water regulations

    Published: February 26, 2015

    National Primary Drinking Water Regulations

    Americans, by and large, have access to some of the safest drinking water on the planet. We owe the relative safety of our drinking water, in large part, to the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Primary Drinking Water Regulations, or NPDWRs. The NPDWRs set legally enforceable limits on acceptable levels of contaminants in drinking water.

    At present, the NPDWRs regulate over eighty-five contaminants, including microorganisms, disinfectants, disinfectant byproducts, inorganic chemicals, organic chemicals and radionuclides. Many more potential contaminants are undergoing evaluation and research. Should a substance be found to be a health risk, it gets added to the NPDWRs.

    Good, Not Perfect
    The NPDWRs give the EPA—and citizens—some legal teeth should public drinking water fail to comply with maximum contaminant levels. This does not mean, however, that every public drinking supply automatically conforms to the NPDWRs—through oversight, mismanagement, and outdated infrastructure, contaminants can be present in water at higher than allowed levels. Usually such spikes in contaminants are temporary, but an aging water supply infrastructure can lead to consistently high contaminant levels.

    It’s also important to remember the NPDWRs are “acceptable” levels, meaning most—but not all—people can safely consume water. People with sensitivities to particular substances may have much lower tolerances than the general public.

    Put another way, NPDWRs protect us—but only up to a point. Installing a Pelican Water filtration system with UV in your home protects you from moments when water supplies fail to meet NPDWRs—such as boil water advisories or accidental overuse of disinfectants. The NPDWRs offer a workable safety base—it’s in your hands to ensure your home is protected.