Putting Drinking Water First

“Putting Drinking Water First” means stopping threats to drinking water where they start.

Clean Water Action is working to win strong water pollution controls  by focusing on public health and drinking water impacts and bringing public health and environmental advocacy into Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) implementation.

Source Water Stewardship

Source Water Stewardship: A Guide to Protecting and Restoring Your Drinking Water: Published in 2003, the Guide contains useful background on drinking water source protection.

Pouring water from a pitcher into a glass. Photo credit: successo images / Shutterstock

Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Basics

The Safe Drinking Water Act first passed the U.S. Congress in 1974. It was reauthorized and amended in 1986 and 1996.

Now is the Time to Reduce Lead Exposure - the Environmental Law Institute Journal

Increased concern about lead in drinking water in the wake of the crisis in Flint, Michigan, offers society the opportunity to reduce

lead exposure at the tap.

Lake Erie Algal Bloom - August 2015. Photo Credit: NOAA Great Lakes CoastWatch

Harmful Algal Outbreaks and Drinking Water

In summer 2014 the residents in and around Toledo, Ohio were told not to drink, cook, or bathe with the water from their faucets.

From We All Live Downstream

Kid drinking water from a glass
September 7, 2021

Lead exposure is a problem that America has been facing for decades. The EPA estimates that lead in drinking water can account for 20% of a person's exposure to lead (Lead and Drinking Water). Currently, there are lead service lines in up to ten million homes across the country. Replacing them comes at a high cost.

corroded pipe with lead service fittings
April 14, 2021

President Biden proposed a lot of money for funding of lead pipe replacement in the American Jobs Plan.  This could be a game changer. Removing the largest source of lead in drinking water is an enormous and expensive task. The cost of lead service line replacement has been the biggest barrier to both decisive federal regulation and proactive water system and community action. In addition to the President’s plan, significant funding has been included in several bills introduced or in the works in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House this year.

chemicals in bottles
February 17, 2021

President Biden has pledged to take quick action on toxic fluorinated ‘forever chemicals’ known as PFAS “by designating PFAS as a hazardous substance, setting enforceable limits for PFAS in the Safe Drinking Water Act, prioritizing substitutes through procurement, and accelerating toxicity studies and research on PFAS.” These are welcome—and necessary—steps that must be taken to address this toxic pollution, but there’s a lot more the Biden administration can do.