The United States enjoys one of the world's most reliable and safest supplies of drinking water. Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1974 to protect public health, including by regulating public water systems.
In 1984 Congress amended the SDWA, including provisions to:
- Increase the pace of regulation
- Strengthen enforcement
- Help protect ground water sources of drinking water
Additional amendments in 1996 expanded the SDWA to protect drinking water comprehensively, including by:
- Authorizing risk-based standard-setting for contaminants that may affect public health
- Requiring that water systems inform consumers about contaminants in their drinking water and violations of the law
- Creating a multi-billion dollar loan fund for drinking water infrastructure
- Establishing programs to address challenges faced by small water systems
- Promoting the protection of surface and ground water sources of drinking water from contamination
- EPA and the states administer the Safe Drinking Water Act and its programs.