Drinking Water Data

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New York State Public Drinking Water Annual Water Quality Reports
Provides links to the most recent Annual Water Quality Reports issued by water suppliers in New York State serving over 100,000 people. In addition, annual Water Quality Reports must be mailed to all customers by every supplier serving 25 or more people; reports can also be obtained by contacting the water supplier. Water Quality Reports characterize the risks (if any) from exposure to contaminants detected in the water and contain information about the water system, the source of the water, definitions of terms used in the report, levels of contaminants detected in the finished water, unregulated contaminants, any violations of the national primary drinking water regulations, and variances or exemptions the water system may be operating under.

Data type: Descriptive
Geographic Coverage: Water Supplier
Strengths: Reports are timely. Results of water quality tests and good summary information about drinking water quality and operations are reported. The reports provide contaminant levels relative to regulatory limits and goals and give summaries of violations.
Limitations: Information is summarized annually. Specific test results and dates would have to be obtained from the water supplier.

State of New York Public Water Supply Annual Compliance Reports
Provides a link to annual reports on public water system violations as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act. Data include statewide summaries of violations, enforcement actions and resolution of violations, as well as lists of violations by individual public water suppliers. Violations are divided into four categories: maximum contaminant level, treatment technique, variances and exemptions, and monitoring. Previous annual reports are also available.

Data type: Descriptive
Geographic Coverage: State, Water District
Strengths: Provides information on types of violations, notifications for violations, what happens in the event of a violation, and where consumers can receive more information.
Limitations: The focus of this report is compliance/violations of New York State drinking water standards. It does not contain details of drinking water contamination and associated health risks, which is provided to consumers through boil water advisories and summarized in New York State Public Drinking Water Annual Water Quality Reports.

National Water Information System (NWIS) – U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
The U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Water Information System (NWIS) data include a variety of water quality data collected at streams, lakes, wells and springs. NWISWeb is the public portal. Current and historical data can be retrieved for specific ground and surface water sites by state, river basin, county or watershed. Using NWISWeb is not easy due to the richness of the data set. Reading the overview of the program and the tutorial is recommended.

Data type: Monitoring
Geographic Coverage: U.S., State, ZIP, County, Watershed
Strengths: This website provides a great amount of current and historical data in graph and table format. Data can be downloaded in database format.
Limitations: Substantial information is available but for fewer sample sites than those provided by New York State water suppliers.