What is EPA's current guidance regarding sodium in drinking water?
EPA recommends reducing sodium concentrations in drinking water to between 30 and 60 mg/L based on esthetic effects (i.e., taste). This recommendation is not federally enforceable but is intended as a guideline for States. States may establish higher or lower levels depending on local conditions, such as unavailability of alternate source waters or other compelling factors, provided that public health and welfare are not adversely affected. A goal of 2.4 g/day dietary sodium has been proposed by several government and health agencies. Drinking water containing between 30 and 60 mg/L is unlikely to be perceived as salty by most individuals and would contribute only 2.5% to 5% of the dietary goal if tap water consumption is 2 L/day. At the present time the EPA guidance level for sodium in drinking water is 20 mg/L. This value was developed for those individuals restricted to a total sodium intake of 500 mg/day and should not be extrapolated to the entire population (Drinking Water Advisory: Consumer Acceptability Advice and Health Effects Analysis on Sodium, 822-R-03-006).
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