Safe Drinking Water Act

How Safe Is The Water You Drink?

Most of us assume the water that flows from our tap is safe to drink. That is until Flint, Michigan’s water crisis made most of the nation question how safe tap water is to drink.

At Aquasana we believe all tap water should be filtered before drinking. Water treatment plants use many chemicals to disinfect water and as we have learned in Flint, sometimes water can start out (from the source) safe to drink and during transit, it picks up contaminants such as lead. In a recent blog post we looked at how and why lead levels became elevated in Flint. In a nutshell, proper procedures were not followed.

More than 40 years ago, law makers outlined rules and procedures called The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) for local municipalities to follow to ensure water met the appropriate safety standards and was considered safe to drink in this country.

The Safe Drinking Water Act, enacted in 1974, is separate from the Clean Water Act which regulates pollution in our nation’s lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water.

The Safe Drinking Water Act focuses on above ground and underground water sources used for drinking water. The Act authorized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish minimum standards to protect tap water and required all owners or operators of public water systems to comply with these basic standards.

Amendments made in 1996 to the SDWA require the EPA to consider a detailed risk and cost assessment, and best available scientific data, when developing drinking water standards.

Even with government issued rules and regulations, mistakes can still be made. In Flint, a chain of decisions led to a new source of drinking water which wasn’t properly treated to mitigate the acidity level of this new source of water, leading to massive corrosion of pipes, and ultimately high levels of lead. This could happen, and has happened to places outside of Flint. In fact, 17 U.S. cities have been identified as having higher than desired levels of lead in drinking water. How can you safeguard your drinking water? You can invest in a water testing kit and see what’s in your water, then get the right NSF certified filter for the job. All of our drinking water filters remove lead from drinking water and much more.

The SDWA is a good start, but decades old and reliant on local municipalities to enforce. You need to be your own health advocate and invest in the best filter possible.

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