Water Reuse

Drinking Water

In the United States, most people are accustomed to turning on their tap and instantly receiving clean and safe water suitable for many tasks, including drinking. While it is easy to take this for granted, many different people and organizations from all across nation have a role in making this possible

The Environmental Protection Agency sets national drinking water standards that are enforceable under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Individual states ensure compliance with these regulations. Any enforcement, inspections or reporting activities required in order to ensure compliance are carried out by state officials. The states are required to share certain information with EPA in order to prove that their state is following the provisions of SDWA. Finally, the individual public water systems (PWS) are perhaps the most important player in delivering clean and safe drinking water. PWSs vary in many ways, including size, source type, treatment techniques and public vs private ownership. All of these factors effect how they operate on a variety of levels, including budgets and resources, management styles and goals and relationship and reliance on the other stakeholders (towns, states, federal government, industry groups, other PWSs).

Turning on the tap and taking a drink may seem like a simple activity, but in reality an enormous amount of scientific, engineering and public policy work is behind every glass.