Introduction to Drinking Water Regulations in the United States

Enacted in 1976, the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations are an outgrowth of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), and the first to be applied to all public water systems within the United States. These federal regulations protect the 250 million people who are served by public water systems.

Regulation increases and evolves as the EPA continues to identify water-borne contaminants, sets limits for presence in drinking water, outlines acceptable water treatment techniques, specifies water-testing schedules, and develops analytical methods for water evaluation. Each National Primary Drinking Water Regulation must be reviewed at least once every six years, and any revision must maintain or increase public health protection.

The United States has one of the safest water supplies in the world. However, national statistics don’t necessarily reflect the quality of your water. The quality and safety of the water you drink depends on the condition of your specific source, and on the treatment that water receives before it arrives at your tap.

While EPA and state governments set and enforce standards, local governments and private water suppliers are ultimately responsible for your tap water quality.   Water systems test and treat their water, maintain the distribution systems that deliver water to consumers, and report on their water quality to the state.

Neilson Research Corporation provides analytical testing for public water systems to meet all current state and federal regulation. Our staff maintains a careful watch over ever-changing requirements, as well as testing methods and schedules to assist our clients with regulatory compliance.

For more information regarding Water Rules and Regulations visit the EPA website here.