United States      '           Office of Water               EPA 816-F-98-007
                  Environmental Protection         (4606)                    August 1998

4>EPA   Consumer Confidence Reports:

               Final Rule
      "Thanks to these reports, contamination in the water will no
      longer be invisible to the eye. Families will see at a glance 
      whether their drinking water is safe to drink "
                                               -President Bill Clinton
      Again demonstrating its commitment to public health protection and the public's
right-to-know about local environmental information, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) is requiring water suppliers to put annual drinking water quality reports into the hands of
their customers. These consumer confidence reports, which EPA developed in consultation with
water suppliers, environmental groups, and the states, will enable Americans to make practical,
knowledgeable :decisions about their health and their environment.

      While water systems are free to enhance their reports in any useful way, each report must
 provide consumers with the following fundamental information about their drinking water:

Q    the lake, river, aquifer, or other source of the drinking water;
Q    a brief summary of the susceptibility to contamination of the local drinking water source,
      based on the source water assessments that states are completing over the next five years;
Q    how to get a copy of the water system's complete source water assessment;

Q    the level (or range of levels) of any contaminant found in local drinking water, as well as
      EPA's health-based standard (maximum contaminant level) for comparison;
Q    the likely source of that contaminant in the local drinking water supply;
Q    the potential health effects of any contaminant detected in violation of an EPA health
      standard, and an accounting of the  system's actions to restore safe drinking water;

Q    the water system's compliance with other drinking water-related rules;
Q    an educational statement for vulnerable populations about avoiding Cryptosporidium;
Q    educational information on nitrate, arsenic, or lead in areas where these contaminants are
      detected above 50% of EPA's standard; and
 Q     phone numbers of additional sources of information, including the water system and
       EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

       This information will supplement public notification that water systems must provide to