U.S. drinking water system operators have been preparing for the federal lead-free law to take effect in January 2014. Four states already have laws in place that comply with or exceed its requirements.

Wisconsin Drinking Water Report: 99+ Percent of Public Systems Meeting Standards

During 2017, more than 99 percent of Wisconsin's public water systems provided water that met all health-based standards for regulated contaminants. "In addition to monitoring, measuring system compliance is part of the overall strategy for managing a sustainable supply of safe drinking water," said Adam DeWeese, DNR section chief of the Public Water Supply Section.

More than 99 percent of Wisconsin's public water systems provided water that met safe drinking water standards, according to the 2017 Annual Drinking Water Report published this month by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Wisconsin leads the nation with more than 11,400 public water systems in the state, and most of them rely on groundwater sources. Surface water from Wisconsin lakes provides drinking water to some of the state's largest communities, including Milwaukee and Green Bay.

"The annual report reflects the hard work that is being done by public system operators, DNR staff, and our federal, state, and local partners," said Steve Elmore, program director for the DNR Bureau of Drinking Water and Groundwater. "DNR's commitment to managing the state's drinking water through initiatives, regulations, and partnerships is showcased in this year's report."

All public water systems test their water to protect public health, and some municipal systems monitor for as many as 90 contaminants, according to the state agency. During 2017, more than 99 percent of Wisconsin's public water systems provided water that met all health-based standards for regulated contaminants. "In addition to monitoring, measuring system compliance is part of the overall strategy for managing a sustainable supply of safe drinking water," said Adam DeWeese, DNR section chief of the Public Water Supply Section.

DNR and its partners conducted more than 2,600 inspections of public water systems to ensure compliance with construction, operation, and maintenance requirements during the year, and more than 7,100 additional annual site visit inspections were performed to help water systems qualify for reduced monitoring schedules.

The agency reported that the major challenge facing Wisconsin's drinking water supplies continues to be aging infrastructure. The Private Lead Service Line Replacement Funding Program and the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program together awarded more than $73 million to fund 65 projects in 61 communities statewide. The funding programs combine low interest loans and principal forgiveness to help communities make needed infrastructure improvements and replace lead service lines.

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