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Enforcement

National Compliance Initiative: Reducing Noncompliance with Drinking Water Standards at Community Water Systems

This is a new NCI for FY 2020-2023.

Problem

There are approximately 50,000 regulated drinking water systems that serve water to the same people year-round, referred to as Community Water Systems (CWSs). In FY 2018, 40 percent of the nation’s CWSs violated at least one drinking water standard. In addition, there were monitoring and reporting violations at more than 30 percent of CWSs, and health-based violations at 7 percent of CWSs.

Goal

This effort supports the FY 2018–FY 2022 Agency Strategic Plan, which calls for a 25 percent reduction by the end of FY 2022 in the number of CWSs that are out of compliance with health-based standards. An initial focus of this NCI will be to work with the EPA’s Office of Water to increase capacity in states, tribes, and the EPA to address drinking water violations.

Results

EPA began increasing its focus on drinking water systems in FY 2019, before this NCI was formally initiated. The Agency initiated a circuit rider program to provide effective on-the-ground assistance to help public water systems and wastewater systems achieve and sustain environmental compliance. EPA worked with our state partners to identify facilities in need of circuit rider technical assistance and also developed resources to aid small systems