The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
The SDWA was initially passed by Congress in 1974, but later amended in 1986 and 1996. Its purpose is to protect public health by regulating the nation’s public drinking water supply. The act requires public water suppliers to abide by a strict set of standards, and to implement many duties to achieve and ensure safe drinking water. But the Act is not only for protection of local drinking water, it is also in place to protect bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, underground wells, natural springs, reservoirs, and more. The SDWA also works with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and authorizes them to set national health-based standards for public water supplies in order to prevent both man-made and naturally-occurring contaminants.
Tap Water Contaminants
There are several contaminants found in public water sources, but if they are regulated by an ethical water supplier, these levels are generally minor and do not pose a serious health risk. However, they can reduce a person’s comfort and quality of life since certain levels of contaminants can alter taste, clarity, and performance of water. For example, tap water contains naturally-occurring hard mineral ions like calcium, magnesium, and iron. You have seen the signs of hard water before in the form of white scale or cloudy film on plumbing fixtures, plates, glasses, and more. Hard water also causes itchy dry skin and greasy hair, and even affects laundry, dishes, and most importantly, water-related plumbing appliances like water heaters and water softeners. These appliances can become damaged by hard water scale and cost thousands of dollars to replace.
What You Can Do
Although tap water is perfectly safe to drink and use, it is not the best source of water you can have in your home. You can choose to install a water purification system that will soften the water, thus improving its taste, performance, and more. Most homeowners opt for a combination system that includes both a water softener and an additional water purification system, such as a reverse osmosis system or other type of water filtration system. Talk to your local Indianapolis water softener contractor to learn how you can improve your home’s water on a budget.