Association issues statement
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) launched an online, interactive database on tap water quality. The data has been compiled from state environment and health agencies. Tom Curtis, deputy executive director of the American Water Works Assn. (AWWA), issued the following statement concerning the database:
“Water professionals nationwide share Environmental Working Group’s interest in protecting our precious water sources and assuring safe water at the tap.
“Americans can celebrate that the quality of drinking water in the United States is better than ever. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that approximately 92% of water systems met all heath-based standards under the Safe Drinking Water Act in 2008. Those standards are more protective than at any time in our nation’s history.
“Still, there is work to be done. More than 96% of health-based Safe Drinking Water Act violations occur at small utilities with fewer than 10,000 customers. These utilities often struggle with the expense of upgrading facilities to meet new regulations. The large expense of installing new treatment is borne by the small populations in these communities. The government could help by creating a federal water infrastructure bank that provides low-interest loans to communities needing to improve their systems."