This is a legacy version of the WELL Building Standard. Please check the latest version here.

Organic contaminants

Organic contaminants are generally found in trace amounts in ground and surface waters and may pose serious threats to human health. Common sources of organic pollutants include industrial activities that inadvertently leach chemical runoff into surface waters. Exposure to organic contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and vinyl chloride in drinking water has been associated with a range of adverse health effects, including cancer, immune deficiencies and nervous system difficulties.

This feature sets maximum limits for organic contaminants like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), benzene and styrene. Activated carbon filters are effective in removing these and other harmful chemical substances.

Part 1: Organic Pollutants

All water being delivered to the project area for human consumption meets the following limits:

a.45 Styrene less than 0.0005 mg/L.
b.44 Benzene less than 0.001 mg/L.
c.44 Ethylbenzene less than 0.3 mg/L.
d.54 Polychlorinated biphenyls less than 0.0005 mg/L.
e.54 Vinyl chloride less than 0.002 mg/L.
f.44 Toluene less than 0.15 mg/L.
g.53 Xylenes (total: m, p and o) less than 0.5 mg/L.
h.54 Tetrachloroethylene less than 0.005 mg/L.
Reproductive
Nervous
Immune
Endocrine
Digestive
Urinary

Applicability Matrix

Core & Shell New & Existing Buildings New & Existing Interiors
Part 1: Organic Pollutants P P P
Commercial Kitchen Education Multifamily Residential Restaurant Retail
Part 1: Organic Pollutants P P P P P

Verification Methods Matrix

Letters of Assurance Annotated Documents On-Site Checks
Part 1: Organic Pollutants Performance Test
44

California Water Boards. Maximum Contaminant Levels and Regulatory Dates for Drinking Water US EPA vs California. http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/certlic/drinkingwater/documents/dwdocuments/MCLsEPAvsDWP-2014-07-01.pdf. Sacramento: California Environmental Protection Agency; 2014.

32.1.f

The California Environmental Protection Agency regulates Toluene in drinking water to a Maximum Contaminant Level set at 0.15 mg/L.

32.1.b

The California Environmental Protection Agency regulates Benzene in drinking water to a Maximum Contaminant Level set at 0.001 mg/L.

32.1.c

The California Environmental Protection Agency regulates Ethylbenzene in drinking water to a Maximum Contaminant Level of 0.3 mg/L.

45

Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Public Health Goal for Styrene in Drinking Water. Sacramento: California Environmental Protection Agency; 2010: 1.

32.1.a

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and the California EPA set a public health goal of Styrene in water at 0.5 µg/L.

53

World Health Organization. Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality Fourth Edition. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2011: 26, 371, 383, 416, 433.

32.1.g

The WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality set a guideline value for Xylene concentrations at 0.5 mg/L.

54

Office of Water. 2012 Edition of the Drinking Water Standards and Health Advisories. Washington D.C.: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; 2012: 2, 3, 5-11.

32.1.d

The EPA's Drinking Water Standards and Health Advisories set a Maximum Contaminant Level for Polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations at 0.0005 mg/L.

32.1.e

The EPA's Drinking Water Standards and Health Advisories set a Maximum Contaminant Level for Vinyl Chloride at 0.002 mg/L.

32.1.h

The EPA's Drinking Water Standards and Health Advisories set a Maximum Contaminant Level for Tetrachloroethylene concentrations at 0.005 mg/L.