The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced improvements to the availability and usability of drinking water data in the Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) tool. ECHO now allows the public to search to see whether drinking water in their community met the standards required under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA),which is designed to safeguard the nation’s drinking water and protect people’s health. SDWA requires states to report drinking water information periodically to EPA. ECHO also includes a new feature identifying drinking water systems that have had serious noncompliance.
The new Safe Drinking Water Act information on EPA’s website provides:
- Users with information about whether their drinking water has exceeded drinking water standards.
- A serious violators report that lists all water suppliers with serious noncompliance.
- EPA’s 2009 National Public Water Systems Compliance Report, which is a national summary of compliance and enforcement at public drinking water systems.
The serious violators list identifies water systems that have had serious noncompliance due to a combination of unresolved violations. The data in ECHO shows that overall, the number of systems identified as serious violators continues to decrease due to lead agencies, in most cases the states, more efficiently addressing serious noncompliance. Currently, approximately 4 percent of all public water systems are considered serious violators. Through increased oversight and enforcement efforts, EPA will continue to work to reduce the rate of noncompliance and the number of public water systems that are serious violators.