On October 23rd, 1972, the Clean Water Act was signed into law. This act was created to “establish the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters” (epa.gov). This piece of legislation has established wastewater standards, water permits and much more for corporations. Below are important findings and accomplishments about how the clean water act has helped improve the quality of water for 43 years.
- In June 1969, a river in Cleveland, Ohio caught on fire due to a discharge of volatile petroleum that had been dumped by railroad companies. To prevent a fire like this from occurring every again, a law was passed saying that a corporation can no longer pollute or spill oil into a body of water without having to pay a fine (yale.edu).
- The Clean Water Act of 1972 was not the first legislation to help protect water, however it was the first time that the federal government was making ways into protecting and trying to clean water.
- In February 1971, the FDA found that 87% of swordfish samples contained high mercury levels that could damage human health (PBS).
- This act found that some pollutants can get into water from a non-point source. A nonpoint source can be a forest, construction sites, runoff from agricultural lands and more.
- The Clean Water Act has been successful at reducing the amount of pollution in rivers from the point source (point at which pollution can get into the waters first).
- According to American Rivers, “the Act created federal backstops to ensure that these goals will be met and maintained the state’s responsibility for implementation of the law. The Clean Water Act created a shared balance of responsibility for clean water between the states and the federal government.”
As you can see the importance of having healthy and safe drinking water is a must for humans. Not only has the Clean Water Act significantly improved the water protection for over forty years, but it will continue to help keep our water clean. Another way to help protect your households from having dirty water is through the purchase of a water filter. Water filters help remove impurities like chlorine, rust, sediment and more from your tap water. Buy a refrigerator water filter today and get refreshing, clean and safe water.