Fast Facts

Information on Drinking Water


  • All public water systems in the U.S. are required to follow the standards and regulations set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • EPA regulations that protect public water systems do not apply to privately owned wells or other individual water systems. Owners of private wells are responsible for ensuring that their well water is safe from contaminants.


  • The impact of clean water technologies on public health in the U.S is estimated to have had a rate of return of 23 to 1 for investments in water filtration and chlorination during the first half of the 20th century 1.
  • Community water fluoridation prevents tooth decay safely and effectively. Water fluoridation has been named one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century 2.
  1. Cutler, D., G. Miller, 2004. The role of public health improvements in health advances: the 20th century United States. Cdc-pdf[PDF – 50 pages]External National Bureau of Economic Research. Working Paper 10511. Cambridge, MA, USA.
  2. CDC. Achievements in public health, 1900-1999: Fluoridation of drinking water to prevent dental caries. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1999;48:933-40.