppb12,014
City of Jacksonville*Jacksonville, TX1 of 340.0612 ppb14,544
Livingston Twp Div of WaterLivingston Twp, NJ7 of 1410.0579 ppb27,391
City of San Angelo*San Angelo, TX1 of 170.0529 ppb100,450
City of RidgelandRidgeland, MS2 of 200.0517 ppb24,047
Lake MonticelloRockville, VA1 of 70.0514 ppb11,675
Harlingen Water Works System*Harlingen, TX1 of 120.0500 ppb85,900
US Army Aviation and Missile CommandRedstone Arsenal, AL2 of 130.0496 ppb38,700
Kempner WSC*Kempner, TX1 of 130.0462 ppb19,313
Dover Township Water Sys*Dover, PA2 of 340.0441 ppb21,097
Deep Run Water CorporationDeep Run, NC1 of 280.0429 ppb13,332
Miami*Miami, OK1 of 160.0400 ppb13,704
Fort Smith Water Utilities*Fort Smith, AR1 of 140.0371 ppb86,209
Van Buren Waterworks*Van Buren, AR1 of 140.0371 ppb22,725
Northwest Harris County MUD 5*Houston, TX1 of 190.0316 ppb16,368
Sidney City PWSSidney, OH1 of 230.0291 ppb21,229

* This water utility supplies finished drinking water to at least one other water utility. The purchasing utility is not required to test for or report Carbon tetrachloride, but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.