What is the Safe Drinking Water Act?

You may be wondering if there are laws in place to protect your drinking water against contaminants. Currently, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulates water supply standards across the nation. However, on a federal level the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) provides a baseline for state water programs. While this act certainly aims to standardize water quality, it is not a guarantee. The only way to know you have safe drinking water is to conduct a certified lab test with the experts at Hague Quality Water of Maryland.

What is the Safe Drinking Water Act?

In 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act empowered the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a set of standards for tap water. The decree expressly stated that public water systems must adhere to these guidelines. Additionally, the act allowed the EPA to establish a set of standards for state programs regarding underground injection wells. In 1996, Congress supplemented the act with several new amendments. Ultimately, this required the EPA to utilize risk assessments and peer-reviewed scientific research to further develop drinking water standards.

What Contaminants are Regulated?

While EPA regulations do not enforce the elimination of contaminants, they impose a sanctioned level of pollutants. Unfortunately, this could mean that there are still contaminants in your water supply. We recommend you contact Hague Quality Water of Maryland to learn about all your water treatment options for contaminant removal. With that being said, it’s always best to be aware of what contaminants are regulated nationwide. If you are concerned about how the contaminant levels may still affect your local water supply, give us a call and we’d be glad to answer your questions! The follow lists summarize EPA regulated contaminants:

Microorganisms from Waste and Agricultural Runoff

  • Cryptosporidium
  • Giardia Iamblia
  • Heterotrophic plate count (HPC)
  • Legionella
  • Coliforms
  • Viruses and bacteria

Disinfection Byproducts from Water Disinfection Processes

  • Bromate
  • Chlorite
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
  • Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Disinfectants and Water Additives

  • Chloramines
  • Chlorine
  • Chlorine dioxide

Inorganic Chemicals from Industrial Plants

  • Antimony, Arsenic, Asbestos
  • Barium
  • Beryllium
  • Cadmium, Chromium, Copper
  • Cyanide
  • Fluoride
  • Lead and Mercury
  • Nitrates and Nitrites
  • Selenium
  • Thalium

Organic Chemicals from Agricultural Processes

  • Acrylamide
  • Alachlor
  • Atrazine
  • Benzene
  • Benzoapyrene (PAHs)
  • Carbofuran
  • Vinyl chloride
  • Xylenes
  • and More


  • Alpha and Beta particles
  • Radium 226 and 228
  • Uranium

How is the Safe Drinking Water Act Enforced?

Ensuring that every citizen has access to safe drinking water is no easy task. Due to the scale of the nation’s manufacturing, construction, and agricultural needs, pollution is rampant. However, that doesn’t mean the Safe Drinking Water Act goes unenforced. The EPA, states, public water systems, tribes, and local water testing laboratories work together constantly to provide safe water for all.

Providing safe drinking water is one of the goals of the Public Water System Supervision (PWSS) program. Through this program, the EPA forces public water systems to report results from water samples. This regular testing ensures the standards are being followed. When the level of contaminants present exceeds the limits set by the EPA, the group coordinates with states to resolve the issue. This may involve the direct removal of pollutants and reporting the information to local consumers.

It should also be noted that private wells are not regulated by the EPA. If you are a private well owner, we highly suggest you perform routine water testing. This will ensure you and your family have the access to the healthy, safe drinking water you deserve.

It is important to be your own advocate when it comes to the quality of your drinking water. We use tap water every day for cooking, bathing and cleaning as well as drinking. While the guidelines and protocols are valuable, they don’t completely protect us from contamination. At-home water kits bought at the store can seem like a quick, affordable option for determining what’s in your supply. However, these are not always accurate and may even miss significant pollutants. Certified lab-testing (and our contactless home water testing) is the only way to be absolutely certain of your water supply.

Don’t put off the safety of your water. This is something you should always address immediately if you have any concerns. The sooner you contact us, the sooner you can rest easy knowing your drinking water is untainted. We would love to help you! Give us a call to get started.

Contact Hague Quality Water of Maryland for a Water Test

If you are concerned about the overall quality and contents of your water, we are here to help with your water improvement projects. We offer a convenient mail-in water testing kit for conducting a complete water test at home. If you’d prefer to drop off samples, you can also do so easily. After your water has been tested, we can provide unique filtration and treatment solutions. For additional assistance, call Hague Quality Water of Maryland at (410) 757-2992.

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