Consumer Confidence Reports
The right to know requirement is a centerpiece of the 1996 amendments to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The US EPA proposed the final Consumer Confidence Rule on August 19, 1998. The Rule establishes requirements for developing Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) - content and format - as well as distribution requirements.
Starting in 1999 owners of all community water systems will be required to prepare and distribute the annual Consumer Confidence Report to their customers. The report must contain information about what contaminants are in the water as well as sources of water. These reports may be a great opportunity for owners of community water systems to help consumers make informed choices that may affect their health and encourage consumers to consider challenges that system owners, operators, managers and supporting staff face to deliver safe drinking water. The informed customer is more likely to help support efforts to protect the public drinking water supplies sources and will have a better understanding of the increasing need to upgrade, repair, or replace treatment facilities that continue to make the water safe to drink.
Every community public water supply system that serves at least 25 residences year round or has 15 service connections must prepare and distribute a CCR once each year. If a community sells water to another community public water supply, the selling system must provide the purchasing systems with the necessary information by April 19, 1999 so that the purchaser public water supply has necessary information to prepare their CCR. The first CCR must be developed and distributed to consumers by October 19, 1999. Future CCRs will be prepared and distributed by July 1 of each year and will contain information regarding water quality monitoring for the preceding 12 months. Each community public water system must certify to the state how the CCR was distributed to customers and other individuals that consume water within three months following the time that the CCR was distributed, but no later than January 19, 2000 for the first CCR and no later than October 1 for each subsequent year. 40 CFR 141.155(g) of the Consumer Confidence Rule allows the governor of the state to waive the mailing requirements for systems serving less than 10,000 individuals. Governor Cecil H. Underwood has signed a letter advising US EPA that has waived the mailing requirement. Community water systems serving fewer than 10,000, but more than 5,000, individuals will be required to publish the report in a local newspaper once and make it available to individuals upon request. Systems serving less than 500 persons must provide notification of the report availability to their consumers. Even though the Governor has waived the mailing requirement, systems serving less than 10,000 population may wish to consider mailing the CCR to their consumers. Distribution, other than mailing, is permitted for small systems providing they document method of distribution and certify that distribution was performed.
The brief annual report to the community water supply consumers, and others who drink the water, must summarize information that each community water system is required to collect to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act. Owners will not be required to conduct additional monitoring just for CCR. The CCR will contain basic information on the sources of the drinking water, the levels of any contaminant in the water, information on compliance with other drinking water rules, and some brief educational information regarding Source Water Protection. It is expected that most CCR will fit on one sheet of a page printed on both sides.
The CCR must contain a minimal amount of information including:
- Water system information
- Name/phone number of contact person
- Information for non-English speaking populations
- Information on public participation opportunities
- Sources of the water
- Type, location, and name(s) of water sources
- Availability of source water assessments
- If available, source water susceptibility information
- Definitions: MCL, MCLG, and if needed TT, AL and Variances or Exemptions
- Levels of detected contaminants
- Likely source(s) for each detected contaminant
- Information on compliance with drinking water regulations
- Explanation of violations, potential health effects and steps by the PWS to correct the violations
- If applicable, explanation of variance/exemption
- Required educational information
- Explanation of contaminants and their presence in drinking water
- Warning for vulnerable populations about Cryptosporidium
- If needed, informational statements on arsenic, nitrate, and lead
CCR should also contain:
- Graphs, pictures, or other visual representations to help consumers understand the information.
- What is being done to treat the water to make it safe to drink.
- If applicable, additional monitoring performed.
- Information on present and future needs for more water or treatment to meet growing or new requirements.
- Information on the operators and their training.
- In applicable, a statement at the beginning of the report that the water meets all the standards.
- If applicable, efforts being taken by the system to improve water quality and public relations, such as the Partnership for Safe Water or Quality on Tap.
- The report title can be Consumer Confidence Report, Water Quality Report, Annual Report or no title whatsoever.
The following is the download file for the Consumer Confidence Report templates and instructions. The file format is Microsoft WORD
The following is the download file for the Electronic Consumer Confidence Report forms and instructions. The file format is PDF
Further information, examples, and instructions concerning CCR's is available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Site. This site also provides a downloadable version of the federal register section on the CCR's (40CFR Parts 141 and 142).
If you have any remaining questions about the CCR's or how to complete it for your water system, please contact your District Office.