National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations

National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations (NSDWRs or secondary standards) are non-enforceable guidelines regulating contaminants that may cause cosmetic effects (such as skin or tooth discoloration) or aesthetic effects (such as taste, odor, or color) in drinking water. EPA recommends secondary standards to water systems but does not require systems to comply. However, states may choose to adopt them as enforceable standards. The following table summarizes the secondary standards.

Table 6. Summary of National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations

Contaminant

Secondary Standard

Aluminum

0.05 to 0.2 mg/L

Chloride

250 mg/L

Color

15 (color units)

Copper

1.0 mg/L

Corrosivity

noncorrosive

Fluoride

2.0 mg/L

Foaming Agents

0.5 mg/L

Iron

0.3 mg/L

Manganese

0.05 mg/L

Odor

3 threshold odor number

pH

6.5-8.5

Silver

0.10 mg/L

Sulfate

250 mg/L

Total Dissolved Solids

500 mg/L

Zinc

5 mg/L

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