EPA Finalizes Revised Safe Drinking Water Act Policy for Submetered Properties

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has changed its regulatory policy under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) for apartment buildings and other similar properties: conservation.

Under the revised policy, property owners installing submeters and billing tenants for actual water consumption will no longer be treated as public water systems subject to the full regulatory requirements of the SDWA.

Nearly 15 percent of the population nationwide lives in apartments or similar properties. EPA's revised policy only applies to properties that already receive water from a regulated public water system.

On Aug. 28, a 60-day comment period began and the Agency received comments from a variety of stakeholders, including state, county and local governments, apartment building owners and housing associations and utility companies. In general, the comments submitted strongly supported the Agency's proposed policy and noted that submetering promotes water conservation.

For more information on water efficiency, go to www.epa.gov/owm/water-efficiency. Information regarding comments received, view Docket OW-2003-0065 at www.epa.gov/docket.

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