The Safe Drinking Water Act

Topics: Drinking water, Water supply, Safe Drinking Water Act Pages: 4 (1212 words) Published: October 31, 2013
Most people when thirsty or parched will go into their kitchen and grab a glass of water from their faucet to quench their thirst. Without any awareness, of how much different it was fifty years ago in order to get water through their faucet. Water before 1974 wasn’t the most sanitary water to drink. In 1974 however, the Safe Drinking Water Act came into law. The water before the act was passed, carried different types of bacterial diseases, which were harmful to humans. According to EPA, “The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the main federal law that ensures the quality of Americans' drinking water. Under the act, EPA sets standards for drinking water quality and oversees the states, localities, and water suppliers who implement those standards”. The act was passed by congress in 1974 to provide security and public health by modifying the nation's public drinking water supply. EPA also mentions how the law was amended in 1986 as well as 1996 and requires many actions to protect drinking water. Different drinking water supplies include rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and ground water wells which all need to be regulated to satisfy human drinking needs. There was once focus and one expected outcome from the SDWA, which was of course, to have clean sanitary drinking water for humans. Environmental Science and Technology says that “Prior to the passage of the first SDWA in 1974, the U.S. Public Health Service established guidelines that the states generally used in developing their own state-level regulations. These early guidelines were important in promoting filtration and reliable chlorine disinfection as part of the multi-barrier concept for drinking water treatment in the early 1900s”. This advance was responsible for the near elimination of waterborne diseases in the United States by the 1940s. These diseases were responsible for 35,000 deaths in the United States. In the 1940s was the highest point of deaths due to waterborne diseases. According to...
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