The Safe Drinking Water Act

42 US Code §300f, Adopted 1974

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Integrated Water Resource Managment

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the federal law that protects public drinking water supplies throughout the nation to ensure the safety of public health. Under the SDWA, EPA sets standards for drinking water quality and with its partners implements various technical and financial programs to ensure drinking water safety. The SDWA authorizes EPA to set standards for maximum levels of contaminants in drinking water, regulate the underground disposal of wastes in deep wells, designate areas that rely on a single aquifer for their water supply, and establish a nationwide program to encourage the states to develop programs to protect public water supply wells (i.e., wellhead protection programs). The law was amended in 1986 and 1996 and requires many actions to protect drinking water and its sources—rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and ground water wells.