–The Clean Water Act was established 40 years ago with the goal of protecting waterways and ensuring homes and offices receive clean drinking water.
As the legislation marks its 40th anniversary, water officials and water consumers alike are looking back on the accomplishments and planning for new ways to continue water quality improvements.
“The Clean Water Act touches every source of water and establishes a goal for protecting our waterways and systems in the cities and communities where we live and work,” says Mike Musgrave, director of program development for MWH Global, a water-focused engineering consulting firm that has helped organizations and municipalities meet demands of the Clean Water Act.
While the effects of the Clean Water Act are far-reaching, do you realize its impact on your day-to-day water usage? Whether trolling your favorite fishing spot, taking a dip in your local swimming hole or enjoying a glass of tap water, the Environmental Protection Agency and cities around the country are working together to ensure the safest possible standards are applied to water sources.
Here are a few facts:
More than half of the nation’s waterways now meet the standards set forth in the Clean Water Act, despite the population doubling and increasing pressure on the systems. All states are required to establish water quality standards and pollution limits for all water sources in their jurisdiction.
Companies across the country are required to change their pollution habits to preserve the natural aqua-environments in their areas. As a result, those pristine environments will be sustained and kept clean for many more generations to enjoy.
The Clean Water Act resulted in many aging sewers and pipelines across the country getting a facelift. This means more efficient, sustainable water infrastructure around the country. More projects to upgrade aging infrastructure are also planned or underway today.
“Working with cities to implement the Clean Water Act water quality standards will continue to positively impact our nation’s water from origination to treatment to delivery,” Musgrave says. “Every person deserves clean water, and we hope the next 40 years will bring even more improvements to protect our country’s most irreplaceable resource.”