EPA To Propose Tap Water Rules

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EPA To Propose Tap Water Rules By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Environmental Protection Agency will propose new requirements to protect against disease-causing viruses and bacteria in tap water when communities rely on public wells for their supply, according to Clinton administration officials.

The new regulations, which will affect thousands of communities across the country, were to be announced Monday by Vice President Gore. In a statement, he called the rules a ''significant step ... to ensure that Americans enjoy the safest drinking water possible.''

The EPA proposal would require municipal water agencies that rely on underground aquifers to monitor more closely for disease-causing parasites and bacteria such as E. coli and cryptosporidium, and use disinfectants if such threats are found to pose a risk, agency officials said.

The new requirements would not apply to private wells serving individual homes, but only to public water systems serving at least 15 homes that rely on wells and underground aquifers for at least part of their water supply.

There are more 157,000 public water systems in the United States, serving 109 million Americans, that draw at least part of their drinking water from underground aquifers as opposed to surface waterways, according to EPA estimates. Most of them serve smaller communities.

The regulations, which will undergo a 60-day comment period, are expected to be final later this year, although it's not certain when the new requirements will go into effect. The EPA estimates in most cases the additional safeguards will add $5 a year to an average household water bill.

''This proposal will bring us even closer to the day when every community in America has clean, safe drinking water,'' said Gore in a statement to be issued Monday. He said the new requirements, when fully implemented, are expected to prevent over 115,000 illnesses a year.

More than 90 percent of Americans receive tap water that meets federal health standards. But there has been growing concern in recent years about illnesses -- and even deaths among the elderly and people with low immune systems -- from drinking water that contains viruses and bacteria such as E. coli and cryptosporidium.

The EPA already has stepped up efforts at detecting and preventing such contamination in drinking water from surface sources such as lakes and rivers, but it has not previously pursued similar efforts in systems that rely on underground sources.

In December 1998, President Clinton announced new drinking water standards affecting about 140 million people that are served by large water systems that get their supplies from surface sources. Last month, the EPA began work on similar standards for small water systems that rely on surface water.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), April 16, 2000


Does their plan by chance have anything to do with adding more fluoride? http://www.inter-view.net/~sherrell/bomb.htm Think on this: Your Granny can't afford the required medicine, so she does without. The Government turns it's back on the medical needs of how many citizens? Yet, they continue to muck with the water supply like it is a cure all, Holy Grail. So they can slap each other on the back, and say "Yeah Boy, they may be starving, at least they have contaminated drinking water.

-- Liars and Thieves (represent@us.com), April 16, 2000.

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