Public Drinking Water
Most Americans get their drinking water from large scale municipal water systems that rely on surface water sources such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs. However, millions of Americans depend on private water sources such as wells and aquifers. In either case, the United States enjoys one of the cleanest drinking water supplies in the world. The EPA regulates the quality of the nation's drinking water by issuing and enforcing safe drinking water standards.
EPA requires each state to adopt minimum standards for the development, implementation and enforcement of operator certification programs for all community water systems (CWSs) and non-transient non-community water systems (NTNCWSs) in order to insure that water systems have properly trained and certified operators.
CROSS-CONNECTION AND BACKFLOW PREVENTION - Plumbing cross-connections, which are defined as actual or potential connections between a potable and non-potable water supply, constitute a serious public health hazard. There are numerous, well-documented cases where cross-connections have been responsible for contamination of drinking water, and have resulted in the spread of disease. The problem is a dynamic one, because piping systems are continually being installed, altered, or extended.
National Drinking water standards can be found on the EPA's Ground Water and Drinking Water homepage.