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SOUTH DAKOTA Department of
Agriculture & Natural Resources

Protecting South Dakota's Tomorrow...Today!
Joe Foss Building
523 E Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD 57501-3182
Contact Us  Field Offices

Drinking Water Program

Volatile Organic Contaminants

Volatile Organic Contaminants (VOCs) are man-made compounds used for a variety of industrial and manufacturing purposes.  Volatile Organic Contaminants are not readily dissolved in water and will tend to separate from the water forming gasses.  Volatile Organic Contaminants have various effects on the liver, kidneys, nervous system and some pose a cancer risk.


Do the Volatile Organic Contaminant regulations apply to my water system?

If your water system is a community or non-transient non-community public water systems, they must test for these contaminants.  Transient non-community water systems such as campgrounds or gas stations are not required to test for Volatile Organic Contaminants in their water supply.

Frequency of Sampling

All community and non-transient non-community systems must test each entry point initially for four consecutive quarters.  If there are no detections, they can be reduced to annual monitoring. Groundwater systems with no detections for three years of annual sampling, can be reduced to once every three years and can qualify for a waiver.  Groundwater systems with a waiver must sample once every six years. Surface water systems must continue annual monitoring unless they get a waiver, then they must monitor once every three years.

Actions your water system should be taking

If the annual average of your water system’s tests indicate levels of a Volatile Organic Contaminant higher than the maximum contaminant level (MCL), your system is in violation of the Maximum Contaminant Level.  Your water system must:


Maximum Contaminant Level (mg/l)

Vinyl chloride 0.002
Benzene 0.005
Carbon tetrachloride 0.005
1,2-Dichloroethane 0.005
Trichloroethylene 0.005
para-Dichlorobenzene 0.075
1,1-Dichloroethylene 0.007
1,1,1-Trichloroethane 0.2
cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene 0.07
1,2-Dichloropropane 0.005
Ethylbenzene 0.7
Monochlorobenzene 0.1
o-Dichlorobenzene 0.6
Styrene  0.1
Tetrachloroethylene   0.005
Toluene 1
trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene 0.1
Xylenes (total) 10
Dichloromethane 0.005
1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene 0.07
1,1,2-Trichloroethane  0.005


Additional information

Waiver information can be found at 40 CFR 141.249(f)(7)