The Division of Drinking Water (DDW) protects drinking water by supporting the safe design and operation of Utah’s public drinking water systems. Its goal is to provide safe drinking water at every tap in every building in Utah. The Division does this by working cooperatively with drinking water professionals and the public to ensure a safe and reliable supply of drinking water. DDW responsibilities include:
- Inspection of water facilities
- Initiation of enforcement actions
- Review of engineering and source protection plans
- Issuance approvals and operation permits for drinking water systems
- Construction funding and technical assistance for drinking water systems
- Response to emergencies affecting drinking water
- Oversight of cross-connection programs
“As the General Manager of Mountain Regional Water and a member of the Drinking Water Board, I have the opportunity to work closely with the Division of Drinking Water in nearly all areas of their purview. I have always respected the public health first attitude and focus of the Division employees, as well as the hard work and dedication they bring to their profession. My experiences as they relate to compliance activities can best be described as problem solving through partnership which has led to enjoyable experiences as we have successfully implemented system improvements.”
–Scott Morrison, General Manager for Mt. Regional Water District
Success Story: Lead-Free Learning Initiative to protect Utah Schoolchildren
In 2020, the Utah Division of Drinking Water (DDW) launched The Lead-Free Learning Initiative to support the distribution of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant monies and provide funding to test drinking water at schools and licensed child care facilities for lead contamination. Infants and young children are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of lead exposure, so testing these facilities is of critical importance. Negative health effects from lead exposure can include behavioral and learning difficulties, hyperactivity, slowed growth, and hearing problems. Drinking water contaminated by lead pipes is a common pathway for this exposure, and testing is the only way for schools or childcare facilities to know if they have elevated lead levels in their drinking water.
Sampling and grant distribution began in the summer of 2020. To date, DDW has received more than 40 applications for sampling, which accounts for nearly 5,000 samples. Funding is still available, so schools and licensed child care facilities are encouraged to apply on the project website.