Water Safety

Safe Drinking Water: Resources for States and Territories

In response to the emergency regarding water safety in Flint, Michigan, during which elevated levels of lead were found following a change in the water supply to that city in 2014, ASTHO is providing the following resources for quick access to states and territories.

The Lead Contamination Crisis in Flint, Michigan: A Joint Statement from NACCHO and ASTHO (2016)

ASTHO and NACCHO issued a joint statement in support of our members involved in the Flint, MI water crisis. We will continue to update our members about further developments and opportunities to assist with the ongoing crisis and help Flint emerge as a strong and resilient community. Read more »

American Journal of Public Health Article Analyzing the Risks Introduced in Flint, MI

"Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Children Associated With the Flint Drinking Water Crisis: A Spatial Analysis of Risk and Public Health Response," published in February 2016. Authors: Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, Jenny LaChance, MS, Richard Casey Sadler, PhD, and Allison Champney Schnepp, MD. Read more »

Federal Activity Tracker

ASTHO's government relations staff is currently tracking federal activity related to lead and water safety. Read more »

Federal Regulations

EPA Safe Drinking Water Act
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was established to protect the quality of drinking water in the U.S. This law focuses on all waters actually or potentially designed for drinking use, whether from above ground or underground sources. The Act authorizes EPA to establish minimum standards to protect tap water and requires all owners or operators of public water systems to comply with these primary (health-related) standards.

EPA Lead and Copper Rule
Lead and copper enter drinking water primarily through plumbing materials. Exposure to lead and copper may cause health problems ranging from stomach distress to brain damage. In 1991, EPA published a regulation to control lead and copper in drinking water. This regulation is known as the Lead and Copper Rule (also referred to as the LCR). Since 1991 the LCR has undergone various revisions, see the Rule History section below. The LCR rule applies to water utilities.

Compliance and Monitoring

EPA National Public Water Systems Report
Each year EPA reports about drinking water violations at American's public water system (PWS).  Each report also summarizes the annual report prepared by each State about drinking water violations at PWSs within its jurisdiction. Each report also discusses the violations at public water systems on Indian reservations; EPA's enforcement and compliance assistance activities with respect to Tribal PWSs; and the financial assistance EPA has provided to facilitate the provision of safe drinking water to Tribes.

Lead and Health

CDC Resources on Lead Poisoning
Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body. Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized.

EPA's Ground Water & Drinking Water Lead Fact Sheet
Short Q&A offering easy-to-understand answers to common questions consumers may have.

EPA's Lead in Your Drinking Water
Pamphlet aimed at consumers with tips for consumers as well as additional FAQs.