Procedures regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), determine how safe drinking water is for consumption. The EPA protects public water systems, but not privately owned wells. In America less than 300 million people receive tap water from a community water system. A community water system is a well that serves at least 25 people at their primary residence. A community water system can also serve 15 residences that are considered primary residences examples of these are mobile home parks, subdivisions etc. A non-community water system is composed of two types of sub categories. These are transient and non-transient systems. Transient water systems are capable of providing water to 25 people for 60 days. Examples include gas stations, parks, hotels, and campgrounds. Non transient water systems supply water to a maximum group of 25 people for at least six months out of a year. Examples include hospitals, schools, and office buildings.
Individual water systems consist of the nonpublic sources and private water systems. Nonpublic sources include bottled water or water from springs, streams, and shallow wells. Water from the afore mentioned sources are not intended for drinking. Bottled water that is commercially sold is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA requires bottled water companies at a minimum to follow the EPA water restrictions of tap water. Bottled water may not contain any sweeteners or chemical additives. Flavors, extracts or essences are allowed to be added but must be calorie free and sugar free.
Private ground water is privately owned by the resident on the land. The private ground water normally supplies an individual residence. The source includes an underground reservoir, wells, or cisterns. Private water systems can serve a maximum of 25 people for at least 60 days of the year. Private water can only have a maximum of 15 service connections.