Drinking Water Quality

AWWA is committed to protecting public health and maintaining sustainable drinking water supplies. Accordingly, AWWA supports regular review of scientific research, ongoing education, and community engagement to facilitate timely and efficient utility planning and management of drinking water supplies from the source to the point of delivery.

All water utilities should deliver drinking water that meets or surpasses all applicable regulatory standards. This objective is achieved most economically and effectively by utilizing sources of supply with the best quality available, applying appropriate treatment, and actively monitoring and managing water quality during conveyance.

In addition, water utilities should develop and implement operation and management programs that include water quality guidelines based on applicable regulatory standards. These water quality guidelines should include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

  • Meeting regulatory requirements;
  • Receiving input from consumers, public health officials, and the medical community;
  • Addressing potential water system threats, either deliberate or accidental in origin;\
  • Selecting, protecting, and managing sources to maintain the best possible water quality;
  • Addressing potential changes in source water quality;
  • Defining and maintaining the proper operation of treatment facilities;
  • Maintaining water quality during the transmission and distribution to consumers;
  • Monitoring to capture water quality changes throughout the water system; 
  • Tracking unregulated contaminants;
  • Responding to consumer aesthetic water quality concerns, (e.g., taste, odor, color, hardness, etc.); and
  • Investigating and implementing new treatment techniques and technologies to improve water quality.

AWWA recommends careful coordination of policies that involve drinking water quality, the quality of water supply sources, and water quality in distribution systems.

Practices specified in this policy statement are consistent with all other pertinent AWWA policy statements.
Adopted by the Board of Directors Jan. 24, 1988, and revised Jan. 29, 1989, Jan. 23, 2000, and June 15, 2003, and Jan. 21, 2007. Revised June 9, 2013. Revised January 14, 2017.