Drinking Water Treatment


Water Treatment Plant Image Federal Facilities distribute drinking water to their personnel and visitors through a variety of mechanisms. This includes being connected to the local drinking water treatment plant, distributing bottled water, and providing drinking water from their own well. The latter method is used at campgrounds, visitor centers, outbuildings, housing, offices, and any other point where water may be consumed.

Local water utilities must make significant investments to install, upgrade, or replace equipment in order to deliver safe drinking water and protect public health. Every four years, EPA conducts a survey of the anticipated costs of these investments and reports the results to Congress. The results are also used to help determine the amount of funding each state receives for its Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program, which funds the types of projects identified in the survey.

To facilitate compliance with the large and varied amount of water quality standards as well as evolving regulations EPA has established a website which contains guidance documents, training resources, and treatment technologies.

Focus Areas

Non-Public Water Systems
A system of providing drinking water that is not a Public Drinking Water System (i.e. a Private Drinking Water Well).

Public Water Systems
A Public Water System is a system for the provision to the public of water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyances, if:

  • such system has at least 15 service connections, or
  • regularly serves an average of at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year.

The term includes any collection, treatment, storage, and distribution facilities under control of the operator of such system and used primarily in connection with such system; and any collection or pretreatment storage facilities not under such control which are used primarily in connection with such system. Such term does not include any "special irrigation district."

Vulnerability Assessments
Every community water system that serves a population of greater than 3,300 persons is required to:

  1. Conduct a vulnerability assessment
  2. Certify and submit a copy of the assessment to the USEPA Administrator (see schedule below);
  3. Prepare or revise an emergency response plan that incorporates the results of the vulnerability assessment; and
  4. Certify to the USEPA Administrator, within 6 months of completing the vulnerability assessment, that the system has completed or updated their emergency response plan.

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