Preparing Your Drinking Water Annual Water Quality Report: Guidance for Water Suppliers

Notice

This document was written to provide implementation guidance to water suppliers on the New York State Department of Health's implementation Part 5-1.72(e)-(h) of the State Sanitary Code. The guidance is designed to implement State policy on these issues. The document does not, however, substitute for Part 5-1.72 of the State Sanitary Code; nor is it a regulation itself. Thus, it cannot impose legally binding requirements on the New York State Department of Health or water suppliers, and may not apply to a particular situation based on the circumstances. The New York State Department of Health retains the discretion to adopt approaches on a case-by-case basis that differ from this guidance where appropriate. The New York State Department of Health may change this guidance in the future.

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction

This document is for water suppliers who are preparing their Annual Water Quality Report as prescribed by Part 5-1.72 of the New York State Sanitary Code (10 NYCRR). This guide explains all of the requirements for report content, format, and distribution.

The rationale for Annual Water Quality Reports is that consumers have the right to know what is in their drinking water. The information contained in an Annual Water Quality Report can raise consumers' awareness regarding the source of their drinking water, help consumers to understand the process by which safe drinking water is delivered to their homes, and educate consumers about the importance of preventative measures, such as source protection, that ensure a safe drinking water supply. Annual Water Quality Reports can also promote a dialogue between consumers and their drinking water utilities, and can encourage consumers to become more involved in decisions which may affect their health. The information in the reports can be used by consumers, especially those with special health needs, to make informed decisions regarding their drinking water. These reports will encourage consumers to consider the challenges of providing safe drinking water. Educated consumers are more likely to help protect their drinking water sources and to appreciate the true costs of safe drinking water.

2.0 What is an Annual Water Quality Report?

Since 1996, Section 1150 of New York State's Public Health Law has required community water systems, serving 1,000 or more service connections, to prepare and provide Annual Water Quality Reports to their customers. Many systems on Long Island have been required to prepare these reports since 1988.

In 1996, Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act and added a provision requiring every community water system that serves 15 or more service connections used by year-round residents or regularly serves at least 25 year-round residents (water system is not shut-down during the year) to deliver to their customers an Annual Water Quality Report. Although the intent of both the State regulation and the federal rule were similar, there were differences between the two types of Annual Water Quality Reports. In summary, the differences included: who is required to produce the reports (systems serving 1,000 or more service connections vs. systems serving 15 or more service connections); report distribution methods (mailed or placed in newspaper vs. required mailings), and report content.

In 2001, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) amended Part 5-1.72 of the State Sanitary Code to adopt the Annual Water Quality Report requirements prescribed by the federal government. Part 5-1.72 was amended to clarify (and add to) the Annual Water Quality Report requirements for systems serving 1,000 or more service connections and establish Annual Water Quality Report requirements for systems serving fewer than 1,000 service connections.

These regulatory revisions result in an Annual Water Quality Report prepared by systems serving fewer than 1,000 service connections which includes information on the water source and water treatment, the levels of any detected contaminants, and compliance with drinking water rules, plus general educational information. The regulatory revisions require systems serving 1,000 or more service connections to prepare a report that includes the aforementioned items as well as information on non-detected contaminants, water use, water source restrictions, water conservation measures, and the cost of water.

3.0 Who must prepare an Annual Water Quality Report?

Every community water system that serves 15 or more service connections used by year-round residents or regularly serves at least 25 year-round residents must prepare and distribute an Annual Water Quality Report. These systems typically include cities, towns, homeowners associations, apartments, and mobile home parks.

A water wholesaler that sells water to another water system must provide the retailer with monitoring data and other information that will enable the retailer to produce an Annual Water Quality Report, unless the two systems make a different contractual arrangement. Wholesalers are not responsible for creating the report for the retailer, nor are they responsible for providing data on contaminants that the retailer monitors (such as lead or total trihalo-methanes). Regardless of who produces the report, the retail system is responsible for ensuring that its customers receive a report meeting all of the requirements.

In some cases, a retailer will contract with the wholesaler to produce the report. There are several options in this relationship. If the retailer had no new data to add, it could simply send out the wholesaler's Annual Water Quality Report with a cover letter explaining their relationship. If the retailer does need to add data, it might choose to reprint the wholesaler's Annual Water Quality Report with a new title/letterhead and the extra data. Either of these options is acceptable.

4.0 What is required in an Annual Water Quality Report?

This guidance describes New York State's requirements for an Annual Water Quality Report and suggests other sections or explanations that will help your customers understand the report. A summary of the basic Annual Water Quality Report requirements is presented below.

Annual Water Quality Report Requirements (please read on for details and recommended enhancements)


Systems serving 15 to 999 service connections serving at least 25 year-round residents
Water System Information

  • Name, address, and public water system identification number.
  • Name and telephone number of system's contact person.
  • Telephone number of the county or district health department office that has jurisdiction over the system.
  • Information about opportunities for public participation (e.g., time and place of regularly scheduled meetings).
  • A statement explaining the number of people served by the system.
  • Information for non-English speaking populations, if applicable.

Sources of Water and Water Treatment

  • Type, name and location of water sources.
  • Availability of a Source Water Assessment.
  • Brief summary of the system's susceptibility to potential sources of contaminants using language provided by the DOH.
  • A description of the type(s) of treatment that the water receives before entering the distribution system.

Definitions

  • Each report must contain the definitions for Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG), Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL), and Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG).
  • Definitions for Variances and Exemptions must be included if system is operating under a variance or exemption.
  • A report that includes information on a contaminant that is regulated as a Treatment Technique (TT) or an Action Level (AL) must include the definitions for these terms.

Detected Contaminants

  • A table summarizing data on detected contaminants presented in Table 1 (PDF, 158KB, 22pg.). The table must include the following:
    • State MCL, TT or AL expressed in a number equal to or greater than 1.0;
    • the MCLG for those contaminants expressed in the same units as the MCL;
    • the level detected for each contaminant;
    • the known or likely source of each contaminant;
    • a notation indicating if there was a MCL, TT or AL violation; and
    • the date the sample was collected.
  • For MCL, TT and AL violations, the report must include Health Effects language (see Table 1 (PDF, 158KB, 22pg.) and an explanation of the violation.

Non-Detected Contaminants

  • Information on non-detected contaminants.

Information on Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Radon and Unregulated Contaminants

  • If a system has performed monitoring which indicates that Cryptosporidium or Giardia were detected in the source or finished water the report must include a summary of the data.
  • If a system has performed monitoring which indicates that radon was detected in finished water the report must include a summary of the data.
  • If a system has performed monitoring which indicates that unregulated contaminants were detected in the source or finished water, the report must include a contact person and telephone number for information on the monitoring results.

Compliance with the State Sanitary Code

  • Explanation of violations, potential health effects and steps taken to correct the violations.
  • Explanation of variance/exemption, if applicable.

Educational Information

  • Explanation of contaminants and their presence in drinking water.
  • A statement explaining that the presence of contaminants in drinking water does not necessarily pose a health risk.
  • A statement explaining that some individuals may be more vulnerable to disease causing microorganism and pathogens than the general population.
  • Informational statements on arsenic, nitrate, lead, and fluoride, if necessary.

Systems serving 1,000 or more service connections

  • Report must include each of the details specified above as well as the items listed below.
    • Systems that calculate water use of all customers with meters must include an accounting of the total annual amount of water withdrawn, delivered, and lost from the system.
    • A description of any water source(s) restricted, removed from service, or otherwise limited in its use and any new actions taken to secure new suppliers or replace lost capacity.
    • Water conservation measures available to customers.
    • A description of any major facility modifications and a discussion of capital improvements needed or planned.
    • For systems that bill their customers, the report shall include the average charge for water.
    • The analytical results for samples collected directly from drinking water sources that are not used to determine compliance may be placed in a supplement to the Annual Water Quality Report.

The DOH encourages you to tailor the content of your Annual Water Quality Report to local conditions. If you think that an added picture or graph would help your customers to understand your report, feel free to include additional information. If your customers would benefit from an explanation of your need for new treatment facilities, include that information in your report. The State regulation allows you to include additional educational information in your report, as long as it does not detract from the purpose of your report.

Customers are most interested in a clear statement of whether or not their drinking water meets all state standards. Although it is not required by the State regulation, you will help your customers if you tell them whether their water has met all drinking water standards. Be cautious in using the word "safe" since water that meets standards and is safe for most people may not be safe in all cases for immuno-compromised individuals (e.g., people with HIV/ AIDs or chemotherapy patients).

Example for a system with no violations:

Last year, as in years past, your tap water met all State drinking water health standards. The Flanigan Water District is proud to report that our system has never violated a maximum contaminant level or any other water quality standard. This report is an overview of last year's water quality. Included are details about where your water comes from, what it contains, and how it compares to State standards. We are pleased to provide you with this information because informed customers are our best customers.

Example for a system with violations:

Last year, we conducted tests for over 80 contaminants. We detected 5 of those contaminants, and found only 1 of those contaminants at a level higher than the State allows. As we told you at the time, our water temporarily exceeded a drinking water standard and we modified our treatment processes to rectify the problem. This report is an overview of last year's water quality. Included are details about where your water comes from, what it contains, and how it compares to State standards. We are pleased to provide you with this information because informed customers are our best customers.

5.0 Report Contents Required for all Applicable CWSs

Item 1: Water System Information

Your report must identify your water system's name, address and public water system identification number (PWS ID#). Your PWS ID# is a unique seven digit number assigned to your water system by the DOH. If you are unsure of your PWS ID# contact your local health department representative.

An Annual Water Quality Report must also include:

  • The name and telephone number of a person at the water system who can answer questions about the report.
  • The telephone number of the county or district health department office that has jurisdiction over the water system. A complete telephone listing is included in Appendix A.
  • A list of known opportunities for public participation in decisions that affect drinking water quality (e.g., time and place of regularly scheduled water board or city/county council meetings). If you do not have regularly scheduled meetings, inform customers how to obtain information regarding when the meetings are announced. If you are a small system (i.e., mobile home park, apartment complex, or subdivision) and you do not have meetings, we encourage you to tell customers that you would discuss any drinking water issues with them in person.
  • A statement explaining the number of people served by the drinking water system.

Systems that have a large proportion of non-English speaking residents must include information in the appropriate language expressing the importance of the report. The DOH has determined that the decision to include information for non-English speaking residents should be made at the water-supplier level in consultation with the local health department, since you are the most familiar with your customers.

The required language for systems determined to have a large proportion of non-English speaking residents is as follows:

This report contains important information about your drinking water. Translate it, or speak with someone who understands it.

Spanish
Este informe contiene información muy importante sobre su agua beber. Tradúzcalo ó hable con alguien que lo entienda bien.
French
Ce rapport contient des informations importantes sur votre eau potable. Traduisez-le ou parlez en avec quelqu'un qui le comprend bien.
Korean
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Chinese
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Item 2: Source(s) of Water and Water Treatment

Describe the source of your water (groundwater, surface water, or a blend), and the commonly used name(s) (if such a name exists) and general locations of your water source(s). We encourage you to provide a simple map of your system's sources.

Explaining your various interconnections and back-up sources may be difficult, but it is important that consumers understand that the source of their water may vary during the year. Remember to include in your table of detected contaminants monitoring data for these "extra" sources if you use water from them. If your situation is complex, feel free to contact your local health department representative or the state drinking water program representative to determine what information belongs in your report.

Your report must include a brief summary of your source water's susceptibility to contamination based on the findings of the source water assessment, if such assessment is available. The summary must be included annually despite no updates or changes from the previous year's report. Your county or district health department office will provide this summary to you. Inform your customers that they can obtain a copy of the source water assessment by contacting their water system, county or district health department office, or State DOH.

This section should also include a description of the type(s) of treatment your water receives prior to distribution.

Source Description and Treatment Examples

Filtration

The drinking water source for the Village of Colvin is surface water drawn from Grady Brook located on Mount Stegmann. Water from Grady Brook flows into the reservoir located on Gregory Drive and Marcy Road. Water from the reservoir flows by gravity through a transmission line to a 500,000-gallon uncovered raw water storage reservoir. The water is pumped from the reservoir to the water treatment plant. After filtration, disinfection, pH adjustment and corrosion control treatment, the treated water enters the distribution system which includes a 500,000 gallon finished water covered reservoir.

Green Sand Filtration

The water system consists of a well located at the end of Graff Lane. The water is pumped from the well to the treatment plant where chlorine and potassium permanganate are added to enhance the iron removal processes as it passes through green sand filters. The water is disinfected again as it leaves the plant.

Fluoridation

The Flanigan water system is one of the many systems in New York State that adds a low level of fluoride to drinking water in order to provide consumer dental health protection. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control, fluoride is very effective in preventing cavities when present in drinking water at levels that range from 0.8 to 1.2 mg/l (parts per million). Our fluoride addition facility is designed and operated to meet this optimal range.

Disinfection

The water system consists of four drilled wells located on Crawford Road. The water is pumped from the wells into a 130,000 gallon storage tank. The water is disinfected with sodium hypochlorite as it is transferred to the storage tank.

Disinfection Waiver

The water system consists of a drilled well with a submerged pump and a 20,000-gallon storage tank. A spring supply (old source) is available as an auxiliary source but was not used during this reporting period. The sources are located on of the Zeus Acres Mobile Home Park property. The drinking water source is operating under a disinfection waiver issued by the Health Department. Therefore, no treatment is required.

Item 3: Definitions

Every Annual Water Quality Report must include definitions of key terms that consumers will need to understand the contaminant data. You must use the definitions listed below:

  • Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG): The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.
  • Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL): The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLG as possible.
  • Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL): The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.
  • Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG): The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contamination.

Include the following definitions only if your report contains information on a detected contaminant that is regulated by an action level (e.g., lead, copper) or a treatment technique (turbidity):

  • Treatment Technique (TT): A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.
  • Action Level (AL): The concentration of a contaminant that, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.

Include the following definition only if your water system operated under a variance or exemption during the calendar year that the report describes:

  • Variances and Exemptions: State permission not to meet an MCL or treatment technique under certain conditions.

In addition to the terms and definitions required by the Annual Water Quality Report regulation, your report may contain a number of terms and abbreviations that may be unfamiliar to your customers. Therefore, you may wish to include the following definitions in your report if the terms are referenced:

  • Milligrams per liter (mg/l) corresponds to one part of liquid in one million parts of liquid (parts per million - ppm).
  • Micrograms per liter (ug/l) corresponds to one part of liquid in one billion parts of liquid (parts per billion - ppb).
  • Nanograms per liter (ng/l) corresponds to one part of liquid to one trillion parts of liquid (parts per trillion - ppt).
  • Picograms per liter (pg/l) corresponds to one part per of liquid to one quadrillion parts of liquid (parts per quadrillion – ppq).
  • Picocuries per liter (pCi/L): Picocuries per liter is a measure of the radioactivity in water.
  • Millirems per year (mrem/yr): Measure of radiation absorbed by the body.
  • Million Fibers per Liter (MFL): A measure of the presence of asbestos fibers that are longer than 10 micrometers.
  • Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU): A measure of the clarity of water. Turbidity in excess of 5 NTU is just noticeable to the average person.
  • 90th Percentile Value: The values reported for lead and copper represent the 90th percentile. A percentile is a value on a scale of 100 that indicates the percent of a distribution that is equal to or below it. The 90th percentile is equal to or greater than 90% of the lead and copper values detected at your water system.

Item 4: Detected Contaminants

An essential part of the report is the table that shows the highest level of each detected contaminant (this is usually the value you report to the State to determine compliance) and the range of levels of that contaminant you found during the year, if compliance is based on an average of several samples. It is also suggested that you include the number of samples collected or analyses performed for each detected contaminant.

A detected contaminant is any contaminant detected by a New York State approved laboratory. Your report must include detected monitoring results for any samples used to determine compliance, any detected contaminant results collected and analyzed by the State, and/or detected monitoring results of additional samples required by the State or EPA (i.e., surveillance monitoring, Information Collection Rule monitoring, etc.).

The Stage 2 DBP Rule requires systems to include, for TTHM and HAA5, the highest LRAA and the range of quarterly results (for all locations) in their main detected contaminant table. In addition, systems with an LRAA MCL exceedance at more than one location, must report the LRAA for each location that exceeded the MCL.

Water quality parameters (i.e. pH) or data collected during research projects are not required to be included in the Annual Water Quality Report. However, since this information is usually public information, you may want to include it in your report. For example, the United States Geological Survey uses analytical methods other than those approved by the EPA for drinking water analysis. These methods are usually much more sensitive than the drinking water methods and may include additional parameters.

The table of detected contaminants must not include data that are not detected (i.e., represented on a lab report with a less than sign "<", or denoted by the letters "LT" or "ND"). If you sometimes distribute water from auxiliary or back-up sources, you generally need to include monitoring results from these sources in the ranges of detections that you report in the table, unless the source's contribution is insignificant (e.g., one day per year).

Any of the contaminants detected in your water (except Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and radon that are discussed in Item 6 of this section) must be included in the Annual Water Quality Report table of detected contaminants. You may want to organize your table by contaminant type (e.g., microbial, inorganic) or sampling site (e.g., treatment plant, distribution system). If you want to list all of the contaminants for which you monitored but did not detect, you must do so outside of the table of detected contaminants.

Table 1 (PDF, 158KB, 22pg.) provides a list of contaminants that may be detected at your water system. This table lists each of the contaminants for which you are required to test under Part 5, as well as additional contaminants that may be detected in your drinking water. It should be noted that you might not have tested for many of the contaminants listed on this table. Conversely, you may detect contaminants in your drinking water system that are not listed on this table. If you detect a contaminant that is not listed in Table 1 (PDF, 158KB, 22pg.), please contact your local health department representative or the State Health Department at (518) 402-7650 to obtain contaminant specific information.

To ensure that consumers can easily compare detected contaminant levels to their MCLs, your table(s) must display the MCL for each contaminant in units that express it as a number equal to or greater than 1.0. Table 1 (PDF, 158KB, 22pg.) includes the MCL, AL or TT, expressed in a number equal to or greater than 1.0 for each listed contaminant. Therefore when creating your table of detected contaminants, you could reference Table 1 (PDF, 158KB, 22pg.) and transfer the MCL, AL, or TT and the respective units specified in Table 1 (PDF, 158KB, 22pg.) to your table for each contaminant detected at your system. The MCLG and level of the detected contaminant must be reported in the same units as the MCL. For example, antimony results are usually reported by laboratories in mg/l; however, it is easier for customers to see that your water contains antimony at a level 10 times lower than the MCL if you report the MCL as 6 ug/l and the detected level as 1.0 ug/l than if you were to report the MCL as 0.006 mg/l and the detected level as 0.001 mg/l. In this case, Table 1 (PDF, 158KB, 22pg.) has converted the MCL of 0.006 mg/l to 6 ug/l, but you will still need to convert the detected level of 0.001 mg/l to 1 ug/l. This conversion is done by multiplying the detected level by 1,000. A chart displaying conversion factors is provided below.

Multiply By To Obtain
mg/l (ppm) Multiply detected level by 1,000 ug/l (ppb)
mg/l (ppm) Multiply detected level by 1,000,000 ng/l (ppt)
mg/l (ppm) Multiply detected level by 1,000,000,000 pg/l (ppq)
ug/l (ppb) Multiply detected level by 1,000 ng/l (ppt)
ug/l (ppb) Multiply detected level by 1,000,000 pg/l (ppq)
ng/l (ppt) Multiply detected level by 1,000 pg/l (ppq)
For Radioactive Contaminants
Bequeral/m3
(Bq/m3)
Multiply detected level by 0.027 picocuries/l (pCi/l)
Note: When you round results to determine compliance, round before multiplying the results by the factor listed in this table.

The Annual Water Quality Report includes data from monitoring completed during the past calendar year; however, if you have monitoring waivers, or for another reason monitor less than once per year, you must include the most recent data. For example, if you are preparing a report for the 2009 calendar year, but did not monitor for inorganics in 2009 (due to a monitoring waiver), you must report information for detected contaminants from the most recent inorganic sampling round (collected prior to 2009) for inorganics. You would include the same information in subsequent years until a new sample is collected.

If the report contains data on detected contaminants that is not from the calendar year indicated, the report must include the sample date (month and year) of each detected contaminant and a brief statement explaining that the data presented is from the most recent monitoring done in compliance with regulations. An example of this statement is as follows:

"The State allows us to monitor for some contaminants less than once per year because the concentrations of these contaminants do not change frequently. Some of our data, though representative, are more than one year old."

You do not need to report monitoring results that are more than five years old.

For each detected contaminant, the table must contain the elements described below.

  1. The sample date (month and year) of each detected contaminant.
  2. The MCL expressed as a number greater than 1.0 (see Table 1 (PDF, 158KB, 22pg.)). If the contaminant is regulated by a TT, put the letters "TT" in place of the MCL. If the contaminant is regulated by an AL, specify the applicable Action Level.
  3. The MCLG expressed in the same units as the MCL (see Table 1 (PDF, 158KB, 22pg.)).
  4. The level of each detected contaminant expressed in the same units as the MCL and MCLG:
    • when compliance with the MCL is determined annually or less frequently: report the highest detected level at any sampling point and the range of detected levels, if applicable, expressed in the same units as the MCL;
    • when compliance with the MCL is determined more frequently than annually: report the highest average of any of the sampling points used to determine compliance and the range of detected levels (see Appendix B);
    • when compliance with the MCL is determined by calculating a running annual average of all samples taken from a single sampling point: report the highest average of any of the sampling points used to determine compliance and the range of detected levels (see Appendix B); and
    • when compliance with the MCL is determined on a system-wide basis by calculating a running annual average of all samples at all sampling points: report the average used to determine compliance and the range of detected levels.
    • if you have detected contaminants for which the state or federal rules require monitoring (i.e., Information Collection Rule compounds listed in Table 17 of Part 5), except monitoring (i.e., Information Collection Rule) and/or Cryptosporidium, include the range of detections. See Table 1 (PDF, 158KB, 22pg.) for a list of these contaminants.

    Note: When calculating the average for any of the above-described reporting scenarios, non-detected contaminants should be included in the calculation using a value of one-half of the reported detection limit.

  5. Systems using surface water or groundwater under the direct influence of surface water are required to include information from turbidity monitoring in the Annual Water Quality report. Specific reporting requirements are as follows:
    • Systems that are required to install filtration, but have not, must report the highest monthly average for turbidity (see Appendix B). Additionally, systems falling into this category must also include the following statement:

      "Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches."

    • Systems that have met the State's criteria for avoiding filtration must report the highest single turbidity measurement found in any one month (see Appendix B). The report should also include an explanation of the reasons for measuring turbidity. An example of this statement is as follows:

      "Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness of the water. We monitor it because it is a good indicator of water quality. High turbidity can hinder the effectiveness of disinfectants."

    • Systems that filter their water and use turbidity as an indicator of filtration performance must report the highest single combined filtered water measurement identified during the reporting year and the lowest monthly percentage of samples meeting the turbidity performance standards for the filtration technology being used (see Appendix B). These turbidity performance standard are as follows:
      Filtration Type Performance Standard1 Maximum Performance Standard2
      Conventional 0.3 NTU 1 NTU
      Direct 0.3 NTU 1 NTU
      Alternative Technologies 1.0 NTU 5 NTU
      Slow Sand 1.0 NTU 5 NTU
      Diatomaceous Earth 1.0 NTU 5 NTU
      1. A treatment technique violation occurs if more than 5% of the composite filter effluent measurements taken each month exceed the performance standard values.
      2. A treatment technique violation occurs if the turbidity level of representative samples of the filtered water exceeds 1 or 5.0 NTU depending type of filtration.

      The report should also include an explanation of the reasons for measuring turbidity. An example of this statement is as follows:

      "Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness of the water. We monitor it because it is a good indicator of the effectiveness of our filtration system."

      Systems that have surface water sources or groundwater sources directly influenced by surface water are required to report distribution turbidity results in the Table of Detected Contaminants.

  6. For lead and/or copper, report the 90th percentile value from the most recent sampling (if it was detected above the detection limit), the range of detections, and the number of sampling sites that exceeded the action level (see Appendix B).
  7. Systems that collect fewer than 40 total coliform samples per month must report the highest number of positive samples collected in any one month (see Appendix B).

    Systems that collect 40 or more total coliform samples per month must report the highest percentage of positive samples collected in any one month (see Appendix B).

  8. For E. Coli report the total number of positive samples detected.
  9. Laboratory results for radioactive contam-inants usually present the detected level as well as a range (+/-). For example, a laboratory may report a detected level for gross alpha as 8 pCi/l +/- 5. For Annual Water Quality Report reporting purposes you should report the actual level detected 8 pCi/l, not the potential range (+/- 5).
  10. When reporting beta particles detected in your water at or below 50 pCi/l, you should report the detected level in pCi/l (rather than mrem/year). Reporting this way provides consumers a standard against which to compare that detected level. In the MCL column of your table include 50* (rather than the actual MCL of 4 mrem/year) and include a footnote to the table that says the following:

    "*The State considers 50 pCi/l to be the level of concern for beta particles."

    If you detect beta particles above 50 pCi/L, you must determine the actual radioactive constituents present in the water to calculate the dose exposure levels in mrem/year, and must report both the detected level and MCL as mrem/year. If you need assistance in determining the dose exposure levels in mrem/year, you should contact the DOH.

  11. For each detected contaminant you must include the likely contaminant source, using the best information you have available. For example, information on potential contaminant sources may be included in the Source Water Assessment. If you lack reliable information on the specific source of a contaminant, include one or more of the typical sources listed in Table 1 (PDF, 158KB, 22pg.) that is most applicable to your situation. Please note, if you have a detected contaminant and its likely contaminant source is listed as a metal refinery and there are not metal refineries in your area, don't say that metal refineries are the source of the contaminant in your water.
  12. For any contaminant detected in violation of a MCL, or a TT, or exceeding an AL, clearly highlight in the table the violation or the exceedance. This indication could, for example, take the form of a different color type, a footnote, a separate column, or a larger or bolder font. Near, but not in the table, you must include an explanation of the length of the violation/exceedance, the potential adverse health effects (from Table 1 (PDF, 158KB, 22pg.)), and the actions taken to address the violation/exceedance.

Multiple Distribution Systems – If your system supplies water through two or more distribution systems that use different raw water sources and are not physically interconnected, you may want to include in the table a separate column of detection data for each service area. Describe the area that each distribution system serves.

An example of a table of detected contaminants is presented below. In this example, the Village system uses conventional filtration and serves less than 10,000 people. Additional guidance for reporting detected contaminants is presented in Appendix B.

Example:

In accordance with State regulations, the Village of Tyler routinely monitors your drinking water for numerous contaminants. We test your drinking water for coliform bacteria, turbidity, inorganic contaminants, lead and copper, nitrate, volatile organic contaminants, total trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, and synthetic organic contaminants. The table presented below depicts which contaminants were detected in your drinking water. The State allows us to monitor for certain contaminants less than once per year because the concentrations of these contaminants are not expected to vary significantly from year to year. Therefore some of the data, though representative of the water quality, is more than one year old.

Table of Detected Contaminants
Contaminant Violation
Yes/No
Date of Sample Level Detected (Maximum) (Range) Unit Measurement MCLG Regulatory Limit (MCL, TT or AL) Likely Source of Contamination
Microbiological Contaminants
Total Coliform Yes 11/09 3 positive samples n/a 0 MCL= 2 or more positive samples Naturally present in the environment
Turbidity1 No 11/5/09 0.9 NTU NTU N/A TT= ≤ 1.0 NTU Soil Runoff
Turbidity1 No 11/10/09 96% ≤ 0.3 NTU N/A TT=95% of samples ≤ 0.3 NTU
Inorganic Contaminants
Fluoride No 5/05 0.66
ND-0.66
mg/l n/a MCL=2.2 Erosion of natural deposits; water additive that promotes strong teeth
Copper No 6/10/09 1.12
0.55 – 1.3
mg/l 1.3 AL=1.3 Corrosion of galvanized pipes; Erosion of natural deposits
Lead Yes 6/10/09 233
ND – 35
ug/l 0 AL- 15 Corrosion of household plumbing systems; Erosion of natural deposits
Disinfection Byproducts
Total Trihalomethanes No 6/09 504
20 – 75
ug/l n/a MCL=80 By-product of drinking water chlorination
Notes:
  1. Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness of the water. We monitor it because it is a good indicator of the effectiveness of our filtration system. Our highest single turbidity measurement for the year occurred on 11/5/09 (.9 NTU). State regulations require that turbidity must always be less than or equal to 1.0 NTU. The regulations require that 95% of the turbidity samples collected have measurements below 0.3 NTU. Although November 2009 was the month when we had the fewest measurements meeting the treatment technique for turbidity, the levels recorded were within the acceptable range allowed and did not constitute a treatment technique violation.
  2. The level presented represents the 90th percentile of the 10 sites tested. A percentile is a value on a scale of 100 that indicates the percent of a distribution that is equal to or below it. The 90th percentile is equal to or greater than 90% of the copper values detected at your water system. In this case, ten samples were collected at your water system and the 90th percentile value was the ninth highest value (1.1 mg/l). The action level for copper was not exceeded at any of the sites tested.
  3. The level presented represents the 90th percentile of the 10 sites tested. The action level for lead was exceeded at two of the 10 sites tested.
  4. This level represents the highest locational running annual average calculated from data collected.

Definitions:

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL)- The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible.

Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) - The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.

Action Level (AL) – The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.

Treatment Technique (TT) – A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

Nephelometric Turbidity Unit NTU) - A measure of the clarity of water. Turbidity in excess of 5 NTU is just noticeable to the average person.

Milligrams per liter (mg/l) – corresponds to one part of liquid in one million parts of liquid (parts per million - ppm).

Micrograms per liter (ug/l) corresponds to one part of liquid in one billion parts of liquid (parts per billion - ppb).

Non-Detects (ND) – Laboratory analysis indicates that the constituent is not present.

The table shows that we had an MCL violation for total coliform and an Action Level exceedance for lead. On November 15, 2009, one of the 3 monthly samples collected indicated the presence of total coliform. Coliforms are bacteria that are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other, potentially harmful bacteria may be present. Coliforms were found in more samples than allowed and this was a warning of potential problems. Four additional samples were subsequently collected on November 16, 2009, and two of those indicated the presence of total coliform, causing us to violate the MCL for total coliform. We notified you of this violation through a notice in the local newspaper. The problem was corrected through a readjustment of our disinfection system and chlorine residuals were increased and total coliform was not detected in additional samples. It should be noted that E. Coli, associated with human and animal fecal waste, was not detected in any of the samples collected.

The table revealed that the water level for lead exceeded the action level of 15 ug/l in more than 10 percent of the homes tested. Infants and children who drink water containing lead in excess of the action level could experience delays in their physical or mental development. Children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure. Infants and young children are typically more vulnerable to lead in drinking water than the general population. It is possible that lead levels at your home may be higher than at other homes in the community as a result of materials used in your home's plumbing. If you are concerned about elevated lead levels in your home's water, you may wish to have your water tested and you should flush your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using your tap water. Additional information regarding lead in drinking water is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (1-800-426-4791).

The Tyler Water Department has implemented a program to minimize lead levels in your drinking water. This program includes: 1) the addition of corrosion control chemicals; 2) the replacement of lead service lines; and 3) public education. The system will be conducting lead and copper testing again in 2009.

Item 4B: Reporting on Non-Detected Contaminants

Information on non-detected contaminants from sampling used to determine compliance must be included in the Annual Water Quality Report. This information may not be included in the Table of Detected Contaminants described in Section 5.0, Item 4 of this document. This information may be described in a brief narrative or presented in the report as a separate table or list.

Example:

According to State regulations, the Sunnyside Water District routinely monitors your drinking water for various contaminants. Your water is tested for inorganic contaminants, nitrate, lead and copper, volatile organic contaminants, synthetic organic contaminants and disinfection byproducts. Additionally, your water is tested for coliform bacteria four times a month. The contaminants detected in your drinking water are included in the Table of Detected Contaminants.

Another example of the narrative could include adding a paragraph after your table of detected contaminants which lists the individual contaminants that were analyzed for but not detected.

Example:

In total, 10 drinking water compliance samples were collected at the system. The following contaminants were not detected: antimony, arsenic, beryllium, benzene, bromobenzene, bromochloromethane, carbon tetrachloride, chloroethane, chloromethane, 4-chlorotoluene, 1,2-dichlorobenzene, 2,2-dichloropropane, 1,1-dichloropropene, trans-1,3-dichloropropene, ethylbenzene, hexachlorobutadiene, trichloroethene, trichlorofluoromethane, 1,2,3-trichloropropane, 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene, xylene, acenapthene, acenapthylene, acetochlor, anthracene, betazon, benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, bromocil, carboxin, chrysene, 2,4-DB, p'p-DDD, p'p-DDE, p'p-DDT, dioxin, EPTC, fluoranthene, fluorene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene, malathion, molinate, naphthalene, 4-nitrophenol, paraquat, parathion, and vernolate.

Please note that the contaminants listed above represent only a sample of those required to be tested. Instead of presenting non-detected contaminants in a narrative format you may choose to present this information in a tabular format particularly when monitoring is done at different frequencies for groups of contaminants (i.e., inorganic contaminant monitoring done once every three years).

Item 5: Groundwater Rule Reporting

The United States Environmental Protection Agency in November 2006, promulgated the Groundwater Rule (compliance begin date December 1, 2009) which has implications for the preparation of a community water system's annual water quality report. The ground water rule requires that public notice be made of any significant deficiencies found or of source water fecal contamination identified. A community ground water system that receives notice from the State of a significant deficiency or notice from a laboratory of a fecal indicator-positive ground water source sample that is not invalidated by the State must inform its customers of any significant deficiency that is uncorrected at the time of the next report or of any fecal indicator-positive ground water source sample in the next report. The system must continue to inform the public annually until the State determines that particular significant deficiency is corrected or the fecal contamination in the ground water source is addressed. Each report must include the following elements.

  1. The nature of the particular significant deficiency or the source of the fecal contamination (if the source is known) and the date the significant deficiency was identified by the State or the dates of the fecal indicator-positive ground water source samples;
  2. If the fecal contamination in the ground water source has been addressed and the date of such action;
  3. For each significant deficiency or fecal contamination in the ground water source that has not been addressed, the State-approved plan and schedule for correction, including interim measures, progress to date, and any interim measures completed; and
  4. If the system receives notice of a fecal indicator-positive ground water source sample that is not invalidated by the State, the potential health effects using the health effects language of Table 1.

If directed by the State, a system with significant deficiencies that have been corrected before the next report is issued must inform its customers of the significant deficiency, how the deficiency was corrected, and the date of correction.

Item 6: Reporting on Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Radon and Unregulated Contaminants

Cryptosporidium and Giardia

If you monitored for Cryptosporidium and Giardia and did not detect them, you do not need to discuss the monitoring or the results in your report.

  • If your system performed monitoring which indicates the presence of Cryptosporidium either in its source or its finished water, include a summary describing: the sampling sites; the number of tests conducted during the reporting year; the testing results; any actions taken in response to those results; and an explanation of the significance of the results. An example is provided below.

    Example:

    Cryptosporidium is a microbial pathogen found in surface water and groundwater under the influence of surface water. Although filtration removes Cryptosporidium, the most commonly used filtration methods cannot guarantee 100 percent removal. During 2009, as part of our routine sampling plan, 25 samples of Placid Reservoir source water were collected and analyzed for Cryptosporidium oocysts. Of these samples, three were presumed positive for Cryptosporidium, and one was confirmed positive. Therefore, our monitoring indicates the presence of Cryptosporidium in our source water. Current test methods do not allow us to determine if the organisms are dead or if they are capable of causing disease. Five additional filtered water samples were tested for Cryptosporidium oocysts and none were detected. Ingestion of Cryptosporidium may cause cryptosporidiosis, a gastrointestinal infection. Symptoms of infection include nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Most healthy individuals can overcome disease within a few weeks. However, immuno-compromised people are at greater risk of developing life-threatening illness. We encourage immuno-compromised individuals to consult their health care provider regarding appropriate precautions to take to avoid infection. Cryptosporidium must be ingested to cause disease, and it may be spread through means other than drinking water.

  • If your system performed monitoring which indicates the presence of Giardia either in its source or its finished water, include a summary describing: the sampling sites; the number of tests conducted during the reporting year; the testing results; any actions taken in response to those results; and an explanation of the significance of the results. An example is provided below.

    Example:

    Giardia is a microbial pathogen present in varying concentrations in many surface waters and groundwater under the influence of surface water. Giardia is removed/inactivated through a combination of filtration and disinfection or by disinfection. During 2009, as part of our routine sampling plan, 25 samples of Placid Reservoir source water were collected and analyzed for Giardia cysts. Of these samples, ten were presumed positive for Giardia, and one was confirmed positive. Therefore, our monitoring indicates the presence of Giardia in our source water. Current test methods do not allows us to determine if the organisms are dead or if they are capable of causing disease. Five additional filtered water samples were tested for Giardia cysts and none were detected. Ingestion of Giardia may cause giardiasis, an intestinal illness. People exposed to Giardia may experience mild or severe diarrhea, or in some instances no symptoms at all. Fever is rarely present. Occasionally, some individuals will have chronic diarrhea over several weeks or a month, with significant weight loss. Giardiasis can be treated with anti-parasitic medication. Individuals with weakened immune systems should consult with their health care providers about what steps would best reduce their risks of becoming infected with Giardiasis. Individuals who think that they may have been exposed to Giardiasis should contact their health care providers immediately. The Giardia parasite is passed in the feces of an infected person or animal and may contaminate water or food. Person to person transmission may also occur in day care centers or other settings where handwashing practices are poor.

Radon

If your system performed monitoring that indicates the presence of radon in its finished water, include a summary describing: the sampling sites; the number of tests conducted during the reporting year; the testing results; any actions taken in response to those results; and an explanation of the significance of the results.

Example:

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas found in soil and outdoor air that may also be found in drinking water and indoor air. Some people exposed to elevated radon levels over many years in drinking water may have an increased risk of getting cancer. The main risk is lung cancer from radon entering indoor air from soil under homes.

In 2009, we collected four representative water samples (one per quarter) that were analyzed for radon. The average of the four samples was 250 picocuries/liter (pCi/l). For additional information call your state radon program (518-402-7550 or 1-800-458-1158) or call EPA's Radon Hotline (1-800-SOS-Radon).

Unregulated Contaminants

If your system performed monitoring for the EPA Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation (UCMR) within the last five years, you must report the monitoring results of any detected contaminants in the Table of Detected Contaminants. Your report must identify a person and a phone number to contact for information on the monitoring results. If your system performed monitoring under UCMR but did not detect any contaminants, you may delete this section from your report.

Example:

In 2009, we were required to collect and analyze drinking water samples for the following unregulated contaminants: (list contaminant names, number of samples, and date collected). You may obtain the monitoring results by calling (provide contact name) at (provide telephone number).

Item 7: Additional Educational Information for Arsenic, Nitrate, Lead and Fluoride

If your water contains:

  • Nitrate above 5 mg/l, but below 10 mg/l (the MCL);
  • Arsenic above 5 ug/l, but below 10 ug/l (the MCL);
  • Lead A system must provide information on lead in drinking water irrespective of whether the system detected lead in any of its samples; and/or
  • Fluoride above 2 mg/l, but below 2.2 mg/l (the MCL),

you must include in your report the relevant educational statement listed below about the contaminant.

  • Nitrate. Nitrate in drinking water at levels above 10 mg/l is a health risk for infants of less than six months of age. High nitrate levels in drinking water can cause blue baby syndrome. Nitrate levels may rise quickly for short periods of time because of rainfall or agricultural activity. If you are caring for an infant, you should ask for advice from you health care provider.
  • Arsenic. NYS and EPA have promulgated a drinking water arsenic standard of 10 parts per billion. While your drinking water meets the standard for arsenic, it does contain low levels of arsenic. The standard balances the current understanding of arsenic's possible health effects against the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water. EPA continues to research the health effect of low levels of arsenic, which is a mineral known to cause cancer in humans at high concentrations and is linked to other health effects such as skin damage and circulatory problems.
  • Lead. If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. [NAME OF UTILITY] is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.
  • Fluoride. Some people who drink water containing fluoride in excess of the MCL over many years could get bone disease, including pain and tenderness of the bones. Children may get mottled teeth.

If you believe that the language above is not relevant to your situation, you may adjust the language in consultation with the DOH.

Item 8: Compliance with other State Sanitary Code Requirements

In some instances the reporting periods of the AWQR and the Public Notification Rule (PN) are in sync and use of the AWQR to fulfill PN requirements may be utilized. If you are using the AWQR to fulfill the Tier 3 PN requirements for violations incurred during the year then all information specified in the PN Rule including content, presentation, and standard language requirements must be included in your report.

If your water system violated any of the below listed State Sanitary Code requirements, during the year covered by the report, your Annual Water Quality Report must describe the violation(s). Just as you must explain the potential health effects of any MCL violation, you must provide a clear and readily understandable explanation of any other violation, potential adverse health effects (if any), and the steps the system has taken to correct the violation.

  • Treatment Techniques
    1. Filtration and disinfection (Surface Water Treatment Rule requirements). If the violation was a failure to install adequate filtration or disinfection equipment or processes, or there was a failure of that equipment or process, include the following language:

      Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.

    2. Lead and copper control requirements. If the violation was a failure to meet corrosion control treatment, source water treatment, or lead service line requirements, include the health effects language for lead or copper listed in Table 1 (PDF, 158KB, 22pg.).
    3. Acrylamide and Epichlorohydrin. If you violate either treatment technique, you must include the relevant health effects language from Table 1 (PDF, 158KB, 22pg.).
      • Monitoring, Reporting, and Record Keeping Requirements. If your system failed to take the sample on time, the report should say "health effects unknown". If your system took the samples accurately and on time, but mailed the results late, you do not need to discuss health effects.
      • Variances, Exemptions, Administrative or Judicial Orders. If your system operated under a variance or exemption at any time during the year covered by the report, include an explanation of the variance or exemption, the date that it was issued, why it was granted, when it is up for renewal, and a status report on what the system is doing to remedy the problem. Also, inform your customers how they may participate in the review of the variance or exemption.

      Additionally, the report must include a description of any violation of a variance, an exemption, or an administrative or judicial order.

Item 9: Educational Statements

Your Annual Water Quality Report must include the following three statements:

  1. Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (1-800-426-4791).
  2. Some people may be more vulnerable to disease causing microorganisms or pathogens in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice from their health care provider about their drinking water. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium, Giardia and other microbial pathogens are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).
  3. The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activities. Contaminants that may be present in source water include: microbial contaminants; inorganic contaminants; pesticides and herbicides; organic chemical contaminants; and radioactive contaminants.

    In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the State and the EPA prescribe regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The State Health Department's and the FDA's regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health.

Item 10: Other Information

You are not limited to providing only the required information in your Annual Water Quality Report. You may use the report to explain source water protection efforts, include a diagram of your treatment processes, and/or explain the costs associated with making the water safe to drink. You may include a statement from the mayor or general manager or you could educate your customers about water conservation, taste and odor issues, affiliations with programs such as the Partnership for Safe Water, and so forth. You may want to provide the address for EPA's drinking water web site or the DOH web site. The only limitation on this information is that it must not interfere with the educational purpose of the report.

Community water systems with fewer than 1,000 service connections are encouraged to include relevant information addressed in the Section 6.0 of this document. Small systems may wish to include information on water conservation measures, since conservation may decrease a system's energy costs and reduce source demand and the use of treatment chemicals.

6.0 Additional Requirements For CWSs with 1,000 or more Service Connections

In addition to the report content requirements outlined above, systems with 1,000 or more service connections are also required to include six additional items in their Annual Water Quality Reports (Section 1150 of New York State's Public Health Law). A description of each of these items is provided below.

Item 1: Water Use Description

For systems that calculate water use of all customers with meters, the Annual Water Quality Report must contain an accounting of the total annual amount of water withdrawn, delivered, and lost from the system.

Example:

During 2009, the total amount of water withdrawn from the aquifer was 1,926,190,000 gallons. Approximately 94% of the total amount of water withdrawn was billed directly to consumers. The balance, or unaccounted for water, was used for fire fighting purposes, hydrant use by Town trucks for street sweeping, distribution system leaks and unauthorized use.

Example:

During 2009, a total of 296,700,000 gallons of water was pumped from Mirror Lake into the Village system. The Town of Evans purchased 66,294,676 gallons, the Town of Marcy purchased 27,405,360 gallons, and the Village of Brighton purchased 19,318,000. Village residents including the Correctional Facilities used 100,155,005 gallons. This leaves an unaccounted for total of 83,526,959 gallons. This is the amount of water used during flushing, in Village buildings, and lost due to old and inaccurate meters needing replacement.

Example:

The Skyward Water Company provides service to more than 265,000 people. About 70 percent of our water supply comes from 55 wells located throughout the county. The remaining 30 percent of our supply is surface water which comes from the Crystal Reservoir. In 2009, the Skyward Water Company produced 10,550.2 million gallons (MG) of water and sold 9,064.5 MG. We determined that 1,541 MG or 14.6% of the water we produced is non-revenue-producing water. This is water lost due to leaks, main breaks, under-registering meters, fire fighting, hydrant flushing and theft of service.

Item 2: Water Source Restriction

Your Annual Water Quality Report must include a brief description of any water source that was restricted, removed from service, or otherwise limited in its use, during the reporting year. The report should also explain any actions taken to secure new supplies or replace lost capacity.

Example:

Our water supply includes both groundwater drawn from 20 wells located throughout the county and surface water from the Placid Reservoir. Well #19 (one of four wells located at the southeast corner of Sunnyside Road and Maple Avenue) was temporarily removed from service in July 2009 as a result of drought conditions. The well was placed back on-line in October 2009.

Example:

All of the water we supply to you comes from beneath the ground and is referred to as groundwater. We draw this water into our system through over 100 wells located throughout the county. During 2009, four wells were removed from service. The Hillcrest Well located in the Village of Colden was removed because it did not meet the current standard for nitrate. In January, three wells located in the Town of Skylight were removed from service because they did not meet the current organic standard from tetrachloroethene. These wells were brought back into routine service in December, as a result of the use of granular activated carbon filtration.

Item 3: Water Conservation Measures

Your Annual Water Quality Report must include an explanation of water conservation measures available to customers, such as, but not limited to: retrofitting plumbing fixtures, altering irrigation timing, using irrigation sensors, leak detection, proper use of water conserving appliances, daily conscientious water use and the estimated savings in water and energy or money from the use of such measures.

Example:

Although our area is very fortunate to have access to a water supply which more than meets our demands, conservation efforts by both the city and the consumer are prudent in deterring increasing costs. As a consumer you can participate in this water conservation effort. The following are some ideas that can be directly applied to your individual homes: 1) Use water-saving, flow-restricting shower heads and low flow faucets (aerators); 2) Repair dripping faucets and toilets that seem to flush by themselves; 3) Replace your toilet with a low flush model or place a brick in your tank to reduce the volume used on each flush; 4) Water your garden and lawn only when necessary. Remember that a layer of mulch in the flower beds and garden is not only aesthetically pleasing but will help retain moisture; 5) Water your lawn after 6:00 p.m., this prevents water loss due to evaporation; 6) When washing your car don't let the hose run continuously; and 7) When brushing your teeth, shaving or shampooing avoid running the water unnecessarily.

Example:

Why Save Water and How Do We Avoid Wasting It? Although our system has an adequate amount of water to meet present and future demands, there are a number of reasons why it is important to conserve water:

  • Saving water saves energy and some of the costs associated with both of these necessities of life;
  • Saving water reduces the cost of energy required to pump water and the need to construct costly new wells, pumping systems and water towers; and
  • Saving water lessens the strain on the water system during a dry spell or drought, helping to avoid severe water use restrictions so that essential fire fighting needs are met.

You can play a role in conserving water and saving yourself money in the process by becoming conscious of the amount of water your household is using and by looking for ways to use less whenever you can. It is not hard to conserve water. Conservation tips:

  • Automatic dishwashers use 15 gallons for every cycle, regardless of how many dishes are loaded. So get a run for your money and load it to capacity.
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth.
  • Check every faucet in your home for leaks. Just a slow drip can waste 15 to 20 gallons a day. Fix it and you can save almost 6,000 gallons per year.
  • Check your toilets for leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the tank. Watch for a few minutes to see if the color shows up in the bowl. It is not uncommon to lose up to 100 gallons a day from an invisible toilet leak. Fix it and you save more than 30,000 gallons a year.
  • Use your water meter to detect hidden leaks. Simply turn off all taps and water using appliances. Then check the meter after 15 minutes. If it moved, you have a leak.

Example: The Town of Savewater encourages water conservation. Although the Snake River is an unlimited source of good quality water, it must not be wasted. A few simple steps will preserve the resource for future generations and also save up to 30% on your bill.

  • Use low flow shower heads and faucets
  • Repair all leaks in your plumbing system
  • Water your lawn sparingly early morning or late evening
  • Do only full loads of wash and dishes
  • Wash your car with a bucket and hose with a nozzle
  • Don't cut the lawn too short; longer grass saves water
  • Pamphlets are available at the Water Billing Department in the Town Hall.

Item 4: Facility Modification

A description of any major facility modifications completed by the water system during the reporting period should be included in the Annual Water Quality Report. This description should include the effect the modification had on the water system. Additionally, the report should include a discussion of capital improvements needed or planned.

Example:

In 2009, the White Water District completed construction of the new filter plant building on Grace Avenue. This building will eventually house a pressure filter that will be used to enhance the quality of the finished water. New water mains have been installed on South Main Street as part of a two year project of water main replacement in that area.

In our continuing efforts to maintain a safe and dependable water supply it may be necessary to make improvements in your water system. The cost of these improvements may be reflected in the rate structure. Rate adjustments may be necessary in order to address these improvements.

Example:

During 2009, the Village redeveloped all five of its groundwater wells. The five wells were originally installed in 1995 and were redeveloped at a cost of $60,000. After about 10 years, the yield on each well drops below the useful point and the well must be abandoned. A new well can be drilled as close as 10 feet away. Using this approach, the Village will be able to drill new wells as needed.

Example:

In 2009, we completed construction of a pilot plant at the water treatment facility. This pilot plant is capable of completely modeling all of out treatment processes at a flow of up to 10 gallons per minute or 0.1% of the full plant capacity. The pilot plant is currently being operated to model our existing processes in effort to optimize treatment and as a training tool for our staff. In 2009, we will evaluate treatment enhancements that can be implemented to further improve quality and reliability, reduce costs and increase plant capacity without the construction of new processes.

Example:

During 2009, the Village of Whiteface implemented several projects to serve you better. We added 10,000 feet of new water distribution pipe throughout the Village. Construction work was also completed on a new 1 million gallon storage tank. This tank will provide additional fire protection flow for residents. Standby power equipment and other improvements will be completed at the Lakeview Water Treatment Plant. We anticipate that other work will be completed in order to comply with New York State Chemical Bulk Storage regulations.

Item 5: Annual Average Charge for Water

Systems that bill their customers must include the annual average charge for water in their Annual Water Quality Report. This may be reported as the annual charge per average resident user or the annual charge per one thousand gallons of water delivered.

Example:

Our water rate structure is designed to promote conservation; the more you use, the more you pay. The average consumer pays a minimum quarterly charge of $6.00 for 8,000 gallons and $0.65 per thousand gallons for the next 50,000 gallons. Large users who pay 0.85 per thousand gallons for the next 42,000 gallons and $1.05 per thousand gallons for usage over 100,000 are encouraged to lower their consumption, and at the same time, their household costs.

Example:

The cost per thousand gallons of water in the Village of Waterville in 2009 was $1.40, down 28% from the rate.

Example:

In 2009, City water customers were charged $1.20 per 1,000 gallons while Town customers were charged $1.00 per 1,000 gallons plus an annual water tax of $23.00.

Example:

The water rate is $2.05 per 1,000 gallons with a 7,000 gallon minimum quarterly. Water bills are mailed our quarterly and unpaid balances are subject to a 10% penalty after 30 days. The average annual charge for water for a family of four is approximately $250.00.

Example:

The New York Public Service Commission sets our water rates to cover the costs of providing service. The average residential customer uses approximately 3,000 cubic feet of water (22,440 gallons) per quarter. The average bill is approximately $437 annually (including taxes). A typical dollar pays for system improvements, operations and maintenance, taxes, interest and debt, dividends and reinvestment and depreciation costs.

Item 6: Annual Water Quality Report Supplement

The analytical results for samples of source(s) of water supply may be placed in a supplement to the Annual Water Quality Report, unless the results are: (1) for Cryptosporidium or Giardia; (2) used to determine compliance; or (3) listed in Table 1 (PDF, 158KB, 22pg.). Therefore, the supplement may be used to publish detailed individual well results. For example, the Annual Water Quality Report regulation requires you to report the highest detected level, highest average, or running annual average (based on compliance calculations – see page 8) and the range of detects, detailed information for individual well results will not be included in your Annual Water Quality Report. This detailed information shall be placed in the supplement. Additionally, the supplement may be used to publish raw water quality data not used for compliance monitoring.

It should be noted that not all systems with 1,000 or more service connections need to prepare a supplement. Systems must prepare a supplement if they have collected any data during the previous calendar year that was not required to be included in their Annual Water Quality Report. If a supplement is prepared, the Annual Water Quality Report must contain a statement that describes what is in the supplement and that it is available to the customer upon request. The supplement does not have to be mailed or directly delivered to all of your bill-paying customers. However it must be:

  1. published in a notice at least one-half page in size in one newspaper of general circulation within the water district; or
  2. made available on the Internet, along with supplements from the two prior years, if such supplements exist, and notice of the availability of such information on the Internet should be clearly provided in the report and on each billing statement; or
  3. made available at all New York State documents information access centers, document reference centers, documents depository libraries and documents research depository libraries within the water district and if no such libraries exist within the water district at a public library within the water district, and notice of availability of the supplement at such library or libraries shall be clearly provided in the report and on each billing statement.

7.0 What should an Annual Water Quality Report Look Like?

You do not need a fancy computer or a graphic designer to produce an Annual Water Quality Report that is easy to read and inviting to your customers. The DOH has developed two Annual Water Quality Report templates (one for systems serving fewer than 1,000 service connections and one for systems serving 1,000 or more service connections) that are available to water suppliers. Electronic copies of the templates will be available on the New York State DOH web page at www.health.ny.gov (click on the Topics A to Z button, go to "Drinking Water" and "Annual Water Quality Reports"). Although the State has prepared template reports, you are not required to use these templates to complete your Annual Water Quality Report. You may choose to use portions of the templates or create your own report format. Remember that the best way to design your report is to spend some time looking at the template or at other reports. See what catches your eye, and copy it. A few things to consider:

  • Write short sentences. Keep your paragraphs short, too.
  • Don't make your text size too small. You might want to squeeze a few extra sentences in your report, but if you add too much, people might ignore the entire report.
  • Give a draft of your Annual Water Quality Report to relatives or friends who aren't drinking water experts and ask them if it makes sense. Ask customers for their comments when you publish the report.
  • Don't distract from your main message with graphics and/or pictures that don't complement your message.
  • Be as simple and straight forward as possible. Avoid acronyms, initials, and jargon.
  • Consider printing the report on recycled paper and taking other steps to make the report "environmentally friendly". If you hope to get your customers involved in source water protection, set a good example for them.

8.0 How Must a CWS Distribute its Annual Water Quality Report?

Item 1: Report Distribution to Customers

You must mail or directly deliver a copy of your Annual Water Quality Report to each of your bill-paying customers, and make a good faith effort to get your reports to non-bill-paying customers by May 31st of each year.

The USEPA has issued a memorandum (see Appendix E) which clarifies requirements for the report to allow for electronic delivery if the delivery will meet the regulatory requirement to "mail or otherwise directly deliver".

Appendix E also describes the approaches and methods for electronic delivery that are consistent with the current regulatory requirements.

It is in your system's interest to spread the word about the quality of its water. Since many consumers of your water do not receive bills (people such as apartment renters), you must make a serious and good faith effort to reach non-bill-paying consumers. A good faith effort means selecting the most appropriate method(s) to reach those consumers from a menu of options. Some examples of mailing, direct delivery and good faith distribution efforts are provided below. Many small systems (i.e., mobile home parks, apartment complexes, and institutions) have no bill paying customers. These systems may satisfy the direct delivery requirement by posting their Annual Water Quality Report in a public area or on a community bulletin board.

Distribution Method Examples
Mailing
  • U.S. Postal Service
  • Utilizing a Bulk Mailing Permit
  • Including report with water bills
Direct Delivery
  • Publication of the Annual Water Quality Report in a local paper that is delivered to all bill-paying customers (i.e., Penny Saver, Free Trader)
  • Hand delivery of the Annual Water Quality Report by meter readers or system personnel (please note: information can not be placed in U.S. Postal Service mail boxes)
  • Publication of the Annual Water Quality Report in a municipal newsletter that is delivered to all bill-paying customers.
  • Mail a notification that the AWQR is available on website via a direct URL (i.e. provide URL on quarterly/monthly billing statement, newsletter or postcard)
  • Emailed with a direct URL to the AWQR
  • Emailed with AWQR sent as an attachment to the email
  • Emailed with AWQR sent as an embedded image in the email
  • Additional electronic delivery that meets "otherwise directly deliver" requirement
Good Faith Efforts
  • Posting the report on the Internet
  • Posting the report on a community bulletin board or a mobile home park or apartment building bulletin board
  • Mailing the report to all postal patrons
  • Advertising the availability of the report in newspapers, TV, and radio
  • Publishing the report in a local newspaper; posting the report in a public area (i.e., municipal buildings, libraries, schools, churches)
  • Delivering multiple reports for distribution by single-billed customers such as apartment buildings or large private employers
  • Delivering the report to community organizations.

Community water systems must keep their reports on file for five years, and make the reports available to the public upon request.

Systems that serve more than 100,000 individuals must post their reports on the Internet. The DOH encourages other systems to post their reports on the Internet as well. Many local governments have Internet sites where you could post your report, even if your system itself does not have a site.

Item 2: Report Distribution to Government Agencies and Report Certification

By May 31st all community water systems must submit a copy of their Annual Water Quality Report to the New York State Department of Health and to the county or district health department office that has jurisdiction over the water system. The address for the New York State Department of Health is provided below. An address list for the county and district health department offices is provided in Appendix A.

NYS Department of Health
Attn: Roger C. Sokol, Ph.D.

Center for Environmental Health
Bureau of Water Supply Protection
Empire State Plaza-Corning Tower, Room 1110
Albany, New York 12237

Systems with 1,000 or more service connections should also submit a copy of their supplement, if prepared, to the New York State Department of Health.

By May 31st all community water systems that serve 1,000 or more service connections must also submit a copy of their Annual Water Quality Report and a copy of the supplement, if prepared, to the New York State Department of Conservation at the following address:

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Attn: Division of Water, Bureau of Water Resource Management
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233

By May 31st of each year, investor-owned (regulated by the Public Service Commission) community water systems must also forward a copy of their Annual Water Quality Report to the New York State Department of Public Service at the following address:

Mr. Michael Twergo
Water Rates Section
New York State Department of Public Service
3 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12223

By September 1st of each year, community water systems must submit a Certification Form to the New York State Department of Health in Albany, New York and to the county or district health department office that has jurisdiction over the water system. The certification must indicate how the report was distributed and that the information within the report is correct and consistent with the compliance monitoring data previously submitted to the state. A sample Certification Form is included in Appendix C. (PDF, 1pg, 38kb)

9.0 Applicable Dates

A table of applicable dates for the Annual Water Quality Report regulation is presented below.

Date Description of Action Item
April 1st of each year
  • A community water system that sells water to another community water system must deliver information outlined in Section 5.0, items 2, 4, 4B, 5, and 6. For systems with 1,000 or more service connections, the seller must also supply them with the information outlined in Section 6.0, items 2 and 6.
  • The April 1st date may be changed to a different date if the seller and the purchaser mutually agree upon the new date, and specifically include that date in a contract between the parties.
May 31st of each year
  • Systems must deliver a copy of their report to their bill-paying customers and take good faith efforts to reach consumers who do not get water bills.
  • Community water systems with fewer than 1,000 service connections must deliver a copy of their report to the New York State Department of Health and to the county or district health department office that has jurisdiction over the water system.
  • Community water systems with 1,000 or more service connections must submit a copy of their Annual Water Quality Report and the supplement, if prepared, to the New York State Department of Health, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the county or district health department office which has jurisdiction over the water system.
  • Investor-owned community water systems must forward a copy of the Annual Water Quality Report to the New York State Department of Public Service.
  • A new community water system must deliver its first report to its customers and a copy of the report and the supplement, if prepared to the required regulatory agencies by May 31st after its first full calendar year in operation and annually thereafter.
September 1st of each year
  • All community water systems must submit a Certification Form to the New York State Department of Health in Albany and to the county or district health department office that has jurisdiction over the water system.