A number of Houston-area water systems, including the City of Houston itself, are included in a new report highlighting contaminants found in drinking water that could post a risk to human health.
The report, created by the nonprofit National Resources Defense Council, calls for more stringent enforcement of the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act, which regulates various contaminants found in drinking water.
The NDRC used 2015 reports submitted to the EPA by the State of Texas, as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act, to compile the data.
Reports are required to be submitted quarterly to the EPA, NDRC spokeswoman Margie Kelly said.
For the entire state, coliform contaminant violations affected the largest population in 2015, with 127 coliform violations and more than 3 million people affected.
Coliforms in drinking water show there may be organisms present that could cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea and headaches in healthy people and can be more serious for children, elderly or immune-compromised people, the NDRC states in its report.
Other common contaminants include disinfectants and their byproducts, lead and copper and radionuclides, which potentially could cause cancer.
In 2015, the City of Houston's water system was the largest system with health-related violations, serving 2.2 million people.