Press Releases


Connecticut Department of Public Health officials recognize state and local drinking water professionals as part of Drinking Water Week

May 2, 2024
CONTACT: Chris Boyle, Director of Communications
(860) 706-9654 –

HARTFORD, Conn—The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) honored all those who are dedicated to providing clean drinking water to their communities at a special event Wednesday, May 1, at the State Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

The news conference was a celebration for National Drinking Water Week—which takes place May 5 -11—and was also an opportunity to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of state and local public water system professionals throughout Connecticut. The American Water Works Association and the communities they serve have been celebrating Drinking Water Week for over 40 years, recognizing the vital role water plays in the daily lives of all people.

“Safe drinking water is a vital resource to maintaining good public health. We have seen that when states, towns, and municipalities do not prioritize safe drinking water, we see long-term health impacts on our communities, especially children,” said DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD.

This year’s observance coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Passed in 1974, the SDWA set strong water quality standards for the nation’s drinking water and established a regulatory framework to safeguard the public health and safety of U.S. citizens.

“The SDWA sets water quality standards for the nation’s drinking water and establishes a framework to safeguard the public health and safety of U.S. citizens,” Commissioner Juthani said. “Prior to 1970, 40% of drinking water systems failed to meet the most basic standards at the national level. Today, 92% of community water systems meet all health-based standards, which is largely due to the SDWA. “

Also at Wednesday’s event, representatives from numerous water Connecticut companies discussed some of their current projects and accomplishments to improve and protect water quality as a result of funding from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) and President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

In fiscal year 2024, DPH has executed 13 DWSRF funding agreements totaling $65.4 million with many more agreements currently being processed. Several of these agreements include funding from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law with significant subsidization directed to disadvantaged cities and towns throughout Connecticut. Some of these projects include:
• New London, which is the first Connecticut city to begin a system-wide lead service line replacement project in Connecticut. Using the $8.4 million dollars received from DPH, the city started the first phase of construction in March 2024, and they anticipate replacing more than 500 service lines before the end of the year.
• The Town of Bethel received $10.7 million to build a treatment plant for emerging contaminants at their Bergstrom Wellfield.
• The South-Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority received $14.8 million to rehabilitate the West River Water Treatment Plant.
• The City of Norwich received $1.5 million for water main replacement on Caribou Drive.

“In Connecticut there are 2,300 public water systems that serve approximately 2.8 million people. DPH has the responsibility to implement the SDWA under the Environmental Protection Agency,” Commissioner Juthani said. “I am proud to say that Connecticut is home to superior drinking water quality, largely due to a robust infrastructure and committed water professionals who monitor and protect water quality and safety.”