Healthy Drinking Water Affordability Act introduced in House

March 27, 2023
The U.S. House of Representatives will soon consider the Healthy Drinking Water Affordability Act, which would authorize a new grant program to support point-of-use water filtration systems.

The House version of the Healthy Drinking Water Affordability Act has been introduced into the 118th Congress by U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and David Rouzer (R-NC).

The bi-partisan bill, also known as the Healthy H20 Act, was introduced on World Water Day, the same day the Water Quality Association and the National Groundwater Association gathered in Washington, D.C., for the Water Resources Congressional Summit.

The act would offer federal grants for water quality testing and certified treatment technology in rural and underserved communities. It grew from an initiative developed by the Water Quality Association’s (WQA’s) Clean Water for All task force. The legislation is co-sponsored in the House by and David Valadao (R-CA).

The bill is identical to the Senate bill introduced March 15 by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and co-sponsored by Sens. Tina Smith (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Angus King (I-ME).

“We welcome the introduction of the Healthy H2O Act in the House on World Water Day, with the same goal of accelerating positive change,” said WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “On behalf of rural Americans who rely on private wells for drinking water, we applaud this effort to make advice from industry professionals, specialized water testing and certified point-of-use and point-of-entry filtration systems more readily available to those who need them the most.”

The act would authorize a new U.S. Department of Agriculture grant program to cover the costs of water quality testing and the purchase, installation, and maintenance of POU/POE water filtration systems certified to address health-based contaminants found in their drinking water. Funding would go directly to individuals, licensed child-care facilities, and non-profits that are equipped to help people go through the process of testing and then finding and installing a water treatment product to address their situation.

An estimated 23 million U.S. households rely on private wells for their drinking water. Wells are not subject to the same oversight and testing as municipal water systems, which can delay the identification of potential health hazards in local groundwater.

More than 30 organizations have joined WQA in publicly supporting the bill, including the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, National Groundwater Association, The Water Council, NSF, IAPMO, the American Supply Association, the Water Systems Council, the Water Well Trust, and the Groundwater Foundation.

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