Courtesy of CBS and the New York Times: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/12/08/health/main5937478.shtml
The Safe Drinking Water Act is one of the cornerstones of American water policy. Created in 1974, just after the Clean Water Act, it mandates that the EPA monitor and provide safe and drinkable water to water systems nationwide. The act was comprehensive legislation in its time, greatly reducing disease across the US. Today, it is still very important. Violations of this act can bring fines and sanctions, but states often are given time to rectify the problem before formal action is taken. Many small water providers are doing the best they can with what they have, but infrastructure is reaching the end of its useful life in many areas. Providers are often strapped for manpower as well, as maintaining the water supply is a 24 hour job. The EPA faces many of the same issues, having not enough inspectors to police all the systems, so violations go unpunished. Providing clean water has been an increasing political issue as well, with many in the EPA administration feeling political pressures. The bottom line? It’s not a great time for American water.
All this news have you thinking of switching to bottled water? Forget it, chances are, you’re only paying for bottled tap water anyway: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20055639/
Another interesting water news site: azh20.org. AZh20 is the hydrologic information system; it houses news as well as data, and is a great resource for anyone interested in water issues in Arizona.
“The only books that separate ground water and surface water are our law books.”
– Duane Smith, Executive Director, Oklahoma Water Resources Board –