Open Access Articles- Top Results for Water quality law

Water quality law

This article is about the law relating to maintenance and protection of water quality. For the law relating to usage rights, see Water law.

Water quality laws<section begin=overview /> govern the release of pollutants into water resources, including surface water, ground water, and stored drinking water. Some water quality laws, such as drinking water regulations, may be designed solely with reference to human health. Many others, including restrictions on the alteration of the chemical, physical, radiological, and biological characteristics of water resources, may also reflect efforts to protect aquatic ecosystems more broadly. Regulatory efforts may include identifying and categorizing water pollutants and dictating acceptable pollutant concentrations in water resources. Regulatory areas include sewage treatment and disposal, industrial and agricultural waste water management, and control of surface runoff from construction sites and urban environments.<section end=overview />


Oceans and international waters

Marine and ship pollution are serious threats to the world's oceans. The London Convention limits ocean dumping from vessels, aircraft and platforms. MARPOL 73/78 also governs ship pollution.

Surface waters


The Canada Water Act is the principal federal law protecting Canadian waters.[1] It is administered by Environment Canada.

United States

Main article: Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act is the primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution, and is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).[2]


United States

Groundwater is protected at the federal level principally through two laws:

Both laws are administered by EPA.

Drinking water


Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality contains federal drinking water standards.[5] It is administered by Health Canada.

United States

The Safe Drinking Water Act governs public water systems in the United States, and is administered by EPA. Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.[6]


  1. ^ Canada Water Act, R.S., 1985, c. C-11.
  2. ^ Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972, P.L. 92-500, 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq., as amended.
  3. ^ Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, P.L. 94-580 (1976), 42 U.S.C. § 6901 et seq., as amended.
  4. ^ Safe Drinking Water Act, P.L. 93-523 (1974), 42 U.S.C. § 300f et seq., as amended.
  5. ^ Health Canada. Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. December 2010.
  6. ^ Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, P.L. 75-717 (1938), 21 U.S.C. § 301 et seq., as amended.

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