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Health Agencies Update
March 22/29, 2016

EPA Awards Grants to Assist Small Public Water Systems

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2016;315(12):1219. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.2213

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, has put the spotlight on municipal water quality and safety. Recognizing that water problems can also affect small towns and rural areas, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $12.7 million in grants to help improve the quality of small public water and wastewater systems (http://1.usa.gov/1Q9h6sb). Almost all of the 157 000 public water systems in the country—97%—serve fewer than 10 000 people, according to the EPA, and of those, about 80% serve fewer than 500 people. Small public water systems often have limited budgets, old infrastructure, and high staff turnover, noted the EPA, all of which make it challenging to meet federal and state safe drinking water standards.