Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCS) & Synthetic Organic Compounds (SOCS)

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCS)

Volatile organic compounds are chemical solvents or cleaners (and their byproducts) that are derived from petroleum products. They are man-made contaminants that arise from industrial processes. These contaminants can leach into ground water from chemical spills or wastewater discharges from industrial activities. Madison Water Utility annually tests all operating wells for 50 different volatile organic compounds including carbon tetrachloride, tetrachloroethylene, and trichloroethylene. Additional information on the contaminants that are tested, test results, likely sources of contaminants, and the potential health impacts can be found in the Annual Drinking Water Quality Report and websites of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)).

Synthetic Organic Compounds (SOCS)

Synthetic organic compounds are another class of man-made contaminants that may be present in ground water. Collectively, this group includes herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals that come from agriculture, urban storm water runoff, or industrial activities. No contaminants were detected at any well in either the 2005 or 2011 monitoring periods; however, a trace amount (<0.03 ug/L) of one pesticide was found at two wells in 2017. Additional information can be found on the EPA and WDNR websites.