Water Center

Lab - Quality Information

The EPA's primary drinking water standards apply to public water systems and are legally enforceable. They also have a list of secondary drinking water standards, which are non-enforceable. These secondary standards offer guidelines for regulating contaminants that may cause cosmetic or aesthetic effects. You may find both the primary and secondary EPA standards, along with an explanation of health effects and possible sources in drinking water at the following website:

The EPA does not regulate private drinking water wells. Some states and local governments do set rules for these. You should contact your local government or state drinking water office to see if rules apply in your area. The EPA has a wealth of information on private drinking water wells that can be found at the following website:

The EPA also has a booklet that contains information every private drinking water well owner should read. Page 4 of this booklet contains a quick reference list of noticeable problems that can be especially useful.


For questions about bottled water regulation, a good source is the International Bottled Water Association. Please visit the following website for more information:

Bottled drinking water is regulated by the FDA. Please visit the following website for more information on their requirements:

Many times states will impose stricter guidelines. Please check with your state's drinking water program for more information.

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