The Safe Drinking Water Act is turning 40 years old

On December 16, 1974, President Gerald Ford signed into law the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) intended to ensure safe drinking water for the public.  The SDWA applies to all public water supply systems including municipal water utilities and wells that serve mobile home parks, schools, churches and office buildings.  A home or cabin well system is not a public water system.  See Minnesota’s Safe Drinking Water Act 40th Anniversary video (YouTube; 6:43).

Since 1972, the Anoka County Community Health and Environmental Services Department has provided water testing and advice to owners of private wells. Private well owners are encouraged to test the safety of their water annually by picking up a test kit at their city hall or the Anoka County Environmental Services office (Suite 360, 2100 Third Avenue, Anoka, MN 55303). For more information call the Environmental Services office at 763-422-7063.


A mandatory certification program for water supply system operators was established by Minnesota Statutes in 1971, and is administered by the Minnesota Department of Health, Drinking Water Protection Section. In order to be certified the operator must demonstrate that he or she possesses the skill, knowledge, experience, and education necessary to operate a system successfully.

There are currently over 250 public water supply systems in Anoka County. The certified water operators who maintain the wells, pumps, pressure tanks and water towers are protecting public health by providing safe, reliable drinking water. To see how public water system operators protect your drinking water – view the EPA video Water You Waiting For? (opens in a pop-up window).

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