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EPA Approves Plan to Assess Virginia’s Drinking Water Sources

Release Date: 11/16/1999
Contact Information: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

PHILADELPHIA - The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a new drinking water assessment program for Virginia that focuses on evaluating public drinking water sources, both surface and groundwater. The program, entitled the Source Water Assessment Program, is required by the 1996 amendments of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

"Virginia’s source water assessment program reflects the state’s commitment to know how safe their drinking water is and what could potentially contaminate it," said EPA Regional Administrator W. Michael McCabe.

Under the program, the Virginia Department of Health will assess over the next 3 years the sources of drinking water supplies for more than 4,000 public water systems to determine the potential for contamination.

Drinking water can be contaminated by everyday activities, by oil or industrial spills or by agricultural runoff. If a drinking water source were to be contaminated, a community might have to develop a new source. This program will allow a public water system to plan for the future and focus on how to protect sensitive drinking water sources.

Local and state government, and water suppliers can use information from the assessment to further protect drinking water through public education, health regulations, monitoring surveys, zoning ordinances, land acquisition, and other types of local planning.

Once an assessment is completed for a community water system, consumers will be notified in consumer confidence reports on how they can get a copy of the source water assessment. These reports provide users of a public water supply system a report card on the quality of their drinking water, information about its source, and any protection efforts that the system has taken.