The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is a federal legislation that established the basic structure for the oversight of the standards and quality of drinking water in accordance with legislation passed by Congress in 1974 to protect public health by regulating the nation’s public drinking water supply. This law governs waters in the United States that are actually or potentially designed for drinking use, whether from surface or underground sources. With this legislation, the EPA was authorized to establish minimum standards to protect tap water and oversee the states, localities, and water suppliers who implement those standards. The SDWA was amended in 1986 and 1996 requiring a variety of specific actions to protect drinking water and its sources including rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and ground water wells. The 1996 amendments also required that EPA consider a detailed risk and cost assessment, and best available peer-reviewed science, when developing these standards. The SDWA and its amendments also establish minimum standards for state programs to protect underground sources of drinking water from endangerment by contamination from underground injection of fluids.
Encyclopedia of Toxicology (Third Edition), 2014, Pages 195-197,