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EPA Celebrates 30 Years of Progress for the Nation’s Drinking Water

Release Date: 12/16/2004
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Following is an Agency development which may interest you. If you need more information on this subject, call the appropriate contact.


Contact: Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7824 / milbourn.cathy@epa.gov

(12/16/04) December 16, 2004, marks the 30th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which has been a cornerstone of efforts to ensure public health protection by improving the quality of drinking water for all Americans. The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 has helped more than 273 million people served by 53,000 community water systems enjoy one of the safest and cleanest water supplies in the world. In carrying out the Act, EPA has established public health standards for more than 90 contaminants to protect the public from chemicals and pathogens that can cause waterborne illnesses.

It takes the committed efforts of thousands of people at the local, state and federal levels to ensure that our water supplies are clean, safe, and secure from acts of intentional harm. State personnel are making sure that water suppliers understand and implement regulatory requirements. States, private organizations, landowners, and local governments are working to protect surface and ground water supplies from contamination. Local water suppliers are providing dedicated service to ensure that safe water is available when consumers turn on the tap. And citizens are becoming more interested in understanding where their drinking water comes from and how it is treated by reading the consumer confidence report that is provided to them annually by their water utility.

The last 30 years have seen great success in protecting public health. Throughout 2005, EPA will celebrate those successes and conduct an educational campaign focused on four themes: “Community Water Systems: The Backbone of Public Health;” “Protecting Sources of Drinking Water;’’ “Public Involvement in Safe Drinking Water;’’ and “Planning for the Future.” Information about the 30th anniversary is at: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/sdwa/30th/index.html . General information about the Safe Drinking Water Act is at: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/sdwa/index.html and information about drinking water is at: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwhealth.html .