Depending on where you live, the overall impact of regulations on your tap water can vary. This is because while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rules and restrictions in place that the federal government must enforce, each state may also have their own precedent depending on the contaminants commonly found in their area. Let’s take a quick look at the basic standards that your water system must meet in order to be deemed safe to drink.
- The National Primary Drinking Water Regulations impose specific limits which determine the maximum level of potentially harmful contaminants that a water system can have, while still being considered safe for consumption. These include stringent regulations on contaminants like lead and arsenic, which can have an adverse reaction when consumed in large quantities. These Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) are strictly enforced by the federal government, so every public water system must comply.
- The National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations are in place to set specific limits to keep water as aesthetically pleasing as possible. This includes limiting contaminants that may cause unpleasant odors, smells, or tastes. These Secondary Maximum Contaminant Levels (SMCLs) are highly suggested by the EPA, but are not regulated by the federal government. However, many states have chosen to impose their own regulations based on the contaminants found locally that may cause these unpleasant characteristics.
- Lower Tolerance – Some states have chosen to adopt a lower MCLs and SMCLs. As long as their restrictions meet the bare minimum of what the EPA suggests, each state is free to tighten the reins on contaminant control as they see fit.
- Additional Regulations – Certain areas may have contaminants that are distinctive to that particular place, many of which are not on the radar of the EPA as of yet. In this case, regulation of these unknown contaminants will fall to the state level.
As per the Safe Drinking Water Act, enacted by Congress in 1974 (amended in 1986 and 1996), the EPA is responsible for publishing a comprehensive list of known contaminants, called the ‘Contaminant Candidate List’ (CCL) periodically. Unfortunately, not every contaminant makes the cut for ‘Regulatory Determinations.’ That means that while they may not be deemed as harmful, there can still be plenty of unregulated contaminants making their way into your water and out your faucets.
The only surefire way to know what’s in your water is with a water analysis. Lucky for residents in the Minnesota and Wisconsin areas, Aquarius Water Conditioning offers these for FREE! If you’re ready to kick contaminants to the curb once and for all, call 1-888-741-9025 today.