Safe Drinking Water Act

Glass of Drinking WaterPurpose
The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 (amended in 1986 and 1996) was enacted to protect the safety of public drinking water. The SDWA regulates the type and level of contaminants in drinking water and controls the pollution of groundwater sources (which is not covered by the Clean Water Act — the CWA only applies to surface water).

Under the SDWA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is charged with establishing standards for water treatment techniques and contaminants in drinking water; therefore, EPA has set forth national primary drinking water regulations (NPDWRs), which include maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for tap water. Under these requirements, water providers must continually test the levels of specific contaminants in treated water and report their findings to EPA and / or a state regulatory agency (SCDHEC), as well as to the public through an annual consumer confidence report (CCR), also called the annual water quality report.

Other Resources
Learn more about the Safe Drinking Water Act.