I-TEAM: How do you check GA and SC's water databases?

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Friday, Nov. 15, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- We trust the water coming out of our faucets to be safe.

But the people of Denmark trusted their water for nearly a decade before learning DHEC allowed city officials to inject a non-EPA approved chemical into a public well.

This week, our I-Team exposed other communities in South Carolina also used the same chemical in drinking water. How do you know if your water is safe?

Georgia and South Carolina use similar databases to track public water systems. The databases list chemicals, metals, and violations inspectors find in each and every public water system in the state.

Here's how to find out what is in your water. In Georgia, go to GeorgiaDrinkingWater.net. South Carolina's website is Drinking Water Watch.

Let's search Richmond County under community water system. That's the public water system. You can choose sample date, that's when the state tests the water. We are going to search from November 2017 to November 2019.

What you want to pay attention to is on the left of the screen. You can check for lead levels. You can also check for chemicals. The last test was about a month ago. Let's take a look at the first sample. Less than indicator is good. More than the indicator is bad. As you can see, total haloacetic acids and TTHM are two of nine chemicals above the indicator. Both are linked to cancer. The state is monitoring these chemicals in Richmond County until the end of the year.

The database also list violations and enforcement actions. We noticed the South Carolina website is not up to date with the violations, so beware of that when you search. Let's take a look at Richmond County's violations. The last one is from 2016. It was for water treatment technique.

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