Providence Water, although a department of the City of Providence, is regulated by state and federal agencies in addition to city policies and procedures. The quality of our treated drinking water is regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Rhode Island Department of Health. Our revenue and rate structure is regulated by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission.

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Safe Drinking Water Act

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the primary federal law governing safe drinking water in the United States. Signed by President Ford on December 12, 1974, the SDWA was the cumulation of a four year effort by Congress to develop a national program to protect the quality of the Nation's public drinking water. Under provisions of the SDWA, the US Environmental Protection Agency is authorized to conduct research, establish regulations, and oversee the implementation of the Act. States, through their Health Departments, are afforded the responsibility for the administration and enforcement for the EPA. Water supplier are responsible day-to-day operation within the regulatory guidelines, compliance monitoring, and reporting to the regulatory agency. The SDWA identifies contaminants as being of primary importance and has issued maximum contaminant level (MCL) violation threshold values for each of these contaminants. Since 1974, there have been a number of amendments to strengthen the Safe Drinking Water Act. Some of the most recent amendments which have impacted the Providence Water system are the Total Coliform Rule, Lead and Copper Rule, Disinfectants and Disinfection By-Products (DBP) Rule and Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (ESWTR).