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In The Drink

Thursday, June 1, 1995

In The Drink

The Weakening of the Safe Water Drinking Act

In 1993-94 over 53 million Americans drank water that did not meet Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) health or biological treatment standards or guidelines. In the Drink documents, on a community-by-community basis, drinking water utilities that have been listed as violating or exceeding these basic health and treatment safety standards.

  • Millions of individuals are made sick by unhealthy drinking water.
  • Drinking water plants are old and out of date, and water supplies are increasingly threatened and contaminated with chemicals or microorganisms.
  • Current standards do not adequately protect large parts of the population -- particularly children or those suffering from illnesses.

In spite of the high health costs of unsafe drinking water, Congress, urged on by the nation's drinking water utilities, is poised to weaken the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Legislation pending in the House and Senate would weaken current law in a number of critical ways, including:

  • Weakening the Act's standard-setting provisions.
  • Curtailing water safety monitoring and reducing the public's right to know about drinking water problems.
  • Reducing protections for those who need it most - small and medium sized communities having the largest problems obtaining safe water.
Key Issues: