Community Water Systems and Water Safety Plans

A couple pumps water out of a community well

Human health and well-being are strongly affected by the environment in which we live — the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food and nutrients we eat. Community water systems and water safety plans are important ways to ensure the health of the community.

In many places, communities lack the capacity to effectively adapt their current systems for water, sanitation, and hygiene to the community’s changing needs (population growth, changes in water quality).

According to the World Health Organization, the objectives of a water safety plan are to ensure safe drinking water through good water supply practices, which include:

  • Preventing contamination of source waters;
  • Treating the water to reduce or remove contamination that could be present to the extent necessary to meet the water quality targets; and
  • Preventing re-contamination during storage, distribution, and handling of drinking water.


Figure listing the three components of water safety plans: System Assessment, Monitoring, and Management and Communications

Figure Courtesy of WHO

The World Health Organization provides additional information on Water Safety Plans:

To learn more about CDC’s work in community water systems, please visit CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health page.