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2/21/2024

WT Staff



SAFE DRINKING WATER SPECIAL REPORT
Drinking Water Facilities in compliance with SDWA, by state
Which state has the most residents served by serious violators?


February 21, 2024 1139 am EST

WaterToday Media Group runs the EPA Drinking Water Facility Serious Violator List for each state in our network, current as of the latest verified and confirmed inspection and reporting cycle. The full Serious Violator list appears on the left side of the front page, based on the quarter ended September 30, 2023.

In this special report, we see how four states compare in terms of the percentage of their active permitted drinking water facilities passing inspections over the prior 12 quarters. We have tallied the total population served by those drinking water facilities in each state tagged with significant EPA violations, and compared that number with the total population of the state to come up with a figure for drinking water parity. The result may shock you.

The number of residents connected to and served by facilities on the Serious Violator list varies from state to state. Taken as a percentage of the total population of each state, the worst case here has more than thirteen times the number of residents served drinking water from serious violator facilities.

New York Drinking Water Facilities in compliance with SDWA = 92.7%

8,228 Drinking Water Facilities with active permits
  • 602 have Current Violations
  • 70 have Significant Violations
  • 538 have had Formal Enforcement Actions (in the last 5 yrs)
  • 1 Criminal Prosecution under the Safe Drinking Water Act
  • 63,236 NY residents (.3%) are served by drinking water facilities with significant violations

Ohio SDWA Compliance = 68.5%

4,246 Drinking Water Facilities with active permits
  • 1336 have Current Violations
  • 41 have Significant Violations
  • 362 have Formal Enforcement Actions (in the last 5 yrs)
  • 0 Criminal Prosecutions under the Safe Drinking Water Act
  • 92,348 (0.8%) Ohio residents served by Serious Violators

Georgia SDWA Compliance = 81.1%

2,383 total Drinking Water Facilities with active permits
  • 450 with Current Violations
  • 24 with Significant Violations
  • 30 with Formal Enforcement Actions in the last 5 yrs
  • 52,008 (.49%) of Georgia's 10,711,908 residents served by serious violators

Louisiana SDWA Compliance = 64.3%

1,266 total Drinking Water Facilities in the state of LA
  • 452 with Current Violations
  • 92 with Significant Violations in the last 12 quarterly reporting periods
  • 130 with Formal Enforcement Actions in the past five years
  • 188,985 Louisiana residents (4.1%) are served by facilities with significant violations

Best case scenario: New York. If you are lucky enough to live in New York, chances are you are among the 99.7% of residents receiving drinking water from facilities that have no serious violations on their operating record in the last three years.

Worst case scenario: Louisiana. 4.1% of Louisiana residents are served by facilities on the current serious violator list. Given the challenges inherent in being the last stop on the longest water run on the continent, taking pollutants from 31 states and part of the Canadian prairies, facing severe drought, flooding, saltwater incursion, aging infrastructure, limited funds and 1 million gallons of crude oil spilled in the Gulf in the span of a single year, Louisiana drinking water facilities are disproportionately challenged.

What can be done to ease the disparity? Possibly the $5.8 billion dollars in funding for drinking water infrastructure can be propotionally allocated to those that need the most help.









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