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Drinking Water

Issue Summary
U.S. EPA
States
Organizations/Non-Government Programs
Publications
Financial Assistance


Issue SummaryWater Fountain

Only one percent of the earth's water is drinkable and local governments are often stewards of public drinking water supplies. Given their responsibility for protecting public health and the environment, local governments are required under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to meet the federal drinking water standards and to develop the plans and programs to protect sources of drinking water. An essential step in a community's source water protection program is a source water assessment, which includes the delineation of the area to be protected and an inventory of the potential contaminants within that area. Developing a drinking or source water protection program allows local governments to act positively to protect public health rather than simply react after a costly problem occurs, i.e., contaminated drinking water supplies.

U.S. EPA

EPA's Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (OGWDW). OGWDW together with states, tribes, and its many partners, protects public health by ensuring safe drinking water and protecting ground water. OGWDW, along with EPA's ten regional drinking water programs, oversees implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which is the national law safeguarding tap water in America.

Drinking Water Standards. Under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), EPA sets standards for approximately 90 contaminants in drinking water. For each of these contaminants, EPA sets a legal limit, called a maximum contaminant level, or requires a certain treatment. Water suppliers may not provide water that doesn't meet these standards.

Public Drinking Water Systems Programs. Through the Public Water System Supervision (PWSS) program, EPA implements and enforces drinking water standards to protect public health.

States

State/Local Drinking Water Information. Click on a state to locate state program information and access drinking water supply reports.

Organizations/Non-Government Programs

American Water Works Association. Founded in 1881, AWWA is the authoritative resource on safe water, providing knowledge, information and advocacy to improve the quality and supply of water in North America and beyond.

Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies. The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) is an organization of the largest publicly owned drinking water systems in the United States. AMWA's membership serves more than 130 million Americans with drinking water from Alaska to Puerto Rico.

Association of State Drinking Water Administrators. The Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) is the professional Association serving state drinking water programs. Formed in 1984 to address a growing need for state administrators to have national representation, ASDWA has become a respected voice for state primacy agents with Congress, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other professional organizations.

Publications

Association of State Drinking Water Administrators. ASDWA has developed a number of publications, which are listed on this page. Some publications are available online for download, while others must be purchased from ASDWA Headquarters.

Financial Assistance

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. EPA awards grants to states to establish revolving loan funds to assist public water systems with infrastructure improvements.  The program also allows states to reserve a portion of their grant to fund activities needed for source water protection and enhanced water systems management.