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Health Department Celebrates 40 Years of Safe Drinking Water

December 31, 2014

Water Resources Program staff available to share the story with community and civic groups

TACOMA, WA – This month, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department celebrates the 40th anniversary of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The act not only set standards for drinking water quality, it also provided tools to protect the water supply at its source, whether ground water or surface water.

Locally, the Health Department’s Water Resources Program works with areas of the law to play a critical role in protecting the health of Pierce County residents. Program staff uses Safe Drinking Water Act tools to monitor drinking water quality, and works to improve surface and ground water quality throughout the county.

“The passage of the Safe Drinking Water Act on December 16, 1974, was a giant step forward in protecting public health,” said Brad Harp, program manager in Water Resources and Hazardous Waste.

“It’s hard to imagine that 40 years ago, all sorts of pollution — sewage, chemicals and trash — was routinely dumped into our rivers, lakes and streams. This contamination would often find its way into our drinking water,” he said. “But the new law changed all that, and it sets the United States apart as a world leader in drinking water protection.”

Harp and his staff in the Water Resources Program are available to share the safe drinking water story with community and civic groups. This includes everything from general information about the Safe Drinking Water Act to the specifics of how drinking water regulations affect local government, businesses and residents.

For more information, contact Harp at (253) 798-2851 or bharp@tpchd.org.

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