EPA Audits Reveal That Drinking Water Health Violations Data Is Not Reliable

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published in a report that in their recent audits of the drinking water provided to the public in several states, it has been observed that there is a repeated failure to accurately note health violations with the rising levels of arsenic and chlorine.

In a review of these EPA audits (conducted between 2007 and 2009) by the U.S Government Accountability Office (GAO) of 43 states, it was found that in the year of 2009 almost 84 percent of the monitoring violations noted by these states were not reported back to the EPA.

If that’s not enough, that same year almost 26 percent of health violations, in regards to drinking water were not reported or inaccurately reported to the EPA, which has resulted in the agency’s ability to collect reliable data that would assist in being able to conduct oversight in compliance to the Safe Drinking Water Act.

This situation raises a cause for concern due to the dependence of Americans on 51,000 community water systems, and even though the water has been considered to be relatively safe, there have been 20 cases of illness connected to drinking water in 11 of these states.

In response to this failure, the GAO had concluded that it is imperative that the EPA should be able to collect accurate data so as to monitor the level of contaminants regularly, for the purpose of safeguarding public health.

In addition, the GAO wants the EPA to resume the collection of data so that they can check on whether or not the states are reporting these health violations while also enforcing them.