In 1974, out of concern for the quality of the water we drink, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act. This Act gave the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) responsibility for establishing and enforcing drinking water quality standards nationwide.
The Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act (Act 399) was enacted in 1976 and enables the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to maintain authority over the drinking water program in our State. Local Health Departments are under contract with the DEQ to maintain local noncommunity programs for the Public Water supplies of Michigan.
A Noncommunity Public Water Supply (PWS) is defined as “a system that serves any nonresidential facility that provides water for drinking or domestic purposes to 25 or more persons at least 60 days out of the year, or has 15 or more service connections. Noncommunity Public Water Supplies may be further broken down into two categories dependent on the use of the systems.
TRANSIENT: A transient PWS is a supply that serves 25 or more DIFFERENT people a day at least 60 days of the year (or 15 or more service connections) Examples would include:
- Highway rest areas
NONTRANSIENT – A nontransient PWS is a supply that serves the SAME 25 or more people at least six months of the year. Examples would include:
- Child care centers
- Office buildings
Responsibilities of A Non-community Public Water Supply Owner
- Maintain and operate water systems in a safe and sanitary condition
- Collect water samples to assess compliance with drinking water standards
- Notify the public in cases of noncompliance with standards or sampling requirements
- Obtain permits for construction or alteration of water well systems
- Maintain records for non-community water systems including sample results and correspondence with health departments
- Submit payment for water samples and annual fees
A comprehensive inspection of the well and water distribution system is required every five years. This assesses the potential for contamination to enter the water system. Appropriate sampling frequencies are assigned. Water system deficiencies may increase the likelihood of contamination and are required to be fixed. Water systems with a satisfactory inspection and sampling history can be assigned minimum sampling.