Consumer confidence reports are the centerpiece of the right-to-know provisions in the 1996 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Amendments contain several other provisions aimed at improving public information about drinking water, including the annual public water system compliance report (available from the Office of Drinking Water) and improved public notification in cases where a waterworks owner is not meeting a contaminant standard.
Every community waterworks owner must distribute a consumer confidence report annually by July 1 that contains information about the drinking water provided to its customers during the previous calendar year. The report must contain the following:
Consumer Confidence Reports Rule
Water System Information
- Name and phone number of contact person
- Information on public participation opportunities (time and place for meetings or hearings)
- Information for non-English speaking population (if applicable)
Source of Water
- Type (example: groundwater or surface water), commonly use name, and location. Location should be limited to general terms due to security concerns.
- Availability of source water assessment.
- MCL, MCLG
- If applicable, treatment technique, MRDL, MRDLG, action level, variances and exemptions
Table of detected contaminants
- Use compliance results for samples collected in the previous calendar. If compliance samples were not collected, then use the most recent results from compliance samples collected in the last 5 years.
- List the likely source of each detected contaminant.
- (OPTIONAL)Waterworks may consider including a brief statement about the lack of any compliance contaminant detections, especially for very important contaminants that the customers may be interested in. Otherwise, customers may think that no samples for those important contaminants were collected. For example, if there were no coliform detections, the waterworks owner might say "We are pleased to report to you that there were no detections of total coliforms or fecal coliforms in the monthly samples collected during calendar year2014."
- Use a separate table to list non-detected contaminants or non-regulated contaminants. Non-regulated contaminants include such things as iron, manganese, pH, hardness, alkalinity, MTBE, and many others.