Annual Water Quality Report: Letter for Community Water System Operators

January 2021

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, 2021. To assist you in preparing your 2020 AWQR, the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) has developed report templates that you may use. These templates (one for systems serving fewer than 1,000 service connections and one for systems serving 1,000 or more service connections) may be obtained 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

A guidance document entitled “Preparing Your Drinking Water AWQR Guidance for Water Suppliers” (PDF) is also available. This document explains all of the requirements for report content, format, and distribution. It has been updated to add language related to reporting of unregulated contaminants such as PFCs, and updated health effects summaries in Table 1 for sulfate, iron, manganese and chloride.

By May 31, 2021, copies of your 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 provided in Section 8.0 of the AWQR guidance document.

In lieu of mailing hard copies of the AWQR and Certification form to the NYSDOH, community water systems are strongly encouraged to email separate PDF copies of each to: When emailing PDFs please be sure the file name includes the PWS ID and year (for example: NY7003493_AWQR2020.pdf or NY7003493_CERT2020.pdf)

By September 1, 2021, 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, (option 5) or (518) 402-7650.