What is the American Clean Water Act?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

In 1974, Congress passed the Clean Water Act, which regulates the nation's public drinking water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is charged with enforcing standards for contaminants in drinking water -- making sure public water is treated and distributed by qualified operators, and that pollutant-specific tests are performed regularly. Water suppliers are then required to issue to their customers an annual water-quality report or consumer confidence report that indicates what contaminants have been detected and how those levels compare to drinking-water standards. They also are required to notify the general public if water isn't fit for human consumption.

While this system is protective, it is not perfect, and contamination happens. Nearly 10% of water systems fail to meet EPA's standards for tap-water quality. That is a cause for concern for all Americans.

Continue Learning about Water


Plenty of water in your diet helps digestion, skin, and muscle tone. It can help prevent cramping during exercise and even relive stress. Many times we are low on water - dehydrated, and don't realize it. Being dehydrated can mani...

fest with symptoms like fatigue and depression. In fact, by the time we are feeling thirsty, we're already slightly dehydrated. That's one reason that we hear the recommendation to drink eight standard glasses of water daily. Adequate water helps you digest food an helps your body get rid of wastes. Your kidneys need to process water for you to eliminate waste by urination, and getting enough water ensures that these wastes are diluted. Not getting enough water can encourage the formation of painful kidney stones.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.