Are military ships subject to the EPA drinking water regulations for public water systems (PWS) developed pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)?
Pursuant to SDWA §1447, military ships are subject to the same requirements as other PWSs while in United States waters. However, some military ships may meet the exclusion from the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations in SDWA §1411 if the ships do not operate an on-board collection or treatment unit, receive finished water at docks in United States waters from a regulated PWS, do not sell water to any person, and do not carry passengers in interstate commerce. However, if military ships in United States waters are treating the onboard water or getting water from a non-regulated water supply, they would not qualify for the SDWA §1411 exclusion. If a military ship is not excluded under SDWA §1411, it would likely be subject to requirements applicable to transient systems.
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