Find and Understand Your Consumer Confidence ReportBy John Davis - January 8, 2015
According to the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) public water suppliers who serve the same people year around, specifically called community water systems, are required to issue a report once a year that explains the details of your drinking water supply. This report has several possible names. Most commonly it is know as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), but it might also be called an Annual Water Quality Report or a Drinking Water Quality Report.
Regardless of what your local water system calls their report it will provide you with useful information you can use to make sure your families health is safeguarded. While local systems are free to provide as much detail as they like and can upgrade their reports as they wish, as systems are required to provide their customers with basic information such as;
- Where your water originates (i.e., a river, lake, reservoirs, or aquifers)
- Any contaminants that were detected
- How susceptible your water source is based upon your states source water assessments
- How to get a copy of your state complete source water assessment
- The level or range of any contaminants found in your drinking water
- The EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for each contaminant found
- The likely source for each contaminant found
- Any potential health effects from each contaminant found
- The actions they are taking to correct any issues or violations
- Their compliance with any other drinking-water related rules
- Education information on Cryptosporidium, nitrate, arsenic, or lead
- Contact information for additional resources such as the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791)
Where Can I Obtain a Copy of My Consumer Confidence Report?
All community water systems are required to mail you a copy of their annual report no later than July 1st of each calendar year. If you did not receive a copy or have misplaced it you may be able to find a copy of your report online. If your community water system serves more than 100,000 customers they are required to post their annual report on a publicly accessible website. Smaller suppliers are not required to do this.
If you’re not sure if your report is posted online or who your water supplier is you can use this map on the EPA’s website to help you.
Click on your state —> Scroll to the bottom and click “View All” —> Type Ctrl+F —> Then search for your city or town.
This should bring you to whoever supplies your water and there’s a chance your report could be linked right to this page. If not, google search for your supplier and see if the report is posted on their site. If all this fails write or call your supplier and request a copy.
Will My CCR Tell Me What’s in My Water?
Your report will provide you with a list of any regulated contaminants that were found in your water supply during that calendar year, along with levels that were detected. It will also tell you whether or not your water system was in violation for being over the allowed levels.
Your report may also provide information on unregulated contaminants that were found in your water supply. Oftentimes water systems will monitoring unregulated contaminants to aid the EPA in finding new contaminants that should be monitored.
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