Drinking Water

On December 16, 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was signed into law. It is part of the mandatory national program to protect public health through drinking water safety. The goal of the SDWA is to protect our health by ensuring public water supplies meet national standards. When the SDWA was implemented it:


  • Established a national structure for drinking water protection activities.
  • Authorized EPA to establish national, enforceable health standards for contaminants in drinking water.
  • Provided for public water system compliance through a federal-state partnership.
  • Established public notification to alert customers to water system violations.
  • Set up procedures to protect underground sources of drinking water.



In 1996, Amendments to the SDWA generated an increase in action taken to protect our rivers, lakes and streams. The Amendments enacted:


  • Required disinfection for all water systems
  • Expanded the number of regulated contaminants and increased the pace of contaminant regulation.
  • Required filtration of all surface water supplies, unless strict criteria are met.
  • Established a monitoring program for unregulated contaminants.

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