Drinking Water Requirements for States and Public Water Systems
Providing safe drinking water is a partnership that involves EPA, the states, tribes, water systems, and water system operators. The public drinking water systems regulated by EPA and delegated states and tribes provide drinking water to 90 percent of Americans.
A public water system provides water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyances to at least 15 service connections or serves an average of at least 25 people for at least 60 days a year. A public water system may be publicly or privately owned.
There are over 148,000 public water systems in the United States. EPA classifies these water systems according to the number of people they serve, the source of their water, and whether they serve the same customers year-round or on an occasional basis.