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Water: Resources

About The Office of Ground Water & Drinking Water

Office Mission

OGWDW, together with states, tribes, and our many partners, will protect public health by ensuring safe drinking water and protecting ground water.

We will accomplish this mission using the following principles:

  • Prevention as an effective approach;
  • Risk-based priority setting for new and existing regulations, based on sound science, quality data in reliable databases, and quality methods and standards;
  • Partnership and involvement of public and private organizations, citizens, and communities;
  • Flexibility and effectiveness in implementation while maintaining a national public health baseline;
  • Accountability of all parties through public participation and accessible information; and
  • Results documented and presented clearly.

The Office works closely with EPA's Regional Offices.

Water Security Division

Security Assistance Branch

Activities: supports initiatives to develop tools and technical assistance, manages grants to support security initiatives of water utilities (drinking water and wastewater), state drinking water agencies, and technical assistance providers, provide liaison to the Department of Homeland Security in support of HSPD 7, handles the receipt of vulnerability assessments and emergency response plan certifications as required by the Bioterrorism Act, and develops outreach materials and supports information sharing initiatives.

Threats Analysis, Prevention, & Preparedness Branch

Activities: develops emergency response and incident planning tools and guidance, and emergency response planning workshops, funds and manages the development of research and technology tools in coordination with other agencies and EPA's National Homeland Security Research Center, and works to develop laboratory capabilities and monitoring and detection for drinking water systems under HSPD 9.

Standards and Risk Management Division

Targeting and Analysis Branch

Activities: develops regulatory tools in the areas of drinking water treatment technologies, analytical methods, cost/ benefit analysis, contaminant identification and occurrence; and develops regulations for individual chemical contaminants in drinking water such as lead, arsenic, and emerging new contaminants.

Technical Support Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

Activities: provides technical and scientific support to the development and implementation of drinking water regulations; manages Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule implementation and drinking water laboratory certification program; supports Partnership for Safe Water, drinking water Optimization Program and analytical methods development.

Standards and Risk Reduction Branch

Activities: develops drinking water regulations and guidance for control of microbial contaminants and disinfection byproducts, other high priority contaminants, and improved distribution system operations; collects microbial, disinfection byproduct, water quality parameter, and treatment process data to determine contaminant occurrence in drinking water; evaluates waterborne disease outbreak, toxicological and epidemiological data to support risk modeling to evaluate public health risk; analyzes economic issues; and plans and tracks research in support of drinking water regulations.

Drinking Water Protection Division

Protection Branch

Activities: responsible for implementation of the Public Water Supply System program, including operator certification, small systems technical assistance, chemical monitoring, and the tribal program.

Prevention Branch

Activities: responsible for implementation of the source water assessment and protection program, including wellhead protection, comprehensive state ground water protection, and the sole source aquifer program, and the Underground Injection Control program.

Infrastructure Branch

Activities: maintains information on drinking water through computer databases and the Internet, responsible for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, and works to promote consumer awareness of safe drinking water issues.

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