The paper provides a survey of the incidence of highly volatile halogenated hydrocarbons in ground, surface and drinking water as well as in the snows of Western Germany. Almost the entire production of chlorinated solvents is released into the environment. The absorption media are mostly soil, water and atmosphere. Whereas in the atmosphere elimination reactions take place, solvents that have passed the soil get into the ground water owing to their persistence and can cause considerable pollutions of drinking water. Moreover haloforms may occur in drinking water, which are produced during chlorine disinfection of pre-treated water.