This month or next, you should be receiving your local drinking water quality report from your water supplier. If you live in town, and don’t have a private well, your municipal provider is required by law to provide to every household a copy of this “consumer confidence report.” Along with other information, the report lists the levels of contaminants regulated in your drinking water supply.
Since 1998, the EPA requires that each local report contain the following information about the community’s drinking water supply:
- The source of the water. Possibilities include rivers, lakes, wells and reservoirs.
- The levels of any contaminants found in the water you drink, reported either as an average level or as a range.
- The likely source of any detected contaminants and the susceptibility of a water supply to potential contamination.
- The EPA Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL). These are the levels which the EPA considers potentially harmful.
- Any drinking water rule violation. This includes any MCL violations, where a contaminant exceeds the allowable limit. The report must also explain actions taken by the municipal water system to restore safer levels.
Your report will detail in a chart which contaminants, such as chlorine, arsenic, lead, MTBE, nitrate and others, may have been found in your drinking water. We have featured recent blog posts about all of these chemical pollutants, so you can click on the links or check our archives to educate yourself fully about the potentially toxic effects of what’s in your water. The NSF Consumer Information web page also offers great explanations about how to read the consumer confidence report on your local drinking water.
Didn’t receive your copy? Visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website here to see the report from your area, or contact your local water supplier directly.
Coming soon… Do you know what’s in your water? Testing Your Well