Q: Our tap water in the office is terrible. What are the OSHA requirements for an employer providing safe drinking water to its employees?
A: Tap water may not be to your liking, and although you and your office mates may prefer bottled water, your situation would probably not be an OSHA violation.
The requirements to provide water in the workplace are covered under the sanitation standard 1910.141, for general industry. The standard states that the employer must provide potable water, which is “water that meets the standards of drinking purposes of the state or local authority having jurisdiction, or water that meets the quality standards prescribed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Interim Primary Drinking Water Regulations, published in 40 CFR Part 141,” according to a letter of interpretation, “OSHA regulation on piped potable water supply.”