About the Program
Responsibilities established by law
Federal law The United States Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974 to protect public health in regards to the drinking water supply. The law was updated in 1986 and then again in 1996. This Act authorizes multiple types of regulation to protect rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and ground water wells as they are the source of drinking water.
Local mandates Guam EPA was given the authority by Guam law to enforce the local Safe Drinking Water Act and supporting regulations. Out of this mandate, the Safe Drinking Water Program was born. The program’s main goals are to undertake planning activities, develop, implement and enforce Guam’s Primary and Secondary Safe Drinking Water Regulations. This program is the primary enforcement for these regulations.
In the field
The Safe Drinking Water Program works closely with various public and private organizations to ensure all drinking water is safe for consumer use. This includes making sure water is treated properly, facilities that treat water are maintained properly and wastewater is handled within the guidelines of the law. As an example, engineers in this program work closely with Guam Waterworks Authority to ensure drinking water meets federally-set safety requirements.
US EPA Issues Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFAS – June 16, 2022
Click on the links below to learn more:
Guam Primary and Secondary Safe Drinking Water Regulations – January 2021 Update
PLEASE NOTE: Guam Primary and Secondary Safe Drinking Water Regulations were implemented by Guam P.L. 35-115. The version of these regulations currently available from the Supreme Court of Guam Compiler of Laws website is an older, incorrect version. Please refer only to THIS COPY until the official edition is replaced by the Compiler of Laws.
Federal regulations adopted under Guam P.L. 35-115:
- 40 CFR Part 141, July 1, 2019 (https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2019-title40-vol25/pdf/CFR-2019-title40-vol25-part141.pdf)
- 40 CFR Part 142, July 1, 2019 (https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2019-title40-vol25/pdf/CFR-2019-title40-vol25-part142.pdf)
- 40 CFR Part 143, July 1, 2019 (https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2019-title40-vol25/pdf/CFR-2019-title40-vol25-part143.pdf)
Building Permit and Occupancy Approval Requirements
Guam P.L. 35-115 made significant changes to the way Building Permits and Occupancy Permit clearances are processed by GEPA, in order to improve compliance with both Guam and federal lead-free plumbing requirements.
The construction drawings (plans) submitted for any project that includes plumbing for potable water service must include specific language as notice to the builder, to ensure compliance with the lead-free provisions of the Guam Safe Drinking Water Act and associated regulations. The required language may be downloaded by viewing our Required language for Building Permit Plumbing Plans.
Applicants for occupancy approval may choose to submit proof of lead-free certification (via packaging or on-product marks) as an alternative to water sampling for lead. This will reduce occupancy approval time significantly for applicants who choose to follow this new process. In order to take advantage of this new and faster process, make sure you save all plumbing product packaging and fully document your plumbing components on the Lead-Free Plumbing Affidavit form.
For additional information on Guam EPA’s New “Lead-Free” Building Permit and Occupancy Clearance requirements under the Guam Safe Drinking Water Act pursuant to 10 GCA Chapter 53, P.L. 35-115 (2020), please view our Frequently Asked Questions.
Lead-free Certification Guidance
There are a variety of lead-free certification marks that demonstrate compliance with the lead free provisions of both Guam and Federal Safe Drinking Water Acts. The product packaging must provide the certification mark of an approved, independent laboratory and state the specific lead-free standard the product has been tested to comply with.
It is not enough that a plumbing product just bear the label of a certification laboratory (such as UPC, as an example), it must also state the specific lead-free standard that it was tested against. The packaging must indicate certification by an ANSI accredited third-party certification body, and in most cases the specific standard to which the product has been certified. The following is the list of allowable lead-free standards in accordance with the Guam Safe Drinking Water Regulations, 22 GAR §6141.43(c). All products must indicate certification to at least one of the following standards:
- NSF/ANSI Standard 372
- NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Annex G
- California HB AB1953, Section 116875
- ASME A112.18.1-2012/CSA B125.1-12
There are no uniform requirements for the type of markings required to indicate lead-free certification. Detailed information on the sometimes complex variety of lead-free markings can be downloaded from the US Environmental Protection Agency at the following web address: https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi?Dockey=P100LVYK.txt.
If you suspect that a product package has been altered, or a lead free certification mark may not be genuine, you may contact GEPA at 300-4751/2. You can also check the websites of the primary certification laboratories for the specific product you are interested in. The EPA document listed above contains links to the product search pages for all certification organizations.
Special Note: Delta and Peerless endpoint devices. Please note that in addition to the lead free certification standards covered in the USEPA document, Guam also recognizes the ASME A112.18.1-2012/CSA B125.1-12 Standard, which is found on packaging for Delta and Peerless brand faucets and fixtures. GEPA has verified proof of third party certification directly with Delta for both its Delta and Peerless brands, which do not display the marks of the certifying laboratory but do display the standard with which they have been found to comply. GEPA approves of Delta and Peerless products, provided the packaging includes a statement that the product meets the requirements of ASME A112.18.1-2012/CSA B125.1-12.
Elements of the Program
Water Operator’s Certification Examination
Any individual who works in a water treatment or production for potable systems must take, and pass the Water Operator’s Exam. This test is coordinated through the Safe Drinking Water Program. This test is required to make sure those working on public, and privately-owned water systems have the minimum qualifications necessary to operate a clean water system free of disease and chemical pollution.
Wastewater Operator’s Certification Examination
Any person that works in a wastewater treatment facility must pass the Wastewater Operators Exam. This exam ensures employees at public and private sewage treatment plants know how to properly operate plan equipment. One of the main focus points of this exam is to ensure employees can identify problems and fix them quickly. This helps reduce the amount of pollution that may affect the environment when systems break. This certification is critical to ensuring discharges from wastewater treatment plants meet federal and local permit requirements.
The Guam Lead Ban Act is implemented and enforced to minimize the public’s exposure to lead contamination attributed to plumbing materials, fittings and fixtures. This Act prohibits the use of lead in plumbing fixtures and is enforced by the Safe Drinking Water Program.
Public Water Supply Systems
Public Water Supply Systems (PWSS) on Guam are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Program through an Operating Permit. These permits are issued by the Program. There are currently eleven (11) permitted Public Water Supply Systems on Guam. Three of these systems are operated by the Guam Waterworks Authority, two by the Department of Defense (Air Force and Navy systems), two by Ultimate Beach, Inc., and one each by Foremost Foods, Cocos Island Resort, and Earth Tech, Inc.