In 1974, President Gerald Ford signed into law the Safe Drinking Water Act, the first piece of legislation of its kind to provide a comprehensive regulatory framework for overseeing the nation's drinking water supply. The law has proven instrumental in setting standards for ensuring that the US population can access drinking water that is safe. However, the law delegates much of its monitoring requirements to states, creating, at times, a confusing and complicated system of standards that must be adhered to and enforced. Although it has proven valuable in the safety standards it specifies, the law's administration and enforcement poses tremendous challenges.
Weinmeyer, R., Norling, A., Kawarski, M., & Higgins, E. (2017). The safe drinking water act of 1974 and its role in providing access to safe drinking water in the United States. AMA Journal of Ethics, 19(10), 1018–1026. https://doi.org/10.1001/journalofethics.2017.19.10.hlaw1-1710