Congress enacted the Safe Drinking Water Act(SDWA) in 1974 with the goal of providing safe drinking water to all persons served by a public water systems. This act provided the EPA authority to establish national standards for contaminants harmful to public health. Congress amended the SDWA in 1986 and 1996. Public water systems are required to monitor for a wide range of contaminants. Some contaminants are considered an acute risk to health such as E. coli, nitrate, and nitrite, meaning they pose a significant health risk to the public from short-term exposure. Most of the regulated contaminants are a chronic risk to health, which means the health risk is based on long-term exposure (over a 70-year period). For a complete list of regulated drinking water contaminants, click here.
Under the SDWA, EPA has promulgated various rules and regulations for more than 90 contaminants, requiring public water systems to have the infrastructure in place and operate in a manner that ensures compliance with these rules. Below is a listing of the major rules along with the relevant regulations, fact sheets, guidance documents, and report forms:
PWS Guidance Documents
Public Drinking Water Rules
For more information, contact the Water Supply Program at 410-537-3702 or firstname.lastname@example.org
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230