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When the EPA Decides to Revise Existing Regulations for Drinking Water

Having safe and filtered water is essential not only for your health, but also for your daily activities. To help ensure the safety of your water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the level of contaminants in drinking water through a set of standards. While the EPA regulates harmful contaminants, there could be other pollutants that infiltrate your water on its way to your home or business. If you are concerned about the quality of your water, Hague Quality Water of MD will conduct a water test and present you with effective water treatment solutions.

What are the Drinking Water Standards?

Part of the Safe Drinking Water Act, drinking water standards require schedules for monitoring and approaches to measure contaminants in drinking water. The approach for drinking water protection includes:

  • Protecting sources of drinking water such as collection systems and wells
  • Ensuring that qualified operators treat the water
  • Making information on water quality available to the public

Public water systems must follow primary and secondary drinking water standards. The primary drinking water regulations apply to public water systems, and they are enforceable by law. These standards limit the levels of certain contaminants that affect public health.

The secondary water regulations are not enforceable by law, but they are suggested guidelines for water systems to follow. These guidelines cover contaminants that can affect the discoloration of skin and teeth or may affect the taste, color, or odor of drinking water. While the EPA does not require water systems to comply with the secondary standards, states can adopt and enforce them as they see fit.

The EPA follows this process when determining contaminants to add to the list of regulations.

How the EPA Decides to Regulate Contaminants

Currently, the EPA has regulations for over 90 contaminants in drinking water. The EPA must identify and list unregulated drinking water contaminants periodically in the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL). This list helps the EPA determine if they will regulate at least five contaminants on it at a given time. This process is called regulatory determination.

A regulatory determination is a formal EPA decision to start a regulatory process for a specific contaminant. The CCL also helps the EPA prioritize research on drinking water contaminants. You can read the contaminant list for yourself on the EPA website.

The Criteria for Regulatory Determination

The EPA must use the following three factors to determine regulation:

  1. Can the contaminant result in adverse health effects on people?
  2. Does or might the contaminant occur in public water systems at concerning levels and frequency?
  3. Would regulation meaningfully reduce the health risk for affected people?

Once the EPA decides to regulate a contaminant, it will establish a primary drinking water regulation. If they do not plan to regulate a contaminant, they may issue a health advisory instead. The health advisory serves as a guide for officials, but it is not an enforceable limit.

How Does the EPA Develop Regulations?

The EPA uses data on health effects to set a maximum contaminant level goal (MCLG) for a specific contaminant. The MCLG is a public health goal that water systems do not have to (or may not be able to) enforce. The EPA determines rules based on the type of contaminant, including:

  • Microbial contaminants
  • Chemical contaminants that have non-cancer health effects
  • Chemical contaminants that are cancerous

Once the EPA determines the MCLG, they set a standard at the maximum contaminant level (MCL). If there is no feasible method to measure a specific contaminant, the EPA may implement a treatment technique instead. A treatment technique is a procedure or level of performance that a public water system must follow.

Know What is in Your Water

If you want the peace of mind that comes with clean water, get a water treatment and test from Hague Quality Water of Maryland to find potential problems. Filtered water has positive effects on your overall health and wellness.

You can control the quality of your water system when you get a Hague WaterMax® BEQ system. Our system is specifically designed to filter city water and remove contaminants.

Call us today at (410) 757-2992 or 888-84-WATER for a free water test and find out how we can improve your water quality.

NOTE: Free water tests are for new customers to determine water quality and treatment solutions.