Title page for ETD etd-08182009-040414

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Gaw, Christopher D.
URN etd-08182009-040414
Title The economic impacts of the 1986 Safe Drinking Water Act amendments
Degree Master of Science
Department Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Cox, William E. Committee Co-Chair
Sherrard, Joseph H. Committee Co-Chair
Hoehn, Robert C. Committee Member
  • Drinking water
Date of Defense 1991-12-05
Availability restricted

During the early 1980s, concern over the poor quality of the nation's drinking water began to arise. Though the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) had been passed almost a decade earlier, many problems still existed. These problems included the inability of the Environmental Protection Agency to promulgate new drinking water standards and to enforce new and existing standards. To address the shortcomings of the original act, Congress passed the 1986 SDWA Amendments.

This document attempts to accomplish two main goals. The first is to summarize selectively the requirements of the 1986 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments as reflected in proposed and finalized drinking water regulations. The areas of coverage include proposed regulations for eight inorganic and thirty synthetic organic chemical contaminants, the Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWTR), and the Total Coliform Rule (TCR). In order to facilitate an understanding of the SDWA and the 1986 Amendments, a sectional analysis was provided in an appendix.

The second goal of this document is to assess the economic impact of this legislation upon Virginia water facilities. In this regard, the cost of water treatment technologies whose use will likely increase as a result of the legislation have been estimated, compiled, and documented.

These technologies include granular activated carbon (GAC); reverse osmosis; ion exchange; and various aeration, filtration, and disinfection technologies. Several case studies that assess and highlight the direct impacts of the 1986 SDWA Amendments upon Virginia water facilities are presented.

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