Water Quality Reports
History of Water Quality Reports
In 1996 Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act giving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to require an annual water quality report from each community water system. These water quality reports, also known as “Consumer Confidence Reports”, summarize information that is already collected by the water system to comply with regulations. The EPA requires all public water providers deliver this information to all customers on an annual basis in a single report that provides water quality data to the public in an understandable manner.
The report is required to include the following information:
- Sources of the drinking water
- How the water is treated
- What, if any, contaminants were detected and information on any detected contaminants
- Whether there were any violations of drinking water regulations
- Definitions of technical and regulatory terms used in the report
- Statements on contaminants and health risks, and contaminant sources provided by the EPA
- Who to contact for more information
- The report may also include other material that the DPW feels is informative to its customers.
The Department of Public Works provides a copy of the report to all direct billed customers. For those not directly billed, such as apartment and condominium residents, the Department asks local media to publicize each year that the report is available in all branches of the county library. The report can also be obtained by calling DPW Customer Relations at (410) 222-7582 to have a copy sent by mail.
Although every effort is made to make the report as understandable as possible, while meeting all of the EPA’s requirements, the report does contain a large amount of unfamiliar and technical material which may generate questions. DPW Customer Relations will be familiar with the report and will be able to answer most questions. Technical support will be available from the Water Operations Division and the Health Department if needed. Inquiries should be directed to DPW Customers at (410) 222-7582.