The Drinking Water Program is responsible for requiring public water systems to supply safe drinking water for public consumption that meets minimum federal health-based standards, established by the Environmental Protection Agency as required by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Alaska has had primary enforcement responsibility of the public water system supervision program (Safe Drinking Water Program) since 1978. Engineering and Environmental Specialist staff provide guidance to the public water systems (PWS) owners and operators on the design, installation and maintenance of drinking water facilities. They review project descriptions and engineered plans for new and modified systems to ensure that appropriate standards are met to protect human health and minimize the impact to the environment. Staff also provide access to office files on local public drinking water systems, as well as technical and compliance assistance, and workshops on regulatory, engineering, and drinking water public health-related issues.
- Require that public water system owners and operators test drinking water for regulated drinking water contaminants.
- Review contaminant monitoring test results from public water suppliers and specify corrective measures where contamination is indicated.
- Approve new public water systems and modifications to existing ones.
- Regulate minimum health-based standards and procedures for design, construction and operation of Alaska's 1,600 CWS, NTNCWS or TNCWS public drinking water systems.
- Implement a statewide drinking water compliance strategy to best assist Alaska water systems in providing cost-effective safe drinking water.
- Provide information about contaminant monitoring and sampling procedures to public water system owners and operators, third-party engineering consultants, and stake holders for public water systems.
- Respond to complaints of contaminated or damaged public drinking water wells and impacted watersheds.
- Maintain a statewide database with monitoring, compliance, and enforcement information on public drinking water systems.
- Provide workshops on wellhead protection and source water assessments for communities and public water system owners and operators.