Annual Water Quality Report: Letter for Community Water System Operators

March 2014

Dear Community Water System Operator:

All community water systems that serve 15 or more service connections used by year-round residents or regularly serve at least 25 year-round residents must prepare and distribute an Annual Water Quality Report (AWQR) by May 31, 2014. To assist you in preparing your AWQR, the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) has made minor revisions to its 2012 version of two AWQR templates (one for systems serving fewer than 1,000 service connections and one for systems serving 1,000 or more service connections) for 2013. Updates to these two AWQR templates include only date changes.

An electronic copy of these templates is available from the NYS DOH’s web site or you may request a hard copy of the templates by calling the Bureau of Water Supply Protection (BWSP) at 518-402-7650 or by sending an email to

In January 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) determined that specific methods of electronic delivery may be used by a community water supplier to meet the regulatory requirement to “mail or otherwise directly deliver” water quality reports, to their bill paying customers. In conformance with the USEPA’s efforts, community water systems in New York State may now use electronic delivery as an additional option in order to distribute the AWQR.

A guidance document entitled Preparing Your Drinking Water AWQR Guidance for Water Suppliers” is available electronically on the NYS DOH’s web site.

The guidance document explains all of the requirements for report content, format, and distribution. Updates to the guidance document include: the change in address for three local health departments, additional information for community water systems that directly deliver the AWQR electronically (clarification that community water systems should post their AWQR on the website in a prominent location throughout the year and that the website must be live by the time the notification of its availability goes out to customers), clarification that when using the AWQR to meet Tier 3 Public Notification requirements systems should address all of the requirements listed in the PN rule, and a reminder that water systems serving less than 1,000 service connections are required to report separately on non-detected contaminants.

You may request a hard copy of the guidance by calling the BWSP at 518-402-7650 or by sending an email to We encourage you to use the guidance document and report templates developed by the NYS DOH.

By May 31, 2014, copies of the AWQR must be submitted to your local health department and the NYS DOH in Albany, New York. Systems with 1,000 or more service connections must also provide a copy of the report to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in Albany, New York. Systems regulated by the Public Service Commission are also required to forward a copy of the AWQR to that agency. Addresses for these agencies are presented in Section 8.0 of the guidance document.

By September 1, 2014, all community water systems (including water wholesalers and retailers) must submit a Certification Form to your local health department and the NYS DOH in Albany, New York. The certification must indicate how the report was distributed. A sample Certification Form is included in Appendix C of the guidance document.

If you have any questions regarding implementation of AWQR requirements please feel free to contact your local health department or the BWSP at (800) 458-1158, extension 27650 or (518) 402-7650.