Environmental Risk Assessment
Nebraska's Safe Drinking Water Act
The National Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), signed into law Dec. 16, 1974 and strengthened by amendments in 1986 and 1996, protects human health by regulating the nation’s public drinking water supply. The responsibility for ensuring safe drinking water is divided among the U.S. EPA, states, tribes, water systems, and the public. The SDWA requires the U.S. EPA to set standards on drinking water contaminants that public water systems are required to meet. This included about 10 standards in the 1970s to more than 90 standards today.
The Nebraska Safe Drinking Water Act mimics this federal regulation. Nebraska’s drinking water program has 1,375 public water systems, serving most of its 1.7 million residents. Ground water is the source for most of Nebraska’s drinking water. Only five public water systems in the state get their drinking water from surface water sources.
The Environmental Risk Assessment Program answers inquiries from the public concerning any potential adverse health effects associated with exposure to contaminants in drinking water, via the telephone, e-mail, and public meetings, and provides assistance to the Drinking Water Program with questions regarding drinking water contamination, risk communication, and other general risk assessment concerns.
Susan Dempsey, MS
NE Department of Health & Human Services
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509
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