Compliance Problems Undermine EPA's Drinking Water Program

T-RCED-90-97: Published: Aug 3, 1990. Publicly Released: Aug 3, 1990.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

GAO discussed the implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act Program, focusing on: (1) the extent to which community water systems complied with monitoring requirements and met drinking water standards; (2) states' and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) effectiveness in enforcing efforts to ensure compliance with those requirements; and (3) the impact of new drinking water requirements. GAO noted that: (1) many water systems, particularly smaller systems, were violating monitoring requirements for water quality and drinking water standards; (2) some violations were going undetected primarily due to sampling errors and deliberate falsification or manipulation of compliance data; (3) states' and EPA enforcement actions, intended to deter violations and return systems to compliance, often fell short of EPA program requirements and were frequently ineffective in achieving their objectives; (4) at the federal level, EPA lacked key data needed to determine water systems' compliance; (5) EPA did not fully implement programs that could improve compliance; (6) EPA enforcement efforts to deter noncompliance were inadequate; and (7) the implementation of new and more stringent regulatory requirements could make compliance and enforcement more difficult.

Sep 28, 2016

Sep 26, 2016

Aug 15, 2016

Jul 26, 2016

Jul 21, 2016

Jul 14, 2016

Jul 7, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here