United States
         Environmental Protection
           Office of Water
EPA 816-R-99-007
December 1999
25 Years of the Safe
Drinking Water Act:
History and Trends


Introduction	1
Drinking Water Prior to 1974	1
Overview of Safe Drinking water Act (SDWA) and the National Drinking Water Program	2
The Original Safe Drinking Water Act	6
The 1986 SDWA Amendments	7
The 1996 SDWA Amendments	10
The 1996 Amendments: Improving Public Access to Information and Increasing Opportunities
    for Public Participation	11
The History of Drinking Water Treatment	12
Protecting Drinking Water Sources	13
Compliance Trends for Community Water Systems	19
Waterborne Disease Outbreaks	29
The Cost of Safe Drinking Water	30
Issues Facing Small Systems	32
Successes and Challenges Ahead	34
References	37
Appendix A:  Glossary	39
Appendix B:  Contaminants Regulated Under the 1962 Public Health Service Standards	43
Appendix C:  Commonly Used Drinking water Treatment Technologies	45
Appendix D:  Legislation Related to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)	47
Appendix E:  Types of Underground Injection Wells	,	49
Appendix F:  Data from the Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS)	51

                                                                                                           *i** I



                     Water is the liquid of life; it makes up two-thirds of
                     our bodies, yet most of us take the safety of our
                     drinking water for granted. The U.S. has one of the
                     safest public drinking water supplies in the world,
                     and the quality of our drinking water has improved
                     over the last 25 years.  However, challenges exist now
                     and for the future which require the participation of
                     all consumers if we are to maintain high quality
                     water supplies.

                     As a global society, we have learned a great deal about
                     drinking water quality  throughout history.  However,
                     there is still much to learn about the health  effects of
                     drinking water contaminants, the monitoring and
                     treatment technologies required to detect and remove
                     contaminants, and ways to protect our water sources.
                     The ability to improve drinking water quality and
                     human health through  research, technology, and
                     protection programs is dependent on our commitment
                     as a society to invest in drinking water.  To plan for
                     the future, we must first evaluate our progress thus  far
                     in providing and protecting this vital resource.  That
                     is the intent of this report.

                     Drinking Water Prior to  1974
                     Ancient civilizations established themselves around
                     water sources.  While the importance of ample water
                     quantity for drinking and other purposes was apparent
                     to our ancestors, an understanding of drinking water
                     quality was not well known or documented. Although
                     historical records have long mentioned aesthetic
                     problems (an unpleasant appearance, taste or smell)
                     with regard to drinking water, it wasn't until the early
                     1900s that standards for water quality, other than for
                     general clarity, existed.1 However, prior to that time,
                     people had observed that some waters seemed to
                     produce disease, while others did not.  Gradually,
                     people recognized that their senses alone were not
                     accurate judges of water quality.2
                     During the 1800s, scientists began to gain a greater
                     understanding of the sources and effects of drinking
                     water contaminants, especially those that were not
                     visible to the naked eye. In 1855, epidemiologist Dr.
                     John Snow proved that cholera was a waterborne
                     disease by linking an outbreak of illness in London to a



public well that was contaminated by sewage. In the
late 1880s, Louis Pasteur demonstrated the "germ
theory" of disease, which explained how microscopic
organisms (microbes) could transmit disease through
media like water.2 This explained the cause-effect
relationship between many contaminated  drinking
water sources and nearby epidemics.

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth
centuries, concerns regarding drinking water quality
continued to focus mostly on disease-causing mi-
crobes  (pathogens) in public water supplies. Scien-
tists and engineers studied these waterborne patho-
gens, tried to determine their sources, and began to
develop techniques to remove them from,  or render
them harmless in, water supplies.

Federal regulation of drinking water quality began
in 1914, when the U.S. Public Health Service set
standards for the bacteriological quality of drinking
water. The standards applied only to  water systems
which provided drinking water to interstate carriers
like ships, trains, and buses, and only applied to
contaminants capable of causing contagious disease.2
The Public Health Service revised and expanded
these standards in 1925, 1946 and 1962.  The 1962
standards, regulating 28 substances, were the most
comprehensive federal drinking water standards in
existence before the Safe Drinking Water  Act of 1974
(see Appendix  B)?  With minor modifications, all 50
states adopted  the Public Health Service standards
either as regulations or as guidelines for all of their
public water systems, even though they were not
federally mandated.1*

By the late 1960s it became apparent that the
aesthetic problems, pathogens and chemicals
identified by the Public Health Service were not the
only drinking water quality concerns. Industrial and
agricultural advances and the creation of new man-
made chemicals also had negative impacts on the
environment and public health. Many of  these new
chemicals  were finding their way into water supplies
through factory discharges, street and farm field
runoff, and leaking underground waste disposal
areas. Many of these chemicals were also suspected
of causing health problems.
These health concerns spurred the federal govern-
ment to conduct several studies on the nation's
drinking water supply. One of the most telling was a
water system survey conducted by the Public Health
Service in 1969 which showed that only 60 percent of
the systems surveyed delivered water that met all the
Public  Health Service standards. Over half of the
treatment facilities surveyed had major deficiencies
involving disinfection, clarification, or pressure in
the distribution system (the pipes that carry water
from the treatment plant to buildings), or combina-
tions of these deficiencies.  Small systems, especially
those with fewer than 500 customers, had the most

A study in 1972 found that 36 chemicals were
detected in treated water taken from treatment plants
that drew water from the Mississippi River in
Louisiana.6 As a result of this and other similar
studies, new legislative proposals for a federal safe
drinking water law were introduced and debated in
Congress in 1973.

Chemical contamination of water supplies was only
one of  many environmental and health issues that
gained  the attention of Congress  and the public in the
early 1970s. This increased awareness eventually led
to the passage of several federal environmental and
health laws dealing with polluted water, hazardous
waste, pesticides, etc. (see Appendix D). One of these
laws was the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) of
1974. That law, with significant amendments in 1986
and 1996, is administered today by the U.S. Environ-
mental Protection Agency's Office of Ground Water
and Drinking Water (EPA) and its partners.

Overview of SDWA and the
National Drinking  Water

SDWA aims to ensure that public water supplies meet
national standards that protect consumers from
harmful contaminants in drinking water. EPA
regulations under SDWA apply to public water
systems (see Public Water Systems on next page).
Public water systems can be publicly or privately
owned.  People who are not served by a public water
system use private wells.

Public Water Systems
Public water systems provide drinking water to at
least 25 people or 15 service connections for at
least 60 days per year.  Today, there are approxi-
mately 170,000 public water systems in the U.S.
providing water to more than 250 million people.

Table 1. Size Categories of Public
Water Systems
                          Percent of Community
System Size                   Water Systems
(Population Served)       1980  1985  1990  1995
Very Small (25-500)
Small (501-3,300)
Medium (3,001-10,000)
Large (10,001-100,000)
Very Large (over 100,000)
There are two main types of public water systems:
Community Water Systems provide drinking
water to the same people year-round. Today, there
are approximately 54,000 community water
systems serving more than 250 million Americans
in their homes.  All federal drinking water
regulations apply to these systems.
Non-Community Water Systems serve customers
on less than a year-round basis. Non-community
systems are, in turn, divided into two categories:
1)  Those that serve at least 25 of the same people
    for more than six months in a year but not
    year-round (e.g., schools or factories that have
    their own water source); most drinking water
    regulations apply to the 20,000  systems in this
2)  Those that provide water to places like gas
    stations and campgrounds where people do
    not remain for long periods of time; only
    regulations of contaminants posing immediate
    health risks apply to the 96,000 systems in
    this  category.
EPA divides public water systems into categories
based on characteristics such as where they serve
customers and how often they serve the same people.
Water systems with different characteristics are then
subject to different regulations. This report focuses on
community water systems, because they are subject to
all SDWA regulations and serve the greatest number of
people on a continual basis.

Trends in the Number of Water Systems
The first public water system in the U.S. to pump its
water from a surface source and distribute it through a
system of pipes was built in Philadelphia in 1799.  By
1860, more than 400 water systems had been devel-
oped to serve the nation's major cities and towns. By
1900, this number had increased to more than 3,000
This growth, however, was not necessarily an indica-
tion that more people had gained access to safer
drinking water. Some of these systems, ironically,
contributed to major outbreaks of disease in the early
1900s because, when contaminated, the pumped and
piped supplies provided a means for spreading
bacterial disease throughout communities.2
By the early 1960s, there were more than 19,000
public water systems in the U.S.2 In the late 1970s,
EPA began tracking the number of community and
non-community water systems in the nation through
periodic surveys. In 1980, there were about 62,000
community water systems serving approximately 200
million people in the U.S.8  Since then, the number of
public water systems in the U.S. has decreased. As the
cost of providing safe drinking water has increased,
consolidation (joining larger sytems) has proven to be
a cost-effective solution for some very small systems.
While the percentage of very large water systems has
remained constant since 1980, there are fewer very
small water systems  and slightly more small, medium,
and large water systems, demonstrating this consolida-
tion trend.
In 1980,18 percent of the community water systems in
the U.S. drew their supply primarily from surface water
sources, and 82 percent of community water systems
drew primarily from ground water.8 These percentages

i I

have also remained relatively stable over the years (see
Figure 1).

Establishing National Standards for
Drinking Water Quality
SDWA requires EPA to regulate contaminants which
present health risks and are known, or are likely, to
occur in public drinking water supplies.  For each
contaminant requiring federal regulation, EPA sets a
non-enforceable health goal, or maximum contaminant
level goal (MCLG). This is the level of a contaminant
in drinking water below which there is no known or
expected risk to health. EPA is then required to
establish an enforceable limit, or maximum contami-
                Figure 1. Percentage of
                Community Water Systems Using
                Ground Water vs. Surface Water
                                               18% Surface Water
               20% Surface Water
 nant level (MCL), which is as close to the MCLG as is
 technologically feasible, taking cost into consideration.
 Where analytical methods are not sufficiently devel-
 oped to measure the concentrations of certain contami-
 nants in drinking water, EPA specifies a treatment
 technique, instead of an MCL, to protect against these

 There has been a three-fold increase in the number of
 contaminants regulated under SDWA since the
 passage of the  Act in  1974. Most of these standards
 were set in the early 1990s (see Figure 2).

 Implementing and Enforcing Drinking
 Water Regulations
 Beginning in 1974, SDWA gave  EPA the authority to
 delegate the primary responsibility for enforcing
 drinking water regulations to states, territories or
 tribes, provided that they meet specific requirements.
 States with this responsibility are commonly referred
 to as having "primacy." To assist states in developing
 and implementing their own drinking water pro-
 grams, SDWA  authorized EPA to provide grants to
 the states and directed the agency to help states
 administer their programs. All states but Wyoming
 have assumed primacy and receive grants from EPA
 to help pay for the oversight of water systems and
 other program responsibilities. No tribal govern-
 ments have yet been granted primacy.

 With EPA's oversight, states with primacy adopt,
 implement, and enforce the standards established by
 the federal drinking water program to ensure that the
public water systems in their jurisdictions provide
consumers with safe water.

Water systems are required to collect water samples at
designated intervals and locations.  The samples must
be tested in state approved laboratories.  The test
results are then reported to the state, which deter-
mines whether  the water system is in compliance or
violation with the regulations.  There are three main
types of violations:

(1) MCL violation — occurs when tests indicate that
    the level of a contaminant in treated water is
    above EPA or the state's legal limit (states  may
    set standards  equal to, or more protective than,
    EPA's). These violations indicate a potential

                Figure 2. Number of Contaminants Regulated Under the
                      Safe Drinking Water Act, by Contaminant Type
        80 -
        60 -
        40 -
        20 -
Organic Chemicals
Inorganic Chemicals
    health risk, which may be immediate or

(2)  Treatment technique violation — occurs when a
    water system fails to treat its water in the way
    prescribed by EPA (for example, by not disinfect-
    ing). Similar to MCL violations, treatment
    technique violations indicate a potential health
    risk to consumers.
(3)  Monitoring and reporting violation — occurs
    when a system fails to test its water for certain
    contaminants, or fails to report test results in a
    timely fashion. If a water system does not
    monitor its water properly, no one can know
    whether or not its water poses a health risk to

If a system violates EPA/state rules, it is required to
notify the public. States are primarily responsible for
taking appropriate enforcement actions if systems
with violations do not return to compliance. States
are  also responsible for reporting violation and
enforcement information to EPA quarterly. The
information is stored in a federal database called the
Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS) and
is used to:
                                 •   Help EPA monitor the safety of the nation's public
                                     drinking water supply and track the status of
                                     drinking water rule implementation;
                                 •   Help EPA determine when new regulations are
                                     necessary to protect drinking water; and
                                 •   Share information with the  public and Congress,
                                     such as this report, on the status of public
                                     drinking  water.

                                 Tracking Progress Toward  Achieving
                                 Drinking Water Goals
                                 As required by the Government Performance and
                                 Results Act, EPA has developed long-term goals and
                                 objectives that ensure accountability for improving
                                 various aspects of the drinking water program. In
                                 addition to helping EPA measure its progress in
                                 improving drinking water quality and implementing
                                 regulations, the goals and objectives also serve as the
                                 framework for the Agency's planning and resource
                                 allocation decisions.
                                 As part of its overall goal to maintain clean and safe
                                 water, EPA's primary drinking water objective is to
                                 protect human health so that, by 2005, 95 percent  of
                                 the population served by community water systems
                                 will receive water that meets health-based drinking

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      	'	ill
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                              Figure 3. Percent of Population Served by Community Water
                                 Systems With No Violations of Health-Based Standards
                water standards in place as of 1994. For any new
                regulations, the objective is 95 percent compliance
                within five years. Starting from a baseline of 83
                percent in 1994, the population being served by
                community water systems with no violations of
                health-based standards has increased steadily to 89
                percent in 1998 (see Figure 3).

                The Original  Safe Drinking
                Water Act

                The 1974 SDWA called for EPA to regulate drinking
                water in two steps. The first step involved the
                creation of national interim primary drinking water
                regulations which, under Congressional direction,
                were based largely on the 28 1962 Public Health
                Service standards. These not only included MCLs,
                but also established requirements for monitoring and
                analyzing regulated contaminants in  drinking  water,
                reporting analytical results, record keeping, and
                notifying the public when a water system fails to meet
                federal standards for any of the contaminants.  These
                interim MCLs were designed to be enforceable until

                The second step involved the revision of these stan-
                dards, as necessary, following a comprehensive review
                                                                  by the National Academy of Sciences of the health
                                                                  risks posed to consumers.

                                                                  The first 18 interim standards were set in 1975 for:

                                                                  •    six synthetic organic chemicals (man-made
                                                                       chemicals which contain carbon, such as

                                                                  •    ten inorganic chemicals (substances of mineral
                                                                       origin that do not contain carbon)

                                                                  •    turbidity (the cloudiness of water)

                                                                  •    total coliform bacteria (bacteria that are used as
                                                                       indicators of fecal contamination in water)"

                                                                  (Levels were set for coliform bacteria and turbidity
                                                                  because, while not in and of themselves a health
                                                                  concern, high levels of both may indicate the presence
                                                                  of pathogens.)

                                                                  Interim standards for radionuclides (combined
                                                                  radium-226 and radium-228 and two other classes of
                                                                  radionuclides)  were promulgated in  1976. An interim
                                                                  standard for total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), a group
                                                                  of four volatile organic chemicals which form when
                                                                  disinfectants react with natural organic matter in the
                                                                  water, was set in 1979.

In 1979, EPA also set non-enforceable guidelines
(called national secondary drinking water regulations)
for contaminants that may cause aesthetic problems in
drinking water. These contaminants include chlo-
rides, color, copper, corrosivity, foaming agents, iron,
manganese, odor, pH, sulfate, total dissolved solids
and zinc.10
The  1986SDWA

Although SDWA was amended slightly in 1977,
1979, and 1980, the most significant changes to the
1974 law occurred when SDWA was reauthorized in

During the mid-1980s, Congress was frustrated by
the slow pace at which EPA was developing new
regulations; only 23 contaminants had been regulated
between 1975 and 1985. Fluoride, one of the 18
contaminants for which an interim standard was
promulgated in 1975, was the only one of the 18
standards revised before the  1986  Amendments.

Congress also wanted to rectify major deficiencies in
the implementation of programs established by
SDWA.  Of particular concern was the  fact that
disease-causing microbial contamination had not been
sufficiently controlled under the original Act.  Also,
during the early 1980s, synthetic chemicals of
industrial and agricultural origin were being detected
with increasing frequency, especially in ground water
sources.2 Some surface water sources were also being
contaminated with industrial and municipal wastes,
but many were showing improvements  in water
quality due to the increased application of pollution
controls, such as waste water treatment plants.

To safeguard the public's health, the 1986 Amend-
ments required EPA to set MCLGs and MCLs for 83
named contaminants (this list included the interim
standards, except for TTHMs).  The amendments
declared that the interim standards promulgated in
1975 were final primary drinking water standards,
included provisions for periodic review of the data
and studies upon which MCLGs and MCLs were
based, and allowed variances for systems that could
not meet certain requirements. The 1986 Amendments
also augmented the federal drinking water role by
requiring EPA to:

•   establish regulations, beyond the 83 specified
    contaminants, within certain time frames (e.g.,
    regulate 25 additional contaminants every three
    years starting in 1991)

•   require disinfection of all public water supplies

•   specify filtration requirements for nearly all water
    systems that draw their water from surface

•   develop additional programs to protect ground
    water supplies (e.g. a new Wellhead Protection
    program and an enhanced Sole Source Aquifer

•   establish monitoring requirements for unregu-
    lated contaminants which states were required to
    report on every five years so that EPA could
    decide whether or not to regulate those

•   implement a new ban on lead-based solder, pipe
    and flux materials in distribution systems

•   specify the "best available technology" for
    treating each contaminant for which EPA sets an
    MCL.  EPA specifies a "best" technology for all
    of the major drinking water contaminant groups:
    pathogens, organic and inorganic chemicals, and
    disinfectant byproducts.

In 1988, SDWA was amended again by the Lead
Contamination Control Act, which established a
program to eliminate lead-containing drinking water
coolers in schools.

Although Congress' 1986 SDWA revisions required
EPA to regulate or revise the standard for the 83
specified contaminants by 1989, time constraints and
limited resources at the state and federal levels
prevented this from occurring. By 1992, EPA had
issued regulations for 76 of the 83 mandated con-
taminants  (those remaining  were arsenic, radium,
radon, two other classes of radionuclides, and sulfate,
most of which had interim standards). These 76
contaminants fall into four basic rule categories, as
described below:

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                               25 YEARS  OF THE  SAFE  DRINKING WATER ACT:  HISTORY AND TRENDS
 the same level of protection as those that filter;
 however, their protection is provided through disinfec-
 tion alone. The vast majority of water supplies in the
 U.S. that use a surface water source filter their water.

 Because it is possible for microbes to enter the
 distribution system (through cracks or joints in pipes),
 water systems are also required to provide continuous
 disinfection of the drinking water entering the
 distribution system and maintain a detectable disin-
 fectant level within the distribution system.

 The Chemical Rules
 The chemical contaminants that EPA regulated in
 these rules generally pose long-term (i.e., chronic)
 health risks if ingested over a lifetime at levels
 consistently above the MCL.  These chemicals can
 cause a wide variety of health effects. For example,
 some can accumulate in the liver or kidneys and
 interfere with the functions of these organs.  Others
 can affect the nervous system  or cause cancer.

 Along with their long-term effects, some of these
 contaminants can also cause immediate (i.e., acute)
 health risks. Nitrate and nitrite can cause acute
 health effects in infants by limiting the blood's ability
 to carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
 Therefore, EPA's MCL for nitrate and nitrite was set
 specifically at a level to protect infants.

 The chemical contaminants enter the environment
 through a wide variety of pathways.  Some are used
 in dry cleaners and automotive service stations.
 Others come from frequently-applied fertilizers (e.g.,
 nitrate) or pesticides (e.g., alachlor).  Still others  are
 used in industrial processes to produce other chemi-
 cals or as solvents (e.g., trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene).
 A number of contaminants may be naturally occurring,
including inorganic elements such as arsenic.
EPA also limits the amount of some chemicals that
water systems may add to water during the treatment
process (e.g., acrylamide and epichlorohydrin).

EPA set different monitoring schedules for different
chemicals, depending on the routes by which each
enters the water supply.  In general, surface water
systems must take samples more frequently than
ground water systems because their water is subject to
 more external influences and the water quality
 changes more frequently due to seasonal and agricul-
 tural cycles. Systems which prove that they are not
 susceptible to contamination can often get state
 permission to reduce the frequency of monitoring.
 However, if such systems detect contamination, they
 must begin monitoring more frequently.

 The Lead and Copper Rule
 Lead and copper are both naturally-occurring metals.
 Both were used to make household plumbing fixtures
 and pipes for many years, although Congress banned
 the installation of lead solder, pipes, and fittings in
 1986.  Water flowing through, or sitting in, pipes
 containing lead or copper can pick up these metals.

 Lead and copper have different health effects. Lead
 is particularly dangerous to fetuses and young
 children because it can slow their neurological and
 physical development. Anemia (a condition in which
 the blood is deficient in red blood cells, hemoglobin
 or total volume) may be one sign of a child's expo-
 sure to high lead levels.  Lead may also affect the
 kidneys, brain, nervous system, and red blood cells,
 and is considered a possible cause of cancer.
 Copper is a health concern for several reasons.  While
 it is essential to the body at very low levels, short-term
 consumption of water containing copper at concentra-
 tions well above EPA's legal limit could cause nausea,
 vomiting, and diarrhea. It can also lead to serious
 health problems  in people with Wilson's disease.
 Exposure  to drinking water containing copper above
 the action level over many years could increase the
 risk of liver and kidney damage.

 To prevent these effects, EPA set health goals and
 action levels for lead and copper. An action level
 differs from an MCL in that an MCL is a legal limit
 on the amount of a contaminant that is allowed in
 drinking water, whereas an action level is a trigger for
requiring additional prevention or removal steps.
EPA requires water systems to not only evaluate the
pipes in their distribution systems, but also the age
and types of housing that they serve. Based upon this
information, the systems must collect water samples
at points throughout the distribution system where

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lead contamination is more likely to occur, including
regularly-used bathroom or kitchen taps.
When the concentration of lead or copper reaches the
action level in ten percent of the tap water samples,
the water system must begin certain water treatment
steps. For example, water systems can reduce the
amount of lead or copper that leaches out of pipes by
taking measures to make the water less acidic (i.e.,
less corrosive).
When a water system exceeds the action level for
either metal, it must also assess its source water. In
most cases, there will be little or none of either
contaminant hi the source water and no treatment will
be necessary. If there are high levels in the source
water, treatment, in addition to corrosion  control,
further lessens the chance that consumers will have
elevated  levels of lead and copper at their taps.

The rule  requires systems that exceed the lead action
level to educate the affected public about how to
reduce lead intake.  Consumers can further reduce
the potential for elevated lead levels at their taps by
ensuring that all plumbing and fixtures meet local
plumbing codes.  A system which continues to exceed
the lead action level  after completing corrosion
control and treatment of source water must replace
some of  its lead distribution pipes.

The 199GSDWA

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, several reports were
released  about the national drinking water program
which drew attention to the need for amending
SDWA. The reports raised issues such as  whether
implementation schedules for new SDWA regulations
were realistic; whether public health was being
threatened by many water systems' non-compliance
with EPA regulations; whether funding for regulation
development, implementation and compliance was
adequate; and whether  EPA and states' enforcement
of regulations was lacking.11 There was also a general
recognition that the numerous contaminant-specific
standard setting requirements of the 1986 amend-
ments resulted in a "regulatory treadmill  [which]
dilutes limited resources on lower priority contami-
nants and as a consequence may hinder more rapid
progress on high-priority contaminants," according
to Mr. Robert Perciasepe, former Assistant Adminis-
trator of EPA's Office of Water in Congressional
testimony on January 31, 1996.12

After much discussion, SDWA was amended in 1996,
emphasizing comprehensive public health protection
through risk-based standard setting, increased funding,
reliance on best available science, prevention tools and
programs, strengthened enforcement authority for
EPA, and public participation in drinking water issues.

The Amendments improved upon the existing regula-
tory framework in two important ways. First, they
created a new focus on setting contaminant regulation
priorities based on data about the adverse health effects
of the contaminant, the occurrence of the contaminant
hi public water systems, and the estimated reduction hi
health risk that would result from regulation. The Act
also increased requirements for research to give EPA
more sound scientific data on which to base regulatory
decisions.  For each proposed regulation, EPA must
also conduct a thorough analysis  of the costs to water
suppliers and benefits to public health, including
people with weakened immune systems. Public health
protection remains the primary basis for deciding the
levels at which drinking water standards are set.

Second, states were given greater flexibility to
implement  SDWA to meet their specific needs while
arriving at  the same level of public health protection.
The 1996 Amendments seek to prevent drinking
water contamination by increasing states' and water
systems' capacity to provide safe water.

For example, funding for infrastructure and other water
system improvements, especially for small water
systems, has significantly increased through the
establishment of a new multi-year, multi-billion dollar
drinking water state revolving loan fund.  New
prevention programs,  such as source water assess-
ments, will give states and water suppliers information
they need to prevent contamination of drinking water
sources, thereby providing another barrier of defense
against contamination, in addition to treatment. The
Amendments also require national minimum guidelines
for states to certify operators of drinking water
systems, and a water system capacity development

                                25 YEARS OF THE SAFE  DRINKING  WATER ACT: HISTORY AND TRENDS
         The 1996 Amendments: Improving  Public Access
             to Information and Increasing Opportunities
                             for Public Participation
Consumer Confidence Reports
Every community water system must provide its
customers with an annual water quality report starting
in 1999. The reports tell customers about the source of
their water supply, the level of any regulated contami-
nants detected in their water, and the health effects of
contaminants detected above the safety limit.
Source Water Assessments
No later than 2003, states will be examining each of
the nation's drinking water sources to identify con-
taminant threats and determine how susceptible
drinking water sources are to contamination.  Commu-
nities may assist their state and water system in
conducting the assessments, and the states must make
the results of the assessments available to the public.
Drinking  Water State Revolving
Fund (DWSRF)
This federal grant program provides money for states,
who, in turn, provide loans to water systems to
upgrade their facilities and ensure compliance with
drinking water standards. A portion of each state's
federal grant money can be set aside for several
specific purposes, including acquiring land to buffer
drinking water sources from contamination and
funding other local protection activities. Each year,
every state develops an intended use plan for how it
intends to use all funds, including a list of water
systems that will be receiving loan assistance to
upgrade their treatment facilities.  This list is available
to the public, and states are required to seek public
input into the development of their intended use plan.
State Capacity Development Strategies
By October 2000, states must develop strategies to
ensure that all public water systems have the technical,
financial and managerial capability to ensure that safe
drinking water is provided to their customers. States
are required to involve the public in the development
of these strategies, and to make the final strategy
available to the public.
Operator Certification Revisions
States that need to revise their existing programs to
certify operators of public water systems, in order to
meet new requirements, must submit their program
changes to EPA by February 2QQ1.  These states
must obtain public input while revising their
programs, and are encouraged to use citizen
advisory committees to help implement these

Public Notification Improvements
Public water systems must notify their customers
when they violate a drinking water standard. EPA
is revising the existing Public Notification rule to
better tailor the form,  manner, and timing of the
notices to the relative  risk to health. The proposed
rule will make notification easier and more effective
for both water systems and the public.

New Publicly-Accessible Drinking
Water Contaminant Databases
EPA has collected information from water systems
on the occurrence of contaminants in drinking
water to assist in its decision-making about which
contaminants to regulate in the future and which
standards for regulated contaminants to reexamine.
The data  is accessible to the public via the Internet
at www.epa.gov/envko/ under "Drinking Water
Occurrence" and "Drinking Water Microbial and
Disinfection Byproduct Information."

Annual Compliance Report
Every year states must publish a report listing
systems in then: jurisdiction with violations of
federal drinking water standards.  EPA must
summarize this information in a national report and
make it available to the public.

Health  Care Provider Outreach and
EPA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) must jointly establish a national
health care provider training and public education
campaign to inform both the professional health
care provider community and the general public
about waterborne disease and the symptoms that
may be caused by infectious agents, including
microbial contaminants.

lifilj'	i',.! ''lii'i",!'',' i r
• INI illHi' ,„>!!,, j|	, 'if i III
i;	;	,

 program to ensure that water systems have the mana-
 gerial, technical, and financial capacity to effectively
 protect drinking water supplies.

 Finally, the Amendments reflect the fact that effective
 drinking water protection must be founded on govern-
 ment and water system accountability, and on public
 awareness and involvement. "Right-to-know"
 provisions in the Amendments will give consumers
 the information they need to make their own health
 decisions, allow increased participation in drinking
 water decision-making, and promote accountability at
 the water system, state and federal levels.13

 The History of Drinking
 Water  Treatment

 People first treated water to improve its aes-
 thetic qualities.  Methods to improve the taste
 and odor of drinking water were recorded as
 early as 4000  B.C. Ancient Sanskrit, and Greek
 writings recommended  water treatment methods
 such  as filtering through charcoal, exposing to
 sunlight,  boiling,  and straining.14

 Visible cloudiness (turbidity) was the driving force
 behind early water treatments, as many source waters
 contained particles that had an objectionable taste and
 appearance. To clarify water, the Egyptians report-
 edly used the coagulant alum (a chemical that causes
 suspended particles to settle out of water) as early as
 1500 B.C.15 During the 1700s, filtration was estab-
 lished as an effective means of removing particles
 from water, although the degree of clarity was not
 measurable at that time.1 By the early  1800s, slow
 sand filtration was beginning to be used regularly in
 Europe, mainly to improve water's aesthetic qualities.
 By the late 1800s and early 1900s, slow sand filtration
 was used by water systems in some U.S. cities such as

Soon after, scientists learned that turbidity was not
only an aesthetic problem; particles in source water
such as fecal matter could harbor disease-causing
microbes. The design of most drinking water treat-
ment systems built in the U.S. during the early 1900s
was driven by the need to reduce turbidity, thereby
removing microbial  contaminants which were
causing typhoid, dysentery and cholera epidemics.
 While filtration was a fairly effective treatment
 method for reducing turbidity, it was disinfectants like
 chlorine that played the largest role in reducing the
 number of waterborne disease outbreaks in the early
 1900s. In 1908, chlorine was used for the first time as
 a primary disinfectant of drinking water in Jersey City,
 New Jersey. The use of other disinfectants such as
 ozone also began in Europe around this time, but were
 not employed in the U.S. until several decades later.15

 Today,  filtration  and chlorination remain
 effective treatment techniques for protecting
 U.S. water supplies from harmful microbes,
 although additional advances in disinfection
 have been made since the early 1900s.

 By the 1960s, standard drinking water treatment
 techniques in the U.S. also included aeration, floccula-
 tion, and granular activated carbon adsorption (for
 removal of organic contaminants). In the  1970s and
 1980s, advancements were made in membrane
 filtration development for reverse osmosis and other
 new treatment techniques such as ozonation (see
Appendix C).15

 According to a 1995 EPA survey, approximately 64
 percent of community ground water and surface water
 systems disinfect their water with chlorine. Almost all
 of the remaining surface water systems, and some of
the remaining ground water systems, use another type
 of disinfectant, such as ozone or chloramine.18

 Some treatment advancements have been driven by
the discovery of chlorine-resistant pathogens in
drinking water that can cause illnesses like hepatitis,
gastroenteritis, Legionnaire's Disease, and crypto-
sporidiosis.  Other advancements resulted from the
need to remove more and more chemicals found in
sources of drinking water.

Over the years, the number of water systems applying
some type of treatment has increased. According to
several EPA surveys, from 1976 to 1995, the percent-
age of small and medium community water systems
that treat their water has steadily increased. For
example, as figure 4 shows, in 1976 only 33 percent
of systems serving fewer than 100 people provided
treatment. By  1995, that number had risen to 69

              Figure 4. Percentage of Community Water Systems Providing
                           Any Treatment, by Population Served
       80% -
       60% -
       40% -
       20% -
Most large systems have provided some treatment
from the beginning, as they draw their water from
surface sources which are more susceptible to
pollution.  These systems also have the customer base
to provide the funds needed to install and improve
treatment equipment. Because distribution systems
have extended to serve a growing population (as
people have moved from concentrated urban areas to
more suburban areas), additional treatment has been
required to keep water safe until it is delivered to
all customers.
Protecting Drinking  Water
Although treatment techniques can be very effective at
removing contaminants from drinking water, they can
sometimes be expensive to employ. Also, removing
contaminants from drinking water does not necessar-
ily remove them from the environment (e.g., contami-
nants removed from water are often disposed of on
land or released into the air).  A more environmen-
tally-sustainable solution to drinking water  contami-
nation is to prevent pollutants from reaching drinking
water sources in the first place.
Until the 1970s, ground water was thought by many to
be naturally protected from dangerous contaminants.
Since then, scientists have learned that contaminants
from various commercial, industrial, residential and
agricultural activities have reached some ground water
sources (see Figure 5j.17

The nature of ground water makes it especially
difficult to clean up once contamination occurs, and
clean-up can cost millions of dollars and take many
years to complete.  Therefore, pollution prevention is
a more prudent and, in many cases, more cost-
effective approach to protecting ground water used
for drinking water.

Approximately 80 percent of the community water
systems in the U.S. draw their water from underground
sources, so it is crucial to public health that these
sources be protected from contamination. Since the
early 1970s, Congress has enacted a range of laws,
including provisions in SDWA, to regulate waste
disposal wells and underground storage tanks, and
remediate and regulate hazardous waste disposal sites
(see Appendix D).

          Figure 5. Sources of Ground Water Contamination
                                                                                          Ground Water Movement
                                                                                          Intentional Input
                                                                                          Unintentional Input
          Underground Injection Control
          The Underground Injection Control Program, man-
          dated by the 1974 SDWA, was one of the first SDWA
          provisions created specifically to protect underground
          sources of drinking water. This program regulates
          wells that are used by various municipal, agricultural,
          commercial and industrial entities to inject fluids
          underground for the purpose of disposal, hydrocarbon
          production and storage, or mineral recovery. Fluids
          may also be injected into underground wells to
          replenish depleted aquifers (natural underground
          layers of sand or gravel that contain water) with
          surface water for later retrieval, and to prevent salt
          water intrusion into underground sources of drinking
          Shallow drainage systems which discharge contami-
          nants above or directly into underground sources of
          drinking water are additional examples of waste
          injection practices regulated under this program.
          Injection practices not regulated by the Underground
          Injection Control program include small drainage
          systems (serving fewer than 20 persons) which inject
          only sanitary waste.
          For regulatory purposes, EPA groups injection
          practices which have similar functions and/or
          construction and operating features into one of five
          classes  of injection wells (see Appendix E). EPA also
          establishes minimum requirements for states and
territories with primacy for Underground Injection
Control programs. These requirements are designed to
ensure that injected fluids stay within the wells and the
intended injection zones and do not endanger under-
ground sources of drinking water.

Today, 36 states and territories have primacy for
Underground Injection Control programs and EPA
directly implements 17 programs. These programs
regulate more than 400,000 injection wells and up to
89 percent of all hazardous waste that is land-disposed
in the U.S.

Sole Source Aquifers

Another ground water protection effort established by
SDWA is the sole source aquifer protection program.
Congress included this provision in the 1974 SDWA,
and has not modified it since. The program allows
communities, individuals, and organizations to petition
EPA for protection of an aquifer that is the "sole" or
principal source of drinking water for the local

A region is eligible for sole source aquifer status if
more than 50 percent of the population in the defined
area relies on the designated aquifer as its primary
source of drinking water. Once EPA designates a sole
source aquifer through a public  process, EPA has the
authority to review and approve federal financially-
assisted projects that may potentially contaminate the

                               25 YEARS OF THE SAFE DRINKING  WATER ACT: HISTORY AND  TRENDS
aquifer. If the proposed project poses no threat, then
the project continues as planned. However, if there is
potential for contamination of the aquifer, EPA must
work with the project leader and associated federal
agency to recommend protective modifications.
Examples  of federally funded projects that EPA
reviews because the activity may impact ground water
quality include:

•   transportation-related improvement and

•   infrastructure upgrades of public water supply
    systems and waste water facilities;

•   agricultural projects which involve animal waste
    management concerns; and

•   construction of multi-family housing, business
    centers, gasoline stations, and hospitals.

Since the first sole source aquifer designation in 1975,
EPA has designated 70 aquifers in 25 states and
territories  (see Figure 6).

Wellhead Protection
A third provision of SDWA aimed at preventing
groundwater contamination is the Wellhead Protection
Program.  The 1986 SDWA Amendments established
this voluntary program, under which each state is
required to develop and implement a comprehensive
program to protect the land areas around water supply
wells from contaminants that may enter the ground
water and adversely affect human health.

EPA approves state wellhead protection programs and
provides technical support to state and local govern-
ments to implement the programs. Although initially
hampered by lack of funding, most states persevered in
developing and implementing wellhead protection
programs. The states worked hard to overcome other
obstacles, including a general lack of public awareness
about the need to protect wellhead areas, local
reluctance to require land-use controls to prevent
contamination, and shortages of technical data and
expertise necessary to properly delineate (determine
the boundaries of) wellhead protection areas and
identify contaminant sources of concern.

Working primarily with the assistance of EPA regional
offices, the number of states obtaining federal approval
for their wellhead protection programs has increased
steadily since 1990. Today, 49 states and territories
have approved wellhead protection programs in place
(see Figure 7).

Every two years, states/territories report to EPA on
their progress in implementing wellhead protection
             Figure 6. Number of Sole Source Aquifers Designated Per Year
Ei. ;.


 I	i	i	m	,	i
 jijiini	,itj:!i.	
  :T:	!?r	
 i;	i	r
 	i'|	mill	i;	4
tiL	i	;	i
  M	irf-l
 iKl; r.,:j,,.!,:: ;„:,,„

                          Figure 7.  Number of States/Territories with Federally Approved
                                        Wellhead Protection Programs, by Year
                      10 -
                         Figure 8. National Wellhead Protection Program Implementation,
                             Summary of Biennial Data for Community Water Systems
                                 Getting Started
                                 Source Identification
                                 Source Management
                                 Contingency Planning
programs for community water systems. Figure 8
shows the number of community water systems where
one or more of the five steps of a local wellhead
protection effort has taken place. The five steps are:

1.   Getting started (usually means that a community
    planning or work team has been established)
2.   Delineation (determination of the land area to be

3.   Source identification (potential sources of
    contamination within the delineated area have
    been identified)

4.  Source management (a plan has been developed
    and implemented to adequately manage identified
    potential sources of contamination)

5.  Contingency planning (a plan has been estab-
    lished to protect the water source in case of an
    accidental spill of hazardous materials or some
    other emergency)19

State Ground Water Protection Programs
In July 1991, EPA released a ground water protection
strategy which encourages states to develop compre-
hensive ground water protection programs that
establish state-wide priorities for prevention and
remediation activities.   In 1992, EPA published
national guidance detailing the exact program a state
would have to implement in order to be endorsed by
EPA as being comprehensive.

These voluntary programs encourage federal and
state programs to set common priorities for protec-
tive and remedial actions and to coordinate all
programs to achieve common ground water protec-
tion and remediation goals. Programs to protect
current and reasonably  expected future drinking
water supplies include wellhead protection, hazard-
ous and other waste management, pesticides,
underground storage tanks, and wetlands programs.
Today, eleven states have EPA-endorsed comprehen-
sive ground water protection programs (see Figure 9).
Each state has made progress in comprehensive
program development, but many states still have
fragmented and incomplete programs.  Current data
show that localized contamination still exists in every
state from sources such as septic systems, under-
ground storage tanks, animal feeding operations,
agriculture and manufacturing  industries.

Source Water Assessments
The 1996 SDWA Amendments expand the  statutory
basis for assessing and protecting ground water sources
of drinking water and establish new efforts to assess
and protect surface sources of drinking water (i.e.,
source water assessments). The Amendments require
states to implement statewide programs to assess the
susceptibility to contamination of each public water
system.  States must first receive EPA approval for
 Figure 9. States with Approved Wellhead
 Protection and/or Comprehensive State
 Ground Water Protection Programs
their programs and must complete assessments by
2003. The Act encourages states and communities to
use the information from assessments to develop and
implement source water protection programs. These
programs would identify measures to protect the
watershed of each public water system.
Each assessment will provide essentially the first
three steps of a full prevention program: delineating
the source water protection area, inventorying the
significant potential sources of contamination, and
understanding the susceptibility of the source waters
of each public water system to contamination. These
assessments should lead to protection because they are
a tool for further efforts, not a complete process in and
of themselves. States must make the results of each
assessment available to the public. Then, each state,
public water system and locality can decide what
preventive actions to take based upon the findings.
Beginning in 2001, states will incorporate information
on the status of their wellhead protection programs into
                               Mariana Islands
     Neither Program Approved
     Wellhead Protection Program Approved
     Wellhead Protection and Comprehensive Ground Water
     Protection Programs Approved
^*-2» «•*>.[»

m llHHi iiIiHH Bit

11 BBllliiB11
their source water assessment reports. States will
expand their wellhead protection efforts beyond the
five steps discussed under State Ground Water
Programs to include completion of a susceptibility
determination and presentation of the final assessment
report to the public.

The Clean Water Act
Source water assessment and protection programs are
not the only means by which surface water sources are
protected from pollution.  The Clean Water Act also
seeks to protect these sources of drinking water. The
1977 Clean Water Act amended the 1972 Federal
Water Pollution Control Act, which established the
framework for regulating the discharge of pollutants to
waters of the U.S.  Aggressive use of this Clean Water
Act authority can reduce the contaminant loading that
might otherwise have to be removed by a drinking
water treatment facility to protect public health.

The_Clean Water Act requires states and authorized
Native American tribes to set water quality standards
which consist of two parts:  1) states and tribes assign
"designated uses" to each of the waterbodies in their
jurisdiction, such as serving as public drinking water
sources, providing fish and shellfish for safe human
consumption, and allowing recreational activities like
swimming; 2) then states and tribes set water quality
criteria (e.g., maximum pollutant concentrations) to
support the designated uses.
If pollutant standards are not met for part or all of a
waterbody, the state must establish a "total maximum
daily load" (TMDL) for the pollutant. The TMDL is
the maximum amount of a pollutant that a waterbody
can receive and still meet water quality standards. The
TMDL is allocated among individual dischargers of
the pollutant, including both point and nonpoint
The Clean Water Act requires that states survey, assess
and report on the degree to which their surface waters
support designated uses. Some Native American
tribes also report this information. Thirty-eight states,
tribes or territories submitted data to EPA in 1998 that
address the support of public drinking water use (see
Figure 10). According to that data, the majority of
waterbodies designated as public water supplies are
fully supporting that use (86 percent of assessed rivers
and streams, and 85 percent of assessed lakes and

In the early 1990s, only a small percentage of rivers,
streams, lakes, and reservoirs were assessed for
drinking water use. In 1996, EPA published state
guidelines for assessing the extent to which
waterbodies are of sufficient quality to support their
use as drinking water supplies. EPA modified these
guidelines in 1998 to provide states more flexibility.
That additional flexibility has resulted in an increasing
number of states performing drinking water use
assessments under the Clean Water Act.  The number
of states that are reporting data on how they classify
waterbodies for drinking water use, and on the sources
of water contamination, is also increasing.

However, many challenges remain. In 1998, twelve
states did not report on whether, or how, their water
quality standards support drinking water use and many
of the 38 states that reported water quality data did not
explain how they classify waterbodies to support
drinking water use, or on the sources of contamination
affecting those waterbodies. The source water
assessments that are required by SDWA to be corn-
                                                                     Figure 10. States Submitting 1998
                                                                     Drinking Water Use Support Data to EPA
                 Hawaii       Puerto Rico     Virgin Islands
                                                                         Submitted Drinking Water Use Support Data
                                                                         No Drinking Water Use Support Data Submitted

pleted no later than 2003 should help strengthen
reporting from the states.

Compliance Trends for
Community Water Systems

One way to gauge whether the quality of our nation's
drinking water has improved under SDWA is to
examine water systems' compliance with federal
Over the past year, EPA has been evaluating the quality
of the data used to assess the effectiveness of the
drinking water program. The evaluation assessed
quality using many different approaches.  Data
verification audits (performed in states by an indepen-
dent EPA contractor) from the past three years were
used to quantify data quality, because these audits look
at data quality from the perspective of what data should
have been reported by public water systems to local
and state governments, as well as what data should
have been transmitted from state governments to the
Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS),
EPA's drinking water database.
This analysis concluded that about 90 percent of
monitoring and reporting violations which should have
been reported were reported incorrectly or not at all.
About half of the MCL violations were not reported.
EPA does not believe that these results are cause for
immediate concern because they may be unrelated to
public health. We are still investigating whether the
under-reporting by states is due to poor documentation,
different interpretations of regulatory requirements,
inadequate staffing, or other causes. Much work
remains to be done.
EPA, with its partners,  is committed to correcting
data deficiencies. These deficiencies make it difficult
to look at historical compliance trends using SDWIS
data — but this is the best source of drinking water
data that exists on a nationwide basis. Therefore,
EPA presents the following data on trends, realizing
that the magnitude of certain trends may be inaccu-
rate as some states have provided little or no data for
certain regulations over a period of months or years.
While the general trend is downward, the  actual
number of systems in violation may be higher than
shown in the following compliance figures.
Although water systems began reporting data to states
for the earliest regulations in the late 1970s, most
compliance data was not entered into EPA's electronic
database until around 1980. For this reason, the
historical data presented here begins in 1980.

Delays in Achieving Compliance

Under the original SDWA and its 1986 amendments,
water systems were given 18 months to comply with
new regulations. States used this time to obtain
authority from their legislatures to adopt the new
rules, promulgate their own rules (which must be at
least as  strict as the federal requirements), and
convey to water systems the new requirements.

Over the years, many water systems have taken longer
than allowed to implement new monitoring schedules,
purchase and install new treatment devices, or make
improvements in their existing treatment techniques.
In many cases, late compliance has been due to a lack
of funding and other resources at the water system
level. This is especially the case when several new
regulations are issued around the same time. Never-
theless,  water systems that do not meet a new rule's
requirements within the allotted implementation time
are considered to be hi violation because they may not
be providing the level of public health protection that
the rule  intends.

When several new regulations, including the Surface
Water Treatment Rule  and  the chemical rules, were
promulgated after the 1986 Amendments and were
scheduled to go into effect in the early 1990s, many
water systems had difficulty meeting all the new
requirements at once. The number of systems
reported by states as violating these new rules gener-
ally peaked a few years after the rules were promul-
gated (see Figure 19).  This was likely due to a com-
bination of late water system compliance and a delay
in the reporting of violation data by states to EPA.

To give  states and water systems a more realistic
amount  of time to comply with new regulations, the
1996 Amendments extended the time between
promulgation and implementation to three years for
most new regulations.


              Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) and
              TTHMs form when disinfectants react with natural
              organic matter in water and have potential chronic
              health effects. TTHMs occur mostly in surface water
              systems because these systems are most likely to have
              elevated levels of organic matter in their source water,
              which can create these byproducts during disinfection.
              Nitrates have potential acute health affects and occur
              mostly in ground water systems (which tend to be
              smaller).  Because trihalomethanes and nitrates are
              two of EPA's earliest regulated contaminants, tracking
              compliance with these standards provides a general
              sense of public drinking water quality over time.
              The 1979 standard for TTHMs applies to about 3,500
              community water systems (those serving at least
              10,000 people).  The number of community water
              systems with at least one  violation of the TTHM
              MCL has been decreasing fairly steadily since the
              mid-1980s, going from a peak of about 70 systems
              (2 percent of the total that must comply) violating in
              1985 to fewer than 10 systems violating in 1998 (see
              Figure 11). The number of community water systems
              with monitoring and reporting violations for TTHMs
              has also been decreasing fairly steadily, going from
              about 180 systems violating in 1985 to about 70
              violating in  1998.
                                The standard for nitrate applies to all types and sizes of
                                public water systems. The number of community water
                                systems with MCL violations for nitrate has been
                                decreasing slightly since the mid-1980s, going from a
                                peak of about 340 systems violating in 1985 to
                                approximately 190 systems in 1998 (see Figure 12).
                                As with TTHMs, the peak number of systems with
                                reported violations represents a small fraction — less
                                than one percent — of the total systems which must
                                comply with the nitrate MCL. There is no clear trend
                                regarding the number of community water systems
                                with monitoring and reporting violations for nitrates.

                                Inorganic Chemicals

                                From 1976 to 1986, nine drinking water regulations
                                existed for inorganic contaminants, including nitrate.
                                Seven additional inorganic chemicals were assigned
                                MCLs when the interim standards were finalized by
                                the  1986 SDWA Amendments.

                                Despite these additions, the number of community
                                water systems with MCL violations of inorganic
                                contaminants other than nitrate declined steadily from
                                its peak (about 700 systems) in 1984 by an average of
                                36 systems per year,  to about 100 systems in 1998
                                (see Figure 13). This peak number of 700 violating
                                systems represents less than two percent of the total
Figure 11. Number of Community Water Systems with
     Violations for Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
                                                                                 MCL Violations
                                                                                 Monitoring/Reporting Violations

                Figure 12. Number of Community Water Systems with
                               MCL Violations for Nitrates

                                                                            - 1,400,000

                                                                            - 1,200,000
Figure 13. Number of Community Water Systems with MCL
Violations of Inorganic Chemicals (Other than Nitrates)
700 -
600 -
500 -
400 -
300 -
200 -
100 -
•o CNJ ~a -D
CD en 

liililili SHU!1
 • •••••I

beginning in 1993. The number of community water
systems with MCL violations for synthetic organic
chemicals generally increased from a few systems
violating in the early 1980s to a peak of 60 systems
violating in 1995. The number of systems violating
the MCL declined since then to fewer than 20 in
1998 (see Figure 14). This peak number of violating
systems represents less than one percent of the total
community water systems that must comply with
MCLs for synthetic organic chemicals.  No trend is
decipherable in the number of community water
systems violating monitoring and reporting require-
ments for synthetic organic compounds.

Volatile Organic Chemicals
As mentioned previously, TTHMs were the only
volatile organic compounds regulated under the
original SDWA. In the 1986 amendments, EPA set
MCLs for 21 additional volatile organic compounds,
most of which became effective in 1989. The number
of community water systems with MCL violations of
these volatile organic compounds peaked in 1992 at
about 70 systems (representing less than one percent
of the total community water systems that must
comply with MCLs for volatile organic chemicals
other than TTHMs). Since 1992, the number of
systems violating has declined by about eight per year
to 25 systems violating in 1998 (see Figure 15).

The greatest number of people were affected by these
violations in the first few years of implementation.
Between 1989 and 1991, the population affected by
violations of volatile organic compound MCLs
dropped by more than 60 percent, going from about
1.5 million people affected to  less than 500,000
people affected. The population affected then
increased gradually to about 600,000 in 1994 and
has declined steadily since (see Figure 15).


The interim regulations for radionuclides included
standards for combined radium-226 and -228 and two
other classes of radionuclide contaminants. These
standards remain the same today, although revisions
are under consideration at this time.  A standard for
radon has also been proposed.

The number of community water systems with MCL
violations for radionuclides increased fairly steadily
from 1980 to 1992. By 1992, EPA had proposed a
less stringent standard for radium so that national
resources could be focused on control of radon, which
posed a higher risk and was found more frequently

                               Figure 14. Number of Community Water Systems with
                                      Violations of Synthetic Organic Chemicals
                                                     MCL Violations

        Figure 15. Number of Community Water Systems with MCL Violations
                  For Volatile Organic Chemicals (Other than TTHMs)


                                                                             - 1,400,000

                                                                             - 1,200,000

                                                                             - 1,000,000  3"
Figure 16. Number of Community Water Systems with
MCL Violations for Radionuclides
400 -
300 -
200 -
100 -

	 - 	 •]...





1 .-...._...

CT3 OT O? O3 CTi Ol O5 0} Cn O5

than radium. Many states may have stopped reporting
water systems' radium violations hi anticipation of the
new standard, causing the decrease in MCL violations
seen in figure 16 after 1992.
Total Coliform
The Total Coliform Rule became effective in Decem-
ber 1990, although a less stringent standard for total
coliform existed (in combination with a turbidity



I ft.

standard) as one of the interim regulations under the
original SDWA. Community water systems with total
coliform violations have accounted for the vast
majority of community water systems with MCL
violations each year. Monitoring is required more
frequently for total coliform, thus creating more
opportunities for detecting MCL violations.

The number of systems with MCL violations of total
coliform has decreased fairly  steadily since 1980, at a
rate of about 200 systems per year (see Figure 17).
Since 1980, over 80 percent of all community water
systems with any MCL violation had a MCL viola-
tion for total coliform (see Figure 18). With the
exception of the Surface Water Treatment Rule, no
other contaminant or rule has been the cause for
more than 1,000 systems having MCL/treatment
technique violations.  However, even the peak
number of systems violating the total coliform MCL
(approximately 7,000 systems in 1980) represents
only about 13 percent of the total number of commu-
nity water systems that must comply with the
The number of systems with MCL violations of total
coliform did not increase after the 1990 rule went
into effect.  However, the population affected by
community water systems with Total Coliform Rule
MCL violations more than doubled between 1990 and
1993, going from roughly 12.5 million people affected
in 1990 to 28 million in 1993. The population
affected has declined steadily by about 4 million
people per year since 1993 to about 8 million in 1998
(see Figure 17).

The number of systems with monitoring and reporting
violations for total coliform has declined steadily since
1980 by a rate of about 600 systems per year, from
approximately 20,000 systems in 1980 to about  7,000
systems violating in 1998. The population affected by
these monitoring and reporting violations has also
generally decreased since 1980 (see Figure 19).

Surface Water Treatment Rule
The Surface Water Treatment Rule took effect in
December 1990. The number of community water
systems violating the rule's treatment technique
requirement increased from about 10 in 1991 to
approximately 1,500 in 1994, and then dropped to just
under 1,000 by 1998 (see Figure 20).  When non-
compliance was at its highest, the number of systems
violating  the surface water treatment rule represented
about 14 percent of the total number of community
water systems that must comply with the rule.
                               Figure 17. Number of Community Water Systems with
                                            MCL Violations of Total Coliform

      Figure 18. Number of Community Water Systems with Any MCL Violations
7,000 -

6,000 -

5,000 -

4,000 -


2,000 -

1,000 -


                 Figure 19. Number of Community Water Systems with
                   Monitoring/Reporting Violations for Total Coliform
                                                              Systems with Violations
The population affected by these violations increased
from about 140,000 people in 1991 to about 26 million
in 1994. This population affected was higher than for
any other contaminant or rule with the exception of the
total coliform rule in 1993. The population affected
gradually decreased to about 18 million in 1998 (see
Figure 20).
                                           The number of systems with monitoring and reporting
                                           violations of the Surface Water Treatment Rule rose
                                           from about 120 systems in 1992 to a peak of approxi-
                                           mately 600 systems in 1994, and has generally
                                           decreased since (see Figure 21). The number of
                                           people served by systems with violations of monitoring
                                           and reporting requirements peaked at 5 million people

 F	 i;	»«'	M'S
 '!'';1'''" '-r-g
 1 '-ii,!li! i „!,:
IE	, idi sitiiiis	iii	it
  I Sj	
      i	II

                         Figure 20. Number of Community Water Systems with Treatment
                            Technique Violations of the Surface Water Treatment Rule
                                                                             Systems with Violations
                        Figure 21. Number of Community Water Systems with Monitoring/
                             Reporting Violations of the Surface Water Treatmeint Rule
                                                                       Systems with Violations
              in 1994, and declined to about 2 million in 1997.  The
              population affected then rose to about 3.7 million in
              1998 (see Figure 21).
              One reason for the high number of systems with
              treatment technique violations as compared to monitor-
                        ing and reporting violations is that many systems
                        received treatment technique violations for failure to
                        filter. Because installing filtration is expensive, many
                        large systems have needed more time than the regula-
                        tions allow to get filtration systems in place.
    •	'	ii*"'i!

Lead and Copper Rule
The Lead and Copper Rule became effective in
December 1992. The number of community water
systems with treatment technique violations increased
from just a few systems in the early 1990s to a peak of
about 800 systems 1994, and then decreased by about
200 systems per year to 145 systems by 1998 (see
Figure 22).  At its peak, less than two percent of the
community water systems that must comply with the
Lead and Copper Rule were in violation.

The population affected by systems with Lead and
Copper treatment technique violations jumped from
about 120,000 people in 1992 to about 7 million in
1993. The  population affected was somewhat erratic
(above 4 million) through 1997 and then dropped to
about 400,000 in 1998 (see Figure 22).
The number of systems with monitoring and reporting
violations for the Lead and Copper Rule rose from
about 1,600 in 1992 to more than 11,000 in 1994,
higher than any other contaminant or rule. This
number dropped to about 2,300 systems in 1995, and
has declined slightly since then (see Figure 23).

The population affected by Lead and Copper
monitoring and reporting violations peaked in 1992
at 43 million, which is also higher than any other
contaminant or rule has ever been (monitoring and
reporting violations for the Total Coliform Rule
peaked at 25 million in 1992). By 1994, this number
dropped to 10 million and has decreased steadily
since then to under two million people affected in
1998 (see Figure 23).

System Size  Affects Violation Trends
Community water systems of all sizes have generally
followed the same decreasing trend in violations since
1980, except for a period in the early 1990s when
systems of all sizes struggled to comply with several
new regulations  (see Figure 24).
Medium, large and very large systems saw a signifi-
cant increase in  violations in 1992 as new rules
(specifically, the Surface Water Treatment Rule in late
1990) became effective. Very small and small systems
saw a similar increase in 1993 (perhaps due to other
new regulations, like the 1992 Lead and Copper Rule,
which applies to all system sizes). This time differ-
ence in violation increases may also be partly due to
the fact that some states require larger systems to
begin implementing new rules earlier than smaller
           Figure 22. Number of Community Water Systems with Treatment
                      Technique Violations of Lead and Copper Rule
            600 -•-
                      Systems with
            400 -
            200 -

          Figure 23. Number of Community Water Systems with Monitoring
                      or Reporting Violations for Lead and Copper
                                                            Systems with Violations
                                          - 50
                  Figure 24. Percent of Community Water Systems with
                              Any Violations, by System Size







Very Small
Very Large
Generally, larger systems have more resources
available to comply with regulations, so fewer
violations are incurred, despite the fact that larger
systems must comply with more regulations than
smaller systems.
          In recent years, it appears that the gap between the
          percentage of small, medium, large and very large
          systems with violations has been closing. However,
          very small systems are still almost 50 percent more
          likely to incur violations than all other system sizes.

Waterborne Disease
Another way to determine whether the quality of our
nation's drinking water has improved as a result of
SDWA is to examine whether the number of people
becoming ill from contaminated water has decreased
over the last 25 years. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) defines an outbreak of
waterborne disease caused by microorganisms as
occurring when: (1) two or more persons experience a
similar illness after consumption or use of water
intended for drinking, and (2) epidemiologic evidence
implicates the water as a source of illness. CDC also
defines a  single case of illness as a waterborne disease
outbreak if a study indicates that the water has been
contaminated by a chemical.21
Despite existing drinking water  regulations, outbreaks
continue to occur. Health records show that the
number of outbreaks has decreased dramatically in
recent decades compared to the early part of this
century when typhoid and cholera epidemics were
EPA and CDC believe that the vast majority of
waterborne disease outbreaks and cases (people
affected by outbreaks) are never identified and
reported.  Few states have an  active outbreak surveil-
lance program and disease outbreaks are often not
recognized in a community or, if recognized, are not
traced to contaminated drinking water. EPA and
CDC also believe that a major factor in the failure to
recognize outbreaks is that the vast majority of people
experiencing waterborne disease do not seek medical
attention. This is because most agents of waterborne
disease cause diarrhea and stomach cramps —
symptoms common to many illnesses. Physicians
usually cannot attribute a limited number of cases of
gastrointestinal illness to any specific  source, such as
water, food or contact with another person.
The gathering and reporting of waterborne disease
outbreak data by states is largely a voluntary  effort.
States that have active  outbreak surveillance programs
often appear to have more outbreaks than states
without active programs.  An obstacle to reliable
waterborne disease outbreak recognition and report-
ing is often a lack of formal communication among
the state agencies responsible  for public health and
water suppliers.
The number of outbreaks reported to CDC in any
given year may also depend on the resources allo-
cated to CDC and other organizations to seek
outbreak information from states and published

          Figure 25. Number of Waterborne Disease Outbreaks in Community
                 Water Systems and Their Causitive Agents (1974-1996)

liiiiK lltliWiiHi
 i ill I iliil 1 111
Despite these hindrances, EPA and CDC have been
working together since 1971 to gather information on
waterborne disease outbreaks across the country.
According to this data (see Figure 25), the number of
outbreaks in the U.S. since 1974 was highest in the
early 1980s, but appears to have generally decreased
since then.

Of the waterborne disease outbreaks that were
reported in community water systems from 1974 to
1996, 12 percent were caused by bacterial pathogens,
33 percent were caused by parasites, five percent were
caused by viruses, 18 percent were caused by chemi-
cal contaminants, and 31 percent were caused by
undetermined agents.22

Although the number of reported outbreaks in the U.S.
over the past 25 years has declined, some of the more
recent outbreaks have been very serious, causing
numerous people to become ill and, in some cases,
even causing death.

The largest outbreak reported in the U.S. since health
officials began tracking waterborne disease in 1920
occurred in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1993. After
drinking water contaminated with the  single-celled
parasite Ciyptosporidium parvum, over 400,000
people suffered from gastrointestinal illness and it
is estimated that at least 50 people died from the
disease cryptosporidiosis.23

Table 2 contains examples of other significant water-
borne disease outbreaks that have occurred in U.S.
community water systems.24"30

In the last ten years, EPA has taken several regula-
tory steps  to minimize the number of~outbreaks and
incidence of waterborne disease.  The Total Coliform
Rule (1989) strengthened microbial monitoring
requirements. The Surface Water Treatment Rule
(1989) and Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treat-
ment Rule (1998) place stringent treatment require-
ments on systems using surface water as a source. In
the near future, EPA plans to propose regulations
requiring public water systems that draw their water
from underground sources and are vulnerable to fecal
contamination, to remove the sources of contamina-
tion, switch to an alternative water supply, or treat
the water.
Table 2
Year State/
1985 MA
1987 GA
1987 PR
1989 MO
1991 PR
1993 MO
1993 Wl

Cause of
Giardia latnblia
parvum (protozoan)
Shigella sonnei
parvum (protozoan)

No. of
People Affected
703 illnesses
13,000 illnesses
1,800 illnesses
243 illnesses
4 deaths
9,847 illnesses
650 illnesses
7 deaths
400,000 illnesses
50+ deaths
PR=Puerto Rico

The  Cost of Safe Drinking

Operational costs for drinking water suppliers are
rising to meet the needs of an aging infrastructure,
comply with public health standards, and expand
service areas. In most cases, these increasing costs
over the years have caused water suppliers to raise
their water rates to generate more revenue.  In fact,
the majority of water industry revenues come directly
from water sales, and water rates are the primary
mechanism by which customers are charged for
service. As shown in figure 26, the revenue earned
from residential customers has generally increased
since 1975 for all system sizes and is rising at a faster
pace than inflation (see Figure 27).  Systems serving
10,000 or fewer people have consistently charged
higher residential rates  than larger systems  because
they have a smaller customer base among which to
spread costs.

The remainder of water system revenues are generated
from fees (e.g., connection or inspection fees), fines
and penalties, and other non-consumption-based

Due to historic underpricing, the rates most water
systems have  charged their customers have not
reflected the true cost of treating drinking water and
making  necessary infrastructure improvements.

                               25  YEARS OF THE SAFE DRINKING  WATER ACT: HISTORY AND TRENDS
Despite rate increases, water is generally still a bargain
when compared to other utility services. Even when
drinking water, wastewater and other public services
(e.g. garbage collection) are combined, the annual bill
for those services is less than what households pay, on
average, for natural gas, electricity or telephone
services annually (see Figure 2S).31
                              The demand for water (aggregate, per capita and
                              household) has generally declined during the latter
                              part of this century, while demand for other utilities
                              like electricity and telephone service has risen.
                              Enhanced public awareness of water resource issues,
                              active conservation programs  in many states, and the
                              required installation of more water-efficient appli-
                  Figure 26. Revenues Earned by CWSs from Residential
                      Customers (In '95 dollars), by Population Served
        300 -
        250 -
    T?  zoo -
    ~  150
         50 -
* Data not available for 1990.
                   Figure 27. Consumer Price Index (1982 to 1984 = 100)
      250.0 -
      200.0 -
      150.0 -
      100.0 -
       50.0 -
Garbage collection
Cable television
Water/sewer maintenance
Local telephone service
All items
Natural gas
Interstate telephone service

ances and practices are partially
responsible for the decline in

While the decline in
demand is a good sign for
the future of drinking
water, the decrease in water
supply is not. Because water
is a constrained resource, the
marginal cost of new sources of
supply is expected to rise. The water industry is
looking for cost effective alternatives and is evaluat-
ing water conservation and reuse practices, as well as
the use of desalinization processes.31

In 1995, EPA conducted a nationwide survey of
community water system infrastructure needs through
the year 2014. The survey showed infrastructure need
as approximately $138 billion over the 20-year period,
which is more than what the entire estimated assets of
the water industry were  in 1995 ($131.9 billion).14'16
More than half of the identified need was for transmis-
sion and distribution system installation and replace-
ment. Treatment improvements constituted the second
largest category of need, followed by storage and
source water improvements (see Figure 29). In 1995,
it was estimated that an investment of $34.4 billion
would be needed for SDWA compliance and SDWA-
related improvements.32

Efforts have been made in recent years to meet the
water industry's infrastructure needs through govern-
ment assistance. With the establishment of the
DWSRF in 1996, Congress appropriated $1.3 billion
in 1997. The annual Congressional appropriations  in
1998 and 1999 were $725 million and $775 million,
respectively. Although states and water systems are
taking advantage of this  funding source to make
infrastructure improvements, government funding will
cover only a portion of the total investment needed.

Issues Facing Small Systems

Since the crafting of SDWA in the early 1970s,
Congress has recognized the unique challenges that
face small drinking water systems (those serving
3,300 or fewer people).  The original Act in 1974,  and
the major amendments in 1986, focused on develop-
Figure 28. Annual Household
     Expenditures foir Utilities:
       Family of Four (1995)
               93.6% Other
                        0.8% Water & Other
                        Public Services ($334)
                        1.0% Natural Gas & Fuel Oil ($432)

                        2.0% Telephone ($839)
                        2.6% Electricity ($1,120)
 Figure 29. Total 20 Year Need of
 All Community Water Systems
 (in Billions of Jan. '95 Dollars)
1% Other ($1.9)
56%Transmission/Distribution $77.2
ing and implementing a strong regulatory program
based on monitoring and treatment. The general
sentiment was that water systems would make the
changes necessary to comply with new regulations.

The Act authorized training and technical assistance
to help systems, and provided exemptions for systems
that faced compelling economic circumstances. These
exemptions could be extended for very small systems

(those serving 25-500 people). However, by the late
1980s and early 1990s, it was clear that small systems
were having great difficulty keeping up with the
rapidly expanding SDWA-mandated regulations.
Consolidation had not occurred to the extent that was
hoped for in the 1970s.  There was also a growing
recognition that, separate from any regulatory
mandates, there was a significant need for basic
infrastructure repair and replacement for small

In addition to being part of a rising cost industry,
another challenge faced by small systems is a lack of
sufficient customer base among which to spread
costs, or what is also referred to as economies of
scale. Depending on how a small system designs its
rates, fewer customers can mean less revenue for
infrastructure improvements, repayment of loans,
and hiring operators and other staff with technical

Compared with larger systems, small systems are the
least able to gain access to outside capital to finance
needed infrastructure improvements.32 Large systems
tend to have a higher percentage of industrial, com-
mercial and agricultural customers, whereas small
systems serve primarily residential customers, who, as
a group, generally are less  able to pay substantial
amounts  for their water. Small, rural communities
typically  have residents with lower incomes, higher
unemployment rates, and larger populations of aging
residents. These communities also have more diffi-
culty obtaining loans than larger, metropolitan

Many small systems find it difficult to strike a balance
between charging customers enough to cover their
costs and ensuring that services are affordable.  It has
been a widely held view in the drinking water industry
that water in many areas has historically been under-
priced. In theory, water prices are primarily a function
of the cost of providing water service to customers.
However, when systems do not establish rates that
allow them to collect sufficient revenue to cover
service costs, they inevitably lack resources to make
needed infrastructure improvements and protect
public health.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, a few states
were implementing initiatives which sought to
promote small system compliance and address small
system problems by ensuring that systems had the
necessary underlying technical, managerial, and
financial capacity. Eventually the concept of capacity
development emerged.

The capacity development concept includes compo-
nents of the prevention, compliance and public
participation elements of SDWA that were empha-
sized hi the 1996 Amendments. It weaves together
all existing state drinking water program activities.
The 1996 SDWA Amendments require states to
ensure that no new systems are created that lack
capacity to meet drinking water standards now and in
the future. States are also required to develop a
strategy to address capacity issues affecting systems
within the state.

In 1995, the projected 20-year costs (through 2014)
small systems faced to make infrastructure improve-
ments to their facilities was estimated at $37.2 billion,
about 27 percent of the total national need.32 Al-
though small systems have less total need than
medium or large systems, their customers face the
largest per-household costs, at $3,300 per household
through 2014 (see Figure 30).  While the provisions of
the 1996 SDWA Amendments will help small
systems improve the quality of their drinking water,
they may also increase operational costs.
The loan fund created by the 1996 Amendments
emphasizes providing assistance to small and disad-
vantaged communities and to programs that encourage
pollution prevention as a tool for ensuring safe
drinking water. A portion of the state's grant can also
be used by states to administer specific aspects of the
drinking water program, such as assessing source
water quality, certifying treatment plant operators, and
implementing capacity development programs.
The 1996 SDWA Amendments assisted small systems
in another way. When setting new drinking water
standards, EPA must identify technologies that
achieve compliance and are affordable for systems
serving  fewer than 10,000 people. When such
technologies cannot be identified, EPA must identify
t  _   -


            Figure 30.  Average Cost Per Household to Meet Water System's
               20-Year Infrastructure Need (Total Need in Jan. '95 Dollars)
    3,500 -	

    3,000 -	

    2,500 -	

=§   2,000 -	
    1,500 -	

    1,000 - •

     500 -•

                                                  $ 1,200
                                            System Size
affordable technologies that maximize contaminant
reduction and protect public health.

Successes and Challenges
Obtaining safe drinking water is a problem civiliza-
tions have faced for thousands of years. While
tremendous progress has been made in improving the
testing, treatment, protection, and provision, of
drinking water to the public, numerous challenges

As the U.S. population has grown and American
lifestyles have become more sophisticated, so have the
number of drinking water problems grown and their
required solutions become more technically complex.
Despite these challenges, the quality of drinking water
in the U.S. has improved over the last 25 years, largely
due to the efforts of drinking water and health profes-
sionals in the public and private sectors and the
foundation that the Safe Drinking Water Act has
provided them.
Public health protection has been, and remains, the
national drinking water program's most important
focus. As a result, we have seen a steady increase over
                                             the years in the percentage of people served by water
                                             systems that meet all health-based standards. This
                                             increased public health protection came about from the
                                             implementation of a multiple barrier approach which
                                             recognizes that contaminants reach drinking water via
                                             many pathways. Implementation activities include:

                                             •   improved detection and treatment technologies;

                                             •   new and ongoing research about drinking water

                                             •   a variety of source water protection programs;

                                             •   other statutes, such as the Clean Water Act, that
                                                 complement SDWA;

                                             •   increased cooperation among local, state and
                                                 federal drinking water professionals;

                                             •   consumers who are more informed about drinking
                                                 water issues, such as contaminant health risks and
                                                 the need for water conservation; and

                                             •   voluntary programs like the Partnership for Safe
                                                 Water (see Appendix A)

                                             However, even greater effort will be needed to deal
                                             with new and ongoing challenges.

With an increasing survival rate among cancer
patients, a higher percentage of elderly citizens, and a
growing HIV/AIDS population, it will become
increasingly critical that drinking water health
information be provided in a timely fashion to
immuno-compromised populations. To continue
learning about the health effects of known and/or
regulated contaminants, and to begin studying
emerging contaminants (e.g., newly discovered
microbes, perchlorate), it will be imperative that the
public and private sectors work together to more
effectively and efficiently conduct sound scientific
research in the future.
Given the national increase  in population, urbaniza-
tion and development, it will be especially important
for all communities to participate in water conserva-
tion measures and source water protection activities
to lessen the negative impacts that these trends can
have on the availability and quality of drinking water.

It is important that consumers recognize that their
actions affect the quality of their source water and the
level of treatment that is required to allow safe
drinking water to flow from their taps.  The public
must also recognize mat high quality tap water comes
at a price, but one that can be significantly less than
alternatives such as buying bottled water.  Drinking
water professionals and community leaders must
continue to work together to educate and update the
public about these issues.
Water professionals will also need to continue to
evaluate the structure of the drinking water provision
system and determine whether restructuring (e.g.,
consolidation) or other activities can help alleviate
small system compliance problems.  They will also
need to determine whether funds to cover infra-
structure and other costs can be more efficiently
allocated,  especially for economically-disadvantaged
EPA and its partners must work to minimize defi-
ciencies in compliance data to ensure that water
systems are providing drinking water that meets
standards  and to have the necessary data to track
progress over time.

Despite the many challenges faced by the national
drinking water program, the U.S. has provided some
of the safest public drinking water in the world. To
maintain this high quality water supply, it will be
critical  for the drinking water community to  work in
concert with the public to ensure that all Americans
have  safe drinking water and that the Safe Drinking
Water Act continues to provide the framework
necessary to achieve that goal.


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                         Treatment. American Water Works Association.
                         Third Edition. 1971.

                     2.   Pontius, Frederick W. and Stephen W. Clark.
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                         Regulations and Goals. Water Quality and
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                     4.   Oleckno, W.A. The National Interim Primary
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                     5.   U.S. Department of Health, Education, and
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                         July 1970.
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                     8.   Fiscal Year 1980 Annual Report on the
                         Compliance Status of Public Water Systems
                         Under the National Interim Primary Drinking
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                     9.   National Interim Primary Drinking Water
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                     10. National Secondary Drinking Water
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    before the House Subcommittee on Health and
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13. The Safe Drinking Water Act — One Year Later:
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15. HDR Engineering, Inc. Safe Drinking Water Act
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    March 1999.
16. Survey of Operating and Financial
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18. Community Water System Survey (1995).  EPA
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19. Summary of State Biennial Reports of Wellhead
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20. National Water Quality Inventory: 1998
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    December 1999.
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22. Craun, G. F. Gunther F. Craun & Associates.
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28.  Centers for Disease Control. Morbidity and
    Mortality Weekly Report:  Surveillance
    Summaries. Vol. 42, No. SS-5. November 1993.

29. Centers for Disease Control. Morbidity and
    Mortality Weekly Report:  Surveillance
    Summaries. Vol. 45, No. SS-1. April 1996.
30. Angulo, Dr. Frederick J., et al. A Community
    Waterborne Outbreak of Salmonellosis and the
    Effectiveness of a Boil Water Order.  American
    Journal of Public Health. May 1996.
31. Beecher, Dr. Janice A. Beecher Policy Research,
    Inc.  The Water Industry Compared: Structural,
    Regulatory, and Strategic Issues for Utilities in a
    Changing Context. National Association of
    Water Companies. 1998.
32. Drinking Water Infrastructure  Needs Survey.
    EPA 812-R-97-001.  January 1997.

       ix A

Acute Health Effect
An immediate (i.e., within hours or days) adverse
health effect that may result from exposure to certain
drinking water contaminants (e.g., pathogens).

Chronic Health  Effect
The possible result of exposure over many years to a
drinking water contaminant at levels above its
maximum contaminant level.

A group of related bacteria whose presence in drinking
water may indicate contamination by disease-causing
microorganisms (see pathogens).

A microbe commonly found in lakes and rivers which
is highly  resistant to disinfection. Cryptosporidium
has caused several large outbreaks of gastrointestinal
illness, with symptoms that include diarrhea,  nausea,
and/or stomach cramps. People with severely
weakened immune systems are likely to have more
severe and more persistant symptoms than healthy
                     Disinfection Byproducts
                     Chemicals that may form when disinfectants (such as
                     chlorine) react with plant matter and other naturally-
                     occurring materials in the water. These byproducts
                     may pose health risks in drinking water.
                     Distribution System
                     A network of pipes leading from a treatment plant to
                     customers' plumbing systems.

                     A general category of gastrointestinal illness which
                     may result from drinking water contaminated with
                     pathogenic viruses, bacteria or protozoa. Symptoms
                     include diarrhea, cramps, fatigue, nausea and

 G/ard/a Iamb/la

 A microorganism frequently found in rivers and lakes,
 which, if not treated for properly, may cause diarrhea,
 fatigue, and cramps after ingested.

 Hepatitis A
 One of numerous diseases (e.g., meningitis, ulcers,
 myocarditis, typhoid fever, cholera) that may result
 from ingestion of fecally contaminated drinking water
 containing pathogens.  This disease is caused by the
 Hepatitis A virus.  Symptoms of Hepatitis A include
 diarrhea, jaundice,  fatigue, abdominal pain, intermit-
 tent nausea, and loss of appetite.

 Inorganic Chemicals

 Mineral-based compounds such as metals, nitrates
 and asbestos. These contaminants are naturally-
 occurring in some water, but can also get into water
 through fanning, chemical manufacturing, and other
 human activities. EPA has set legal limits on 15
 inorganic  chemicals.

 Legionnaire's Disease
 A type of pneumonia that results when aerosols
 containing some types of the bacteria Legionella are
 inhaled by susceptible persons, not when people drink
 water containing Legionella.  (Aerosols may come
 from showers, hot water taps, whirlpools and heat
 rejection equipment such as cooling towers and air
 conditioners.)  Other types of Legionella, if inhaled,
can cause a much less severe disease called Pontiac
Fever.  The symptoms of Pontiac Fever may include
muscle pain, headache, coughing, nausea, dizziness
and other symptoms.

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL)

The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in
drinking water.  MCLs are set as close to MCLGs as
feasible using the best available treatment technology
and taking cost into consideration. MCLs are enforce-
able standards.
 Maximum Contaminant Level Goal

 The level of a contaminant in drinking water below
 which there is no known or expected risk to health.
 MCLGs allow for a margin of safety and are non-
 enforceable public health goals.

 A thin, porous structure produced from a variety of
 materials which is used in some treatment processes
 to filter contaminants out of (drinking water. Water is
 forced through the membrane and contaminants are left

 Microbes (microorganisms)
 Tiny living organisms that can only be seen with the
 aid of a microscope. Some microbes can causee acute
 health problems when consumed (see pathogens).

 National Primary Drinking Water
 Legally enforceable standards that apply to public
 water systems. These standards protect drinking
 water quality by limiting the levels of specific
 contaminants that can adversely affect public health
 and are known or anticipated to occur in public water

 National Secondary Drinking Water

 Non-enforceable  federal guidelines regarding cos-
 metic effects (such as tooth or skin discoloration) or
 aesthetic effects (such as taste, odor, or color) of
 drinking water.

 Organic Chemicals
 Carbon-based chemicals, such as solvents and
pesticides, which can get into water through runoff
from cropland or discharge from factories. EPA has
set legal limits on 56 organic chemicals.

                              25 YEARS OF THE  SAFE DRINKING  WATER ACT:  HISTORY AND TRENDS
Partnership for Safe Water

A unique cooperative effort between EPA, American
Water Works Association, Association of Metropoli-
tan Water Agencies, National Association of Water
Companies, and Association of State Drinking Water
Administrators. The Partnership encourages and
assists U.S. public water suppliers to voluntarily
enhance their water systems' performance, for greater
control of Cryptosporidium, Giardia and other
microbial contaminants.


Disease-causing organisms such as  some bacteria,
viruses, and protozoa.


A contaminant that exists in the environment as a
part of other chemical compounds such as ammo-
nium, potassium, or sodium perchlorate. The
concerns surrounding perchlorate contamination
involve its ability to affect the thyroid gland, which
can affect metabolism, growth, and development.
EPA is co-chairing an Interagency  Perchlorate
Steering Committee (EPSC) to  disseminate scientific
information and frame policy issues regarding
potential perchlorate contamination of drinking
Safe Drinking Water Information
System  (SDWIS)
EPA's national drinking water database which stores
information on all of the public water systems in the
United States.

Total  Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
A group of four organic chemicals which form when
the disinfectant chlorine reacts with natural organic
matter in water. These chemicals (chloroform,
bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and
bromoform) are regulated under one standard.

Treatment  Technique
A required process intended to reduce the level of a
contaminant in drinking water.

The cloudy appearance of water caused by the
presence of tiny particles. High levels of turbidity
may interfere with proper water treatment and
Primary enforcement authority for the drinking water
program. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, states,
U.S. territories, and Indian tribes that meet certain
requirements (including setting regulations that are at
least as stringent as EPA's) may apply for, and receive,
primary enforcement authority.

An unstable form of a chemical element that radioac-
tively decays, resulting in the emission of nuclear
radiation. Prolonged exposure to radionuclides
increases the risk of cancer. All of the radionuclides
known to occur in drinking water are currently
regulated, except for radon and naturally-occurring
uranium, both of which were proposed for regulation
hi October, 1999.
                                                             is' I


            Appendix B
  Contaminants Regulated
     Under the 1962 Public
Health Service Standards3
  Alkyl Benzene Sulfonate (ABS)



  Beta and photon emitters


  Carbon Chloroform Extract (CCE)





:  Cyanide

;  Fluoride

I  Gross alpha emitters










   Threshold Odor Number

   Total Coliform

   Total Dissolved Solids




                                      25 YEARS  OF THE SAFE DRINKING  WATER ACT:  HISTORY AND TRENDS
                         Appendix  C
          Commonly Used Drinking
                        Water Treatment

                      (many technologies can be
                        used to treat for multiple
                               contaminant types)
                                       Primarily for Removal/lnactivation of
                                       Microbial  Contaminants:

                                       Disinfection — A process used to reduce the number
                                       of pathogenic microbes in water.  Examples of
                                       disinfection include:

                                          Chlorination — A disinfection process using
                                          chlorine. Treats microbes, tastes, odors, and color.

                                          Chloramination — A disinfection process using
                                          chloramine (not chlorine) as the treatment agent.
                                          Mainly used as a disinfectant residual (to maintain
                                          disinfection throughout distribution systems).

                                          Ozonation — A disinfection process  using ozone
                                          as the treatment agent. Helps reduce the formation
                                          of TTHMs by virtue of being an alternative to
                                          chlorine.  Also serves to treat tastes, odors, and
  Follow a drop of water from the source through the
  treatment process. Water may be treated differently
  in different communities
  depending on the quality
  of the water which enters       \^ j^g  uke
  the plant. Ground water is
  located underground and
  typically requires
  less treatment than
  water from lakes,
  rivers, and streams.
Coagulation removes dirt and other particles in water. Alum and other chemicals
are added to water to form tiny sticky particles called "floe" that attract dirt
particles. The combined weight of the dirt and floe cause it to sink.
  The floe settles
  to the bottom
  and the clear
  water moves
  to filtration.



 Disinfection: A small amount of c
 added or some other disinfection method
 is used to kill any bacteria or microorganism I
 that may be in the water.
   The water passes
   through filters,
   some made of layers
   of sand, gravel, and
   charcoal that help
   remove even
   smaller particles.
Water is placed
in a closed tank
or reservoir
in order for
disinfection to
take place. The
water then flows
through pipes to
homes and
businesses in
the community.
Figure courtesy of American Water Works Association
   Ultra Violet (UV) Irradiation
   — A disinfection process in
   which ultraviolet wavelengths
   are used to kill pathogenic
   microorganisms in water.

For Removal of Microbes
and Particulate Matter:

Coagulation/Filtration — A
process that removes paniculate
matter from water through the
following steps: coagulation,
flocculation, sedimentation,  and
filtration. Treats microbes, iron,
manganese, color, turbidity,
disinfection byproducts, synthetic
organic chemicals, inorganic
chemicals, and radionuclides.

   Coagulation — A process that
   involves adding certain
   chemicals (coagulants) to water
   to cause smaller particles  to
   clump together and form  larger
   particles (called "floe"), which
   can then be removed by
   sedimentation or filtration.

   Flocculation — A process  that
   partly overlaps the coagulation

    process, whereby water is gently mixed to promote
    the formation and sedimentation of floe.

    Sedimentation — A process that follows coagula-
    tion/flocculation whereby floe settles out of the

    Filtration — the passage of water through a
    porous medium, such as sand, anthracite, or other
    granular material, to remove floe and other

 Direct Filtration — A treatment process similar to
 coagulation/filtration except there is no sedimentation
 step. Treats microbes, turbidity, synthetic organic
 chemicals, inorganic chemicals, and radionuclides.

 Industrial Cartridge Filters — Disposable  car-
 tridges are used to filter drinking water, removing
 microbes and turbidity.

 In-Line Filtration — The simplest form of direct
 filtration, wherein filtration is preceded by the
 addition of chemicals and rapid mixing. Treats
 microbes, turbidity, synthetic organic chemicals,
 inorganic chemicals, and radionuclides.

 Microfiltration, Ultrafiltration,  Nanofiltration —
 Types of membrane filtration which remove particu-
 lates and microorganisms above a specific size as
 delineated by the filter used. Micro and Ultra remove
 microbes and turbidity.  Nano removes microbes,
 color, turbidity, hardness, disinfection byproducts and
 inorganic chemicals.

 Reverse Osmosis — A pressure-driven treatment
 process using a specially prepared membrane that
 permits the flow of water through the membrane, but
 acts as a selective barrier to contaminants.  Water is
 forced through the membrane and contaminants are
 left behind. Treats for microbes, salts, iron, manga-
 nese, color, turbidity, hardness, synthetic organic
 chemicals, inorganic chemicals (inorganic ions), and

Slow Sand Filtration — A treatment process  that uses
a deep bed of sand to remove particles and microbes
from water. Treats microbes and turbidity.
 Primarily for Removal of Inorganic
 Activated Alumina — A form of ion exchange in
 which charged contaminants in the drinking water are
 exchanged with elements on the alumina. Treats
 inorganic chemicals.

 Ion Exchange — A process whereby a positively or
 negatively charged ion exchanges itself with a
 similarly charged contaminant ion in the drinking
 water. Treats hardness,  inorganic chemicals, and

 For Removal of Synthetic and  Volatile
 Organic Chemicals:
 Diffused Aeration — Water is run on a bed containing
 air jets. The contaminant is transferred from the water
 to the air where it then dissipates. Treats iron, manga-
 nese, disinfection byproducts, volatile organic chemi-
 cals, and radionuclides.

 Granular Activated Carbon — A filter allows
 activated carbon to bond with specific contaminants
 (such as synthetic organic chemicals) and traps them
 inside the filter. Also treats tastes and odors, disinfec-
 tion byproducts, synthetic and volatile organic
 chemicals, and radionuclides.

 Packed Tower Aeration — A treatment process in
 which drinking water is  transferred out of a solution
 in water to a solution in  air. The extent of the removal
 of contaminants from water is determined by the
 length of the column and the volatility of the contami-
 nant. Treats disinfection byproducts, volatile organic
 chemicals, and radionuclides.

 Primarily for Control of Aesthetic

 Greensand Filtration — Similar to slow sand
 filtration, except a specially coated material (green-
 sand) is used to remove iron, manganese, taste, and
 odors from water.

 Lime Softening — A treatment process to reduce
hardness of water caused by the presence of calcium
 and magnesium compounds.  May also be used to
remove other inorganic contaminants.

         Appendix D
      Legislation Related
to Safe Drinking Water
                 Act (SDWA)
The following laws work in concert with SDWA by
reducing the release of pollutants that can affect water
and/or instituting policies that positively impact
sources of drinking water:

The Clean  Water Act (former Federal
Water Pollution Control  Act)
The aim of this law is to restore and maintain the
chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the
Nation's waters. This is done by reducing the
discharge of pollutants and toxins into navigable
waters, by providing assistance to construct publicly
owned waste treatment facilities, by encouraging
research to develop technology necessary to eliminate
the discharge of pollutants into navigable waters, and
by developing policy for the control of nonpoint
source pollution.
                                      1   The Coastal Zone Management Act
                                      ?   The goal of this law is to protect natural resources,
                                         including wetlands, floodplains, estuaries, beaches,
                                      :   dunes, barrier islands, coral reefs, and fish and
                                      •   wildlife and their habitat, within coastal zones.  The
                                      ';   Act also arms to improve, safeguard, and restore the
                                         quality of coastal waters, and to protect natural
                                      ;   resources and existing uses of those waters.

                                         The Comprehensive Environmental
                                      .   Response, Compensation, and Liability
                                         Act (CERCLA)
                                         Under this  law, EPA regulates hazardous substances
                                      >:   and establishes limits for the quantities released to the
                                      f   environment. By law, a National Response Center is
                                      J   available to respond to emergency situations regard-
                                      "   ing hazardous  waste accidents. A National Priority
                                      I   List of hazardous waste sites is maintained indicating
                                      I   the order in which sites in the U.S. are to be cleaned
                                      I   up. Priority is given to those sites that have contrib-
                                      I   uted to the  closing of drinking water wells or the
                                      <   contamination of a public drinking water supply.
                                      I   The Emergency Planning and Community
                                      I   Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)
                                      I   Enacted in  1986 as part of CERCLA, this law has two
                                      |   major purposes: 1) to increase public knowledge of,
                                                     Ss^-^ I
                                                     fes--* r»ij»qfjg5rJ.r»«iFHi I
                                                    £-.._, us;

 and access to, information on the presence of toxic
 chemicals in communities, releases of toxic chemicals
 into the environment, and waste management
 activities involving toxic chemicals; and 2) to
 encourage and support planning for responding to
 environmental emergencies.

 The Federal  Insecticide,  Fungicide,
 and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
 As required by this statute, EPA registers pesticides
 for general, restricted, or prohibited use. To prevent
 unreasonable risk to the natural environment, EPA
 can restrict distribution, sale, or use of~any pesticide.
 This law is helpful to SDWA because it seeks to
 prevent any pesticide of unreasonable risk from
 seeping into ground water supplies or running off
 land into surface water supplies.

 The  National Environmental Policy
 Act  (NEPA)

 NEPA requires that proposed projects which use
 federal land or federal dollars be evaluated to deter-
 mine their potential impact on the environment.
 Environmental impact assessments are conducted to
 evaluate the proposed action and alternatives to
 ensure that measures are taken to reduce or eliminate
 impacts on the natural environment.

 The  Pollution Prevention Act
 Passed in 1990, the Pollution Prevention Act focused
 industry, government, and public attention on
 reducing the amount of pollution entering the
 environment through cost-effective changes in
 production, operation, and raw  materials use.
 Opportunities for preventing pollution at its source
 (source reduction) are often not realized because of
 existing regulations, and the industrial resources
 required for compliance focus mostly on treatment
 and disposal. Source reduction  is fundamentally
 different and more desirable than waste management
 or pollution control. Pollution prevention also
 includes other practices that increase efficiency in the
 use of energy, water, or other natural resources, and
protect our resource base through conservation.
These practices  include recycling, source reduction,
and sustainable  agriculture.
Resource Conservation and Recovery
Act (RCRA)
In 1976, Congress enacted this comprehensive law
which covers the generation, transportation, storage,
and disposal of hazardous materials and waste.
RCRA requires the cleanup of hazardous releases
(such as chemical spills, or landfills containing
hazardous waste) at facilities permitted under RCRA
and facilities applying for a permit under RCRA's
corrective action rules. Restoring hazardous sites is
often also covered under CERCLA. Many states have
primacy for RCRA programs.

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
This statute calls for the development of research and
the accumulation of data on chemical substances and
their effect on public health and the environment.
EPA can regulate chemicals which present an
unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environ-
ment if there is no other statute which provides that
authority.  This Act helps SDWA by contributing to
source water protection.

         Appendix E
Types of Underground
            Injection  Wells
Class I wells are wells that inject large volumes of
hazardous and non-hazardous wastes into deep,
isolated rock formations that are separated from the
lowermost underground source of drinking water by
many layers of impermeable clay and rock.

Class H wells inject fluids associated with oil and
natural gas production. Most of the injected fluid is
brine (very salty water) that is produced when oil and
gas are extracted from the earth (about 10 barrels for
every barrel of oil).

Class HI wells inject super-hot steam, water, or other
fluids into mineral formations, which is then pumped
to the surface and extracted. Generally, the fluid is
treated and reinjected into the same formation. More
than 50 percent of the salt and 80 percent of the
uranium extraction in the U.S. is produced this way.
Class IV wells inject hazardous or radioactive wastes
into or above underground sources of drinking water.
These wells are banned under the Underground
Injection Control program because they directly
threaten the quality of underground sources of
drinking  water.
Class V wells use injection practices that are not
included in the other classes. Some Class V wells are
technologically advanced wastewater disposal systems
used by industry, but most are low-tech holes in the
ground. Generally, they are shallow and depend upon
gravity to dram or inject liquid waste into the ground
above or into underground sources of drinking water.
Their simple construction provides little or no
protection against possible ground water contamina-
tion, so it is important to control what goes into them.


      Appendix  F
          Data from the
Safe Drinking  Water
 Information  System
SDWIS data presented in this report was taken from
the following sources:
    Fiscal year 1998 data taken from SDWIS fiscal
    year 1998 fourth quarter frozen violations table
    (except for chemical monitoring/reporting
•   Fiscal year 1998 chemical monitoring/reporting
    violations data taken from SDWIS fiscal year
    1999 first quarter frozen violations table

•   Fiscal year 1997 and earlier data taken from
    SDWIS fiscal year 1998 first quarter frozen
    violations table
                                      There are three main types of violations:

                                      (1)  MCL violation (MCL) — occurs when tests
                                          indicate that the level of a contaminant in treated
                                          water is above EPA or the state's legal limit (states
                                          may set standards equal to, or more protective
                                          than, EPA's). These violations indicate a potential
                                          health risk, which may be immediate or
                                      (2)  Treatment technique violation (TT) — occurs
                                          when a water system fails to treat its water in the
                                          way prescribed by EPA (for example, by not
                                          disinfecting). Similar to MCL violations, treat-
                                          ment technique violations Indicate a potential
                                          health risk to consumers.
                                      (3)  Monitoring and reporting violation (M/R) •—
                                          occurs when a system fails to test its water for
                                          certain contaminants, or fails to report test results
                                          in a timely fashion. If a water system does not
                                          monitor its water properly, no one can know
                                          whether or not its water poses a health risk to

Year Data
1980 # systems violating
population served
i \&&\ '^j, systems violating
| liu i i^i'ij populatiq^ served 	
1982 # systems violating
population served
1 	 !i! 	 ^!Pafi9IL593!?d 	
1984 # systems violating
population served
jf 1985 # svstems violating
1 986 # systems violating
population served
Illl^iwlli^?^-' IP?'? « >"«
1988 # systems violating
population served
!':;1989"u 	 #' system's violating"'""''
!£ jflifflillFthi 	 pM{m%M>iilU« 	
j g|j}!fig^jjbpuiation served
1990 # systems violating
population served
ilSii 	 '"'"^""systems "violating
MHff&SSH 	 *" 	 *
1992 # systems violating
population served
Ii ^ 993, 	 	 : 	 #, systems .violating
1 994 # systems violating
population served
| f 99,5, " ' "" S'sSems'vioiating
1 population served
1996 # systems violating
population served
11 997 # systems violating
i 	 *|V i: IH j!i^^^^
jj';: 	 >M^. ^[SuTatioh served
1998 # systems violating
population served
Total Coliform
6,950 19,669
20,155,272 37,557,188
5,895 16,943
9/1 *39fl A^t-i "kfi. TA9 "799
t.T'/OtU/'TOU OT'/OH'fc./ / Ll-
5,853 15,163
18,251,933 29,205,396
6,182 15,020
16,601,676 28,364,575
6,622 16,430
19,946,928 25,459,949
6,654 15,621
19,510,616 27,696,135
6,573 13,074
18,613,894 25,355,726
6,045 11,767
13,998,878 20,748,306
5,410 11,709
14,035,668 25,865,485
5,781 10,856
13,977,229 21,017,696
5,718 10,537
12,496,524 18,921,525
5,421 11,556
19,140,847 27,219,513
4,428 11,464
19,062,907 25,823,120
4,843 10,308
27,924,828 20,601,721
4,106 9,203
22,950,752 17,430,321
3,866 8,591
19,201,098 15,236,421
3,682 7,734
12,052,298 13,919,636
3,156 7,518

10,223,348 14,727,604
3,238 7,026
7,889,248 17,282,627
1 29
279,000 3,198,214
6 28
1,350,221 4,603,726
20 133
1,206,016 5,993,505
63 114
2,370,202 3,368,914
66 177
2,174,846 10,495,059
50 128
3,452,482 7,104,502
53 87
1,274,179 2,061,012
35 158
793,650 4,396,930
45 142
1,170,371 4,559,423
38 132
843,426 4,648,053
24 93
411,810 2,574,039
33 82
595,546 2,293,532
31 59
2,338,625 1,488,610
28 79
392,622 2,016,127
29 64
274,481 1,631,559
26 65
175,479 2,597,489
13 70

113,556 1,946,668
8 69
85,915 2,391,444
Volatile Organic Chemicals


4 239 \
1,015,874 369,187
13 299
1,140,356 2,922,055
50 367
1,504,366 2,785,737
53 406
1,453,139 1,176,086
61 876
475,036 1,679,010 '
72 891
535,679 997,474
67 1,158 ;
570,670 2,319,270 \
62 2,262
581,607 4,896,150
42 2,031
469,980 4,797,581 }
43 1,817
441,663 4,173,318
40 835 '
357,138 2,795,476
25 735
59,793 1,486,482

Year Data
1980 # systems violating
population served
jeJ.98,,1 # systems violating
H^ population served
1 982 # systems violating
population served
||,1983 #systems violating
P population served
1984 # systems violating
population served
p 1985 # systems violating
|^ population served
1 986 # systems violating
population served
II 1 987 # systems violating
pY population served
1 988 # systems violating
population served
jj 1989 # systems violating
|L population served
1990 # systems violating
population served
1? 1991 # systems violating
|j- population served
1992 # systems violating
population served
ft.;f 993 # systems violating
H^ \ i ; population served
1994 # systems violating
population served
F-1995 # systems violating
!„. population served
1996 # systems violating
population served
p- 1997 # systems violating
II ,.i., ;-., population served
1998 # systems violating
population served
Synthetic Organic Checmicals
1 391
40 4,321,113
1 1,536
40 3,686,973
0 1,491
0 3,557,337
8 1,455
141,954 3,644,715
3 1,699
1,212 4,773,311
0 477
0 2,304,553
2 509
52,162 2,768,248
5 694
45,171 3,322,529
10 548
139,266 2,488,408
16 570
150,242 3,515,647
26 810
153,958 2,661,023
8 490
15,546 2,125,488
24 551
220,100 3,060,626
53 708
253,685 3,970,429
60 1,035
101,842 9,472,823
36 1,251
92,274 4,222,342
36 379
116,751 909,623
17 292
48,535 958,658
257 4,427
580,347 9,545,513
282 2,815
1,565,805 5,565,641
317 2,089
727,318 2,762,225
286 1,881
467,091 6,571,327
317 1,808
806,153 8,324,716
338 3,228
818,721 10,889,095
304 2,816
878,975 7,115,688
313 3,002
776,725 7,689,063
291 3,857
968,883 7,792,320
262 3,633
793,017 7,414,642
241 3,138
472,890 6,488,679
227 2,325
414,575 3,640,853
227 1,066
451,731 2,210,998
287 4,104
639,684 9,721,547
284 5,088
310,403 8,579,539
234 3,697
469,855 5,550,154
238 3,689
576,633 6,829,547
191 2,216
369,327 6,276,149
188 1,735
747,805 2,245,724
Inorganic Chemicals
599 4,681
1,188,550 12,190,775
555 3,011
1,376,771 8,805,446 .
491 2,444
1,131,257 5,335,259
559 2,108 i
806,218 7,844,309
694 1,873
1,332,122 8,338,724
615 3,393
1,248,128 10,503,714
426 2,892
1,015,183 6,086,626
325 3,036
925,980 7,261,321 i
315 3,951
969,856 7,724,764
242 3,640 :
885,489 7,176,603 '
241 3,278
550,902 6,497,037
255 2,899
588,177 4,297,070 .'
187 1,719
493,677 2,162,610
176 2,443
546,499 11,594,971
147 2,620
473,669 11,260,999
134 2,409 ;
345,147 6,852,317
129 1,850
291,226 5,807,655
95 508 ;
491,710 2,466,025
101 540
747,040 1,882,462

   1980    # systems violating
           population served
   ystems ^ipiating
    lation served
# systems violating
population served
  1984    # systems  violating
           population served
  1986    # systems  violating
           population served
  1988     #-systems  violating
           population served
  1990     # systems  violating
           population served
                terns violati
           pojlilation served

 # systems violating
 population served
     stems violating
["'po'putation served
 # systems violating
 population served
     stems yiolatin
     ilation served
  1996    # systems violating
          population served
  1998    # systems violating
          population served
  MCL          Rfl/H
                                                          Lead and Copper Rule
                                                           TT           M/R
                           Surface Water Treatment Rule
                                 TT           Bffl/H