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Regulatory Overview

The Oregon Health Authority is the primacy agency for the implementation of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act in Oregon. ORS 338.277 authorizes the OHA to administer the federal Safe Drinking Water Act in Oregon as the Primacy Agency in agreement with the federal government. ORS 448.131 further authorizes the adoption of standards necessary to protect public health through insuring safe drinking water within a water system. Standard under OAR 333-061 outlines requirements for systems to meet MCLs, submit to periodic inspections, and meet enforcement requirements as administered by OHA. As the primacy agency, OHA also approves drinking water treatment plans and sets construction standards, operator certification standards, and enforces rules to ensure safe drinking water. In order to assist systems in complying with standards, OHA also provides technical assistance and oversight of grants and loans for public water system operation and improvements.


A summary of Oregon’s drinking water regulations and implementation guidance 

The OHA website also has extensive information on drinking water monitoring, reporting, plan review, treatment and distribution system requirements.

The Safe Drinking Water Act

The Safe Drinking Water Act does not provide authorities to prevent pollution in source waters

Protecting water quality in source waters for public water systems requires implementation of federal Clean Water Act authorities and state law. DEQ is responsible for implementation of the federal CWA and state water quality law in Oregon. Because of this authority, DEQ is responsible for addressing pollutants from point and nonpoint sources of pollution that affect the water quality upstream of drinking water intakes. CWA authorities apply to all state waters in Oregon, and DEQ works to achieve CWA goals by implementing a variety of programs. OHA works with DEQ to implement drinking water source protection work. An Interagency Agreement signed by both agencies provides a framework to ensure the responsibilities and tasks for DEQ associated with drinking water are clearly articulated.

Setbacks/Buffers Affecting Public Drinking Water Supplies in Oregon  

Pesticide Use in Vicinity of Drinking Water Sources


Julie Harvey
Drinking Water Program Coordinator