Volatile organic compound (VOCs) is a term that applies to a very broad category of chemicals that can be found in man-made and naturally occurring chemical compounds. VOCs are used in industrial processes and consumer goods, including paints, adhesives, cleaners, gasoline additives and more. VOCs are gases under typical room temperature, so the primary route of exposure is through inhalation, but it is also possible to ingest them in food and water.
Currently, there are water quality standards for 23 compounds regulated as VOCs in drinking water. The EPA continues to monitor and evaluate whether new regulations for other VOCs are needed under a new monitoring rule.
Learn more about VOCs from the AWWA.
Tampa Bay Water has provided water for more than 20 years that meets or is better than the standards for these 23 compounds. Additionally, Tampa Bay Water participated in the EPA’s first and second unregulated contaminant monitoring rule studies (UCMR 2 and UCMR 3), and results for VOCs were below detectable limits. If the EPA creates new VOC standards from these earlier UCMR constituents in the future, Tampa Bay Water will likely meet all requirements.