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Safe Drinking Water Act

The Safe Drinking Water Act and Amendments directs the EPA to publish and enforce regulations on maximum allowable contaminant levels in drinking water. The act requires the EPA to issue regulations establishing national primary drinking water standards. Primary enforcement responsibilities lie with the states. The act also protects underground sources of drinking water with primary enforcement responsibilities again resting with the states. Federal agencies having jurisdiction over public water systems must comply with all requirements to the same extent as any non-governmental entity.

The 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act initiated a new era in cost-effective protection of drinking water quality, state flexibility, and citizen involvement. Source water assessment and protection programs, provided under these amendments, offer tools and opportunities to build a prevention barrier to drinking water contamination. Source water protection means preventing contamination and reducing the need for treatment of drinking water supplies. Source water protection also means taking positive steps to manage potential sources of contaminants and contingency planning for the future by determining alternative sources of drinking water.

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Last Updated: January 04, 2017