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National survey of MTBE and other VOCs in community drinking-water sources

January 1, 2001

Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) is a volatile organic compound (VOC) that is added to gasoline either seasonally or year round in many parts of the United States to increase the octane level and to reduce carbon monoxide and ozone levels in the air. The chemical properties and widespread use of MTBE can result in contamination of private and public drinking-water sources. MTBE contamination is a concern in drinking water because of the compound's low taste and odor threshold and potential human-health effects.

Because of this concern, a survey was initiated in collaboration with researchers and water suppliers. The purpose of this survey is to provide sound, unbiased, scientific information on the occurrence of MTBE and other VOCs in ground water, reservoirs, and rivers that are sources of drinking water used by communities of various sizes throughout the Nation. This fact sheet presents a general description of the survey.

Publication Year 2001
Title National survey of MTBE and other VOCs in community drinking-water sources
DOI 10.3133/fs06401
Authors Rick M. Clawges, Barbara L. Rowe, John S. Zogorski
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Fact Sheet
Series Number 064-01
Index ID fs06401
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Illinois Water Science Center; Dakota Water Science Center