The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) establishes the basic structure for oversight of drinking water standards and quality in the US.
Apart from this, the act also establishes a program to protect the underground sources of water while also providing necessary funding for water system improvements.
In today’s blog post, we will take a closer look at this act, so that you can know how it is playing crucial in ensuring that Americans are drinking safe and clean water.
US Safe Drinking Water Act – Explained!
In order to protect the quality standards of drinking water in the US, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was created. This law applies to all waters that are intended for consumption, whether they originate from above-ground or subsurface sources.
· The Act mandates that all owners of public water systems adhere to these fundamental (health-related) criteria.
· The 1996 modifications to the SDWA mandate that when setting these criteria, the EPA takes into account a thorough risk and cost evaluation.
· The achievement of secondary standards (related to nuisances), which can be approved for implementation by state governments under the EPA, is also encouraged.
· In accordance with the Act, EPA also establishes minimum requirements for state programs to safeguard subsurface water sources from being endangered by fluid injection underground.
How Do Public Water Utilities Be Affected By The Safe Drinking Water Act?
PWSs that offer drinking water that is protected by the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) must depend on the Safe Water Act regulations to offer customers clean drinking water. Water utilities should have to provide water that has the amount of chemicals, disinfectants, and microorganisms below the limits specified in the law.
The law also includes instructions on how to prepare the CCR and how frequently to send CCRs to customers, as well as treatment methods to control corrosion in plumbing materials.
In order to provide clean drinking water, water treatment plants, and PWSs supply safe drinking water to the community, and non-community water systems often rely on the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations.
The SDWA is an important piece of law for safeguarding the PWSs' ability to deliver high-quality drinking water. It has a significant impact on reducing the risk of toxicity from the regulated substances included in the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations and diseases brought on by water-borne microbes.
Moreover, these laws also give customers access to information about the quality of their drinking water source. Customers can learn about the ingredients in their drinking water via the CCRs, and the public can learn about violations of the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations from public notifications.
Now that you are familiar with the requirements for public water systems. It’s time now to understand the enforcement of this Safe Drinking Water Act.
The Safe Drinking Water Act also includes provisions for enforcing the regulations. According to the law, the water systems that violate the standards set by the act will be completely penalized.
The law clearly recognizes the importance of safe and clean drinking water for optimal health of the public. This is why it has also established different frameworks for enforcing the regulations designed to achieve this goal.
In order to increase your information, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for enforcing the regulations set by the law. Although, the EPA has the authority to investigate different water systems on their own that are suspected of violating regulations.
If the EPA has found the water supplier guilty, then it can also impose different penalties. The penalties usually include:
· Heavy fines
· Enforcement orders
· Criminal charges (because the supplier has intentionally violated the regulations)
One of the best things about this act is that it also gives individual and local people the authority to file a lawsuit against the water system that they think is violating regulations. This provision is specially intended to give US citizens an additional right to hold water suppliers accountable for their violations.
Different Ways Through Which Individuals Can Ensure Their Drinking Water is Safe & Clean
There is no doubt Safe Drinking Water Act was specially established to ensure that citizens of the USA are drinking completely safe water.
However, for additional safety as an individual, you can adopt different ways to make sure your drinking is completely safe. These ways can highly beneficial if your water supplier is violating the regulations and not providing you with good quality water.
1. Install water filter:
This is the very first and most effective way to improve the overall quality of your home’s water. Water filters will remove a wide range of contaminants from the water that can pose serious health threats to human health.
You can easily find a wide range of water filtration systems both in the market and online. But keep in mind, that every type of filter removes specific contaminants and has its own pros and cons. So, it is essential to choose wisely.
2. Proper disposal of harmful things:
This is another way that which can protect your drinking water from becoming contaminated. Many household items such as motor oil, skin care products, medicines, and many more are not disposed of properly. This means they can enter into the water supply and make the water contaminated.
So, as an individual, it is essential for you to properly dispose of hazardous materials to avoid water contamination.
3. Contact the authorities:
If you notice a strange color or smell in your home’s drinking, then you should immediately contact the local authorities so that they can take the necessary steps to deal with it.
These are some ways that you can adopt as an individual and prevent your water from contamination.
The US Safe Drinking Act is a law that was specially established to ensure that water suppliers all across the United States are providing good quality water to consumers. In this article, we have discussed this law in detail, along with some useful ways that you can take as an individual citizen.