LAWS, RULES, AND REGULATIONS
Safe Drinking Water Act
This act and its amendments is the basic law for protecting public water systems and producing potable water in the United States. The law requires numerous actions to ensure the safety of the drinking water supplies. It allows states to implement the program and enforce the regulations. It includes special programs for: restricting the injection of waste in the ground water (Underground Injection Control Program) (See endnote 44); designating a principal groundwater source as the sole source aquifer (Sole Source Aquifer Program) (See endnote 45); prevention of contamination of public wells (Wellhead Protection Program); and determining the susceptibility of public drinking water sources to different types of contamination (Source Water Assessment Program).
The Safe Drinking Water Act amendments of 1996 created the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Program which provides federal funds to help public water systems finance the cost of improving the infrastructure to either achieve or maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. These are grants from the US EPA to the states, which then provide low interest loans to localities to improve the water supply to protect public health. (See endnote 46.)