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Fact Sheet 2008–3094

Prepared as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program, Source Water-Quality Assessment

Man-Made Organic Compounds in Source Water of Nine Community Water Systems that Withdraw from Streams, 2002–05

By James A. Kingsbury, Gregory C. Delzer, and Pixie A. Hamilton

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Initial findings from a national study by the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) characterize the occurrence of about 250 anthropogenic organic compounds in source water (defined as water collected at a surface-water intake prior to water treatment) at nine community water systems in nine States in the Nation. The organic compounds analyzed in this study are primarily man-made and include pesticides, solvents, gasoline hydrocarbons, personal-care and domestic-use products, disinfection by-products, and manufacturing additives. The study also describes and compares the occurrence of selected compounds detected in source water with their occurrence in finished water, which is defined as water that has passed through treatment processes but prior to distribution. This fact sheet summarizes major findings and implications of the study and serves as a companion product to two USGS reports that present more detailed and technical information for the nine systems studied during 2002–05 (Carter and others, 2007; Kingsbury and others, 2008).

Version 1.0

Posted December 2008

For additional information contact:
Director, USGS South Dakota Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
1608 Mt. View Rd.
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 394–3200
World Wide Web:

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Suggested citation:

Kingsbury, J.A., Delzer, G.C., and Hamilton, P.A., 2008, Man-made organic compounds in source water of nine community water systems that withdraw from streams, 2002–05: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2008–3094, 6 p.


Occurrence of Organic Compounds in Source Water and Their Relevance to Human-Health Benchmarks

Compounds Commonly Detected in Source Water

Comparisons Between Source Water and Finished Water

Mixtures and Pesticide Degradates

Possible Implications and Utility of These Findings


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