Contaminated Drinking Water: Learn the Laws and Liabilities

The year 2016 started off on a sour note as Flint, Michigan made headlines with its deplorable water quality situation. Most Americans take clean running water for granted, so not many of us are familiar with water laws or liability implications.

Many concerned citizens are now wondering about the safety of their own drinking water. Are consumers protected or guaranteed any particular rights? What happens if your own hometown faces a crisis like Flint’s? Your major questions are answered here.

flint water

Safe Drinking Water Act

The U.S Congress passed the SDWA federal law in 1974 to ensure safe drinking water for public use. It states that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must establish regulations for contaminants that may pose a danger to public health. Furthermore, public water systems are required to monitor water for contaminants on a regular basis using water samples and EPA-approved testing methods. The EPA is supposed to work with states, local governments, and water suppliers to ensure compliance.  

The Safe Drinking Water Act has undergone multiple amendments through the years, most notably in 1996. These amendments emphasize science and risk-based standards, transparency, and government funding.

Water Quality

When harmful contaminants work their way into U.S water sources, health problems like gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, cancer, and neurological disorders are likely. The lead levels in Flint, for example, caused memory loss, kidney dysfunction, high blood pressure, and developmental problems in children.

Who is Held Responsible?

Drinking water contamination is a complicated matter since so many different players are involved. The federal government, state government, local municipality, public utility company, and even local businesses can be held responsible. Perhaps a business dumped pollutants into the water that are outlawed, or the utility company didn’t complete the proper purification procedures. A wesley chapel real estate attorney is the best person to analyze the situation and determine who can be sued for compensation for water contamination issues.