What is the Safe Drinking Water Act and why is it causing water costs to go up?

The Safe Drinking Water Act was passed by Congress in response to serious contamination found in drinking water at many locations around the country. Congress, in 1986 and 1997, amended the Safe Drinking Water Act to mandate establishment of new regulations for safe drinking water quality. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is required to develop an extensive series of rules, which must be carried out by the States and organizations, which supply water to the public. Most of the new regulations involve testing water supplies for various potential contaminants and specification for treatment or other action if limits are exceeded. Testing, of course, raises costs to a limited extent, but if required, treatment and other mitigating actions can be very expensive. Should a well have to be abandoned, for example, the cost of drilling a new well can be very costly, and obtaining new water rights from the State can take many years or involve a very expensive cost reimbursement process.