Safe Water Engineering

Safe Water Engineering, LLC

Safe Water Engineering specializes in drinking water quality consulting, providing technical assistance to water utilities, and policy analysis at federal, state, and local levels.


Photo by  Jean Lannen

Photo by Jean Lannen


Design and implement effective and innovative programs for the provision of reliable and safe drinking water,

Identify through practice and research effective drinking water practices that are implementable, cost effective, and protective of public health, and

Ensure that legislation, policies and regulations support and encourage the most effective practices.

Elin Betanzo is the founder of Safe Water Engineering LLC, a small consulting firm working to improve access to safe drinking water through engineering and policy consulting.   

In August of 2015, Elin played a critical role in uncovering the Flint Water Crisis by encouraging pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha to conduct a study that discovered elevated lead levels in children living in Flint, Michigan. This discovery exposed the extent of lead contamination in drinking water delivered to residents of Flint when Flint stopped receiving treated water from Lake Huron. Elin continues to raise awareness of lead in drinking water and improve public health protection of safe drinking water regulation and legislation at the federal and state levels. Current projects include working with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to establish their lead service line replacement program, improving public education about lead in drinking water, and helping water utilities comply with the federal and state lead and copper rules.

Elin has over 15 years of drinking water experience. She worked for the Environmental Protection Agency in the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water developing and implementing regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act and serving as the National Tribal Drinking Water Coordinator. She was a hydraulic engineer and water planning manager at the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission where she led water system master planning and hydraulic modeling. 

Elin holds a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering and a Water Quality Management Certificate from Virginia Tech. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Piano Performance from Carnegie Mellon University. Elin is a Professional Engineer registered in Michigan, Maryland and Virginia, and a certified water system operator in Maryland. She served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Water Information from 2014-2017.


  • Lead and Copper Rule compliance

  • Proactive strategies for minimizing risk of lead in drinking water

  • Safe Drinking Water Act policy and regulatory analysis

  • Safe Drinking Water Act compliance

  • Regional planning

  • Asset management

  • Hydraulic modeling

  • Distribution system water quality

  • Onsite water system implementation and research to inform safe drinking water policy

  • Technical assistance and education to explain drinking water issues to decision makers