IS DRINKING WATER CONTAMINATED?
The EPA's Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water has created a fact sheet that covers everything you need to know about various drinking water contaminants. There are specifics on organic, chemical, viral, and bacterial contaminants, as well as their MCLs, symptoms of exposure, and any health effects. If you've discovered a history of certain contaminants in your water supply, this is an interesting read.
Contaminants in our water can cause gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders. Infants, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems may be more susceptible to illness after drinking contaminated water. Elevated lead levels, for example, can cause serious health problems, particularly in pregnant women and young children. In order to protect human health, federal law requires that systems reduce certain contaminants to predetermined levels.
How Do I Know That The Water Quality In My Home Is Too Safe To Drink?
The EPA is in charge of ensuring the safety of public water supplies in India. The Safe Drinking Water Act was passed by Congress in 1974. This law sought to protect the nation's public drinking water supply by granting the EPA authority to set drinking water quality standards and oversee the states, localities, and water suppliers who implement those standards. The law was amended in 1986 and 1996 to protect drinking water and its sources, which include rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and ground water wells.
ANNUAL WATER QUALITY REPORT
Every water supplier is required to provide an annual water quality report to its customers. This is a consumer confidence report that is typically distributed to customers in June. The report will highlight any current issues with the quality of your water. This report will tell you where the tested water came from, what contaminants were present, and how concentrated they were. The report is typically included with your water bill, but some municipal water suppliers may send it separately, so keep an eye out for it in the mail.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) DATA
The EPA is in charge of monitoring and regulating municipal drinking water supplies. They establish Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for a wide range of contaminants and grade them on a scale. Certain dangerous contaminants, such as arsenic and lead, may have an MCL of zero. Other contaminants have an MCL that is considered safe unless it is found to be present in excess of the stated MCL. All of this information is available on the EPA website; look for the Local Drinking Water page and enter your zip code to get more specific water information. If you have any questions about the science or terminology used, the EPA has a comprehensive FAQ section where you can ask about the water in your area.
WHO DO I NEED TO CONTACT TO FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT WATER QUALITY IN MY AREA?
Every community water supplier is required to provide its customers with an annual report known as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). The report provides information on the quality of your local drinking water, including the source of the water, contaminants found in the water, and how consumers can help protect drinking water.
HOW OFTEN DOES THE LOCAL PUBLIC WATER SYSTEM TEST MY DRINKING WATER?
The frequency with which drinking water is tested is determined by the number of people served, the type of water source, and the types of contaminants. The Safe Drinking Water Act requires that certain contaminants be tested more frequently than others. In your annual Consumer Confidence Report, you can find information about the levels of regulated contaminants in your treated water for the previous calendar year (CCR).