What is the Safe Drinking Water Act?

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) allows individual states to establish and enforce their own drinking water standards, as long as they are at least as stringent as the national standards set by the EPA. This provision grants states the flexibility to customize their drinking water regulations to meet the unique needs of their communities while ensuring that the minimum safety requirements are met. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) establishes legal limits for over 90 contaminants in drinking water. These limits are set at a level that protects human health and can be achieved using the best available technology. To ensure compliance, the EPA also prescribes water-testing schedules and methods that water systems must follow. By rigorously enforcing these rules, the EPA helps to safeguard the quality and safety of the nation’s drinking water supply, ensuring that Americans can enjoy clean, healthy water every day.


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