The department works with federal and local governments to improve Missouri’s water for all citizens. One of the primary ways we do this is through the federal and state regulations.
The basis of the federal water law was enacted in 1948 and was called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. The act was significantly reorganized and expanded in 1972 and is now known as the Clean Water Act. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has regulatory authority to protect water quality by setting standards. Much of the authority to implement these standards is then delegated to each state.
Missouri Clean Water Law (Chapter 640, RSMo and Chapter 644, RSMo) ensures the state’s water quality meets federal standards. The department issues licenses, certifications and permits to make sure sources of water meet all federal and state regulations. We inspect facilities and structures for compliance with these regulations, receive data from facilities, monitor water quality and develop state implementation plans so Missouri will meet federal standards.
The Safe Drinking Water Act was originally passed by Congress in 1974 to protect public health by regulating the nation's public drinking water supply. Today, EPA has established protective drinking water standards for more than 90 contaminants, includes drinking water regulations issued since 1996 when the act was strengthened public health protection. The Missouri Safe Drinking Water Act (Chapter 640, RSMo) ensures the state's drinking water quality meets federal standards.
The Soil and Water Conservation Districts Law (Chapter 278, RSMo) was created to save, maintain and improve the soil, water and soil fertility through the Soil and Water Districts Commission and the 114 Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
The Water Resources Law (Chapter 640, RSMo) was created to develop, maintain and periodically update a state water plan for a long-range, comprehensive statewide program to address the use of surface water and groundwater resources of the state, including existing and future needs for drinking water supplies, agriculture, industry, recreation, environmental protection and related needs.
The Water Well Drillers' Act (Chapter 256, RSMo) creates the nine-member Missouri Well Installation Board. The board adopts and amends rules and regulations to govern the regulation of the well, heat pump, monitoring well, and pump installation industry in Missouri, to establish standards that will protect Missouri's groundwater, and to establish fees to administer the law.
Major Water Users Law (Sections 256.400-433, RsMo) ensures development of information required for the analysis of certain future water resource management needs.
For more information about water or other federal and state environmental laws and regulations, visit Laws, Rules and Regulations.