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Water: Small Systems and Capacity Development

Regulations 101

As the number of drinking water regulations has grown, EPA, states, and other organizations have committed to providing technical, managerial, and financial assistance to help your water system provide safe, high-quality drinking water.

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Regulations

Use the links below to access publications and other key information on the regulations that may apply to your water system. Note that your water system may not be required to comply with all of the regulations below, or may be subject to additional requirements.

Ground Water Rule (GWR) (October 11, 2006)
Ground Water Rule specifies the appropriate use of disinfection while addressing other components of ground water systems to ensure public health protection.

Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2) (December 15, 2005)
LT2 rule is to reduce illness linked with the contaminant Cryptosporidium and other disease-causing microorganisms in drinking water.

Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule (Stage 2 DBP)
(December 15, 2005)
Stage 2 DBP rule builds upon earlier rules that addressed disinfection byproducts to improve your drinking water quality and provide additional public health protection from disinfection byproducts.

Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT1) (January 14, 2002)
The Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule strengthens control of microbial contaminants, particularly Cryptosporidium, for small systems—those systems serving fewer than 10,000 people. It is the smaller system counterpart of the Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule.

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Arsenic Rule (January 22, 2001)
Establishes revised monitoring and reporting requirements and limits for arsenic in community and noncommunity water supplies.

Lead and Copper Rule (June 7, 1991)
Establishes monitoring and reporting requirements and limits for lead and copper in community and noncommunity water system supplies.

Radionuclides Rule (December 7, 2000)
Establishes monitoring and reporting requirements and limits for radioactive contaminants in community water system supplies.

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Public Notification Rule (May 4, 2000)
Sets requirements for the form, manner, and timing of public notice required under drinking water regulations.

Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule (Stage 1 DBP) (December 16, 1998)
The Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule reduces exposure to disinfection byproducts for customers of community water systems and non-transient non-community systems, including those serving fewer than 10,000 people, that add a disinfectant to the drinking water during any part of the treatment process.

Consumer Confidence Report Rule (August 19, 1998)
Sets requirements for community water systems to develop and distribute annual water quality reports to all consumers.

Phase II/V Rules (1991/1992)
Establish monitoring and reporting requirements and limits for inorganic, volatile organic, and synthetic organic contaminants in community and noncommunity water supplies.

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Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWT) (June 28, 1989)
The Surface Water Treatment Rule seeks to prevent waterborne diseases caused by viruses, Legionella, and Giardia lamblia. These disease-causing microbes are present at varying concentrations in most surface waters. The rule requires that water systems filter and disinfect water from surface water sources to reduce the occurrence of unsafe levels of these microbes.

Total Coliform Rule (June 29, 1989)
Establishes monitoring and reporting requirements and limits for the presence of total coliforms in all public water supplies.

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Essential Resources

The following resources provide important background information on how the Safe Drinking Water Act applies to small water systems, the most critical steps in protecting your water supply against contamination, and how to comply with your monitoring requirements.

  • Visit EPA’s Compliance Help page for more information on reviewing and selecting compliance options.

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Training

Visit EPA’s Drinking Water Academy for information on upcoming EPA trainings and to download materials from past trainings and workshops.


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