Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Provide Clean Drinking Water for Rural Americans


Senators Tommy Baldwin and Susan Collins Wednesday introduced the bipartisan Healthy Drinking Water Affordability Act, or The Healthy H2O Act. Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat and Collins, a Maine Republican, say the bill will provide water testing and treatment technology grants directly to individuals and non-profits in rural communities.

Currently, nearly 43 million households, primarily in rural communities, rely exclusively on groundwater delivered through private wells for their drinking water. These sources are not subject to the same oversight and testing for contamination of public water sources. Water quality improvement systems installed at the faucet or within a building can provide immediate and ongoing protection from known and emerging water contaminants, like PFAS, lead and nitrates.

The bill follows a proposal to create standards for PFAS chemicals in drinking water Tuesday by the Environmental Protection Agency. The legislation would allow the Department of Agriculture to provide grants for testing and removing contaminants from drinking water.