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More than 20% of U.S. Water Treatment Systems Violate Key Provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act

More than 20 percent of the nation’s water treatment systems have violated key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act over the last five years, according to a New York Times analysis of federal data.

That law requires communities to deliver safe tap water to local residents. But since 2004, the water provided to more than 49 million people has contained illegal concentrations of chemicals like arsenic or radioactive substances like uranium, as well as dangerous bacteria often found in sewage.

Less than 6 percent of municipal water treatment plants that broke the law were ever fined or punished by state or federal officials, including those at the Environmental Protection Agency.
 
 

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