United States
Environmental Protection

Table of Contents
Chapter                                                                         Page No.

           1.  A Consumer's Guide To The Nation's Drinking Water	1

           2.  How Safe Is My Drinking Water?	2

           3.  Where Does My Drinking Water Come From And How Is It Treated?	7

           4.  How Do We Use Drinking Water In Our Homes?	10

           5.  What's Being Done To Improve Water Security?	13

           6.  What Can I Do If There Is A Problem With My Drinking Water?	15

           7.  How Safe Is The Drinking Water In My Household Well?	18

           8.  What You Can Do To Protect Your Drinking Water	21

  Appendix A:  National Primary Drinking Water Standards as of 10/03	23

  Appendix B:  References	28

  Appendix C:  Sources of Additional Information	29

  Appendix D:  Glossary	31
Office of Water (4601)
December 2009                                                               Printed on Recycled Paper

 1.    A Consumer's Guide To The
       Nation's Drinking Water
The United States enjoys one of the best supplies of
drinking water in the world. Nevertheless, many of
us who once gave little or no thought to the water
that comes from our taps are now asking the ques-
tion: "Is my water safe to drink?" While tap water
that meets federal and state standards is generally
safe to drink, threats to drinking water are increasing.
Short-term disease outbreaks and water restrictions
during droughts have demonstrated that we can no
longer take our drinking water for granted.
Consumers have many questions about their drinking
water. How safe is my drinking water? What is being
done to improve security of public water systems?
Where does my drinking water come from, and how
is it treated? Do private wells receive the same pro-
tection as public water systems? What can I do to
help protect my drinking water?
This booklet provides the answers to these and other
frequently asked questions.

This booklet also directs you to more detailed sources
of information. Often, you will be directed to a page
on the EPA website. Additionally, the Safe Drinking
Water Hotline is available to answer your questions.
Please also see Appendix C for more resources. Refer
to the Glossary (Appendix D) for definitions of words
in bold font.
                                               What you  need
                                               to know to protect
                                              your family
  Sensitive Subpopulations

  Some people may be more vulnerable to con-
  taminants in drinking water than the general
  population. People undergoing chemotherapy
  or living with HIV/AIDS, transplant patients,
  children and infants, the frail elderly, and preg-
  nant women and their fetuses can be particu-
  larly at risk for infections.

  If you have special health care needs, con-
  sider taking additional precautions with your
  drinking water, and seek advice from your
  health care provider. For more information,

  You will find information on bottled water
  and home water treatment units on page 16
  of this booklet. You may also contact NSF
  International, Underwriter's Laboratory, or the
  Water Quality Association. Contact information
  is located in Appendix C.
               Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

2.     How Safe  Is  My  Drinking Water?
What Law Keeps My Drinking
Water Safe?

Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act
(SDWA) in 1974 to protect public health by regulat-
ing the nation's  public drinking water supply and
protecting sources of drinking water.  SDWA is
administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) and its state partners.
   Highlights of the Safe Drinking
   Water Act

   •  Authorizes EPA to set enforceable health stan-
     dards for contaminants in drinking water

   •  Requires public notification of water systems
     violations and annual reports (Consumer
     Confidence Reports) to customers on con-
     taminants found in their drinking water -

   •  Establishes a federal-state partnership for regu-
     lation enforcement

   •  Includes provisions specifically designed to
     protect underground sources of drinking water
     - www.epa.gov/safewater/uic

   •  Requires disinfection of surface water supplies,
     except those with pristine, protected sources

   •  Establishes a multi-billion-dollar state revolv-
     ing loan fund for water system upgrades -

   •  Requires an assessment of the vulnerability of
     all drinking water sources to contamination -

   —  Drinking Water: Past, Present, and Future
What Is A Public Water System?

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) defines a
public water system (PWS) as one that serves piped
water to at least 25 persons or 15 service connections
for at least 60 days each year. There are approxi-
mately 161,000 public water systems in the United
States.1 Such systems may be publicly or privately
owned. Community water systems (CWSs) are
public water systems that serve people year-round in
their homes. Most people in the U.S. (268 million)
get their water from a community water system. EPA
also regulates other kinds of public water systems.
   Public Water Systems

   Community Water System (54,000 systems)—
   A public water system that serves the same
   people year-round.  Most residences are
   served by Community Water Systems.

   Non-Community Water System
   (approximately 108,000 systems)—A public
   water system that does not serve the same
   people year-round. There are two types of
   non-community systems:

   •  Non-Transient Non-Community Water
     System (almost 19,000 systems)—A non-
     community water system that serves the
     same people more than six months of the
     year, but not year-round. For example, a
     school with its own water supply is consid-
     ered a non-transient system.
   •  Transient Non-Community Water System
     (more than 89,000 systems)—A non-
     community water system that serves the
     public but not the same individuals for
     more than six months. For example, a rest
     area or a campground may be considered a
     transient system.
                 Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

such as those at schools, campgrounds, factories, and
restaurants. Private water supplies, such as household
wells that serve one or a few homes, are not regulated
by EPA. For information on household wells, see
"How Safe Is The Drinking Water In My Household
Well?" on page 18 of this booklet.
   Cost of Making Water Safe
   Continues to Rise

   Much of the existing water infrastructure
   (underground pipes, treatment plants, and
   other facilities) was built many years ago. In
   1999, EPA conducted the second Drinking
   Water Infrastructure Needs Survey, and found
   that drinking water systems will need to invest
   $150 billion over a 20-year period to ensure
   clean and safe drinking water.
Will Water Systems Have Adequate
Funding In The Future?

Nationwide, drinking water systems have spent hun-
dreds of billions of dollars to build drinking water
treatment and distribution systems. From  1995 to
2000, more than $50 billion was spent on capital
investments to fund water quality improvements.2

With the aging of the nation's infrastructure, the clean
water and drinking water industries face a signifi-
cant challenge to sustain and  advance their achieve-
ments in protecting public health. EPA's Clean  Water
& Drinking Water Infrastructure Gap Analysis^
has found that if present levels of spending do not
increase, there will be a significant funding gap by
the year 2019.
Where Can I Find Information About
My Local Water System?

Since 1999, water suppliers have been required to
provide annual Consumer Confidence Reports to
their customers. These reports are due by July 1 each
year, and contain information on contaminants found

in the drinking water, possible health effects, and the
water's source. Some Consumer Confidence Reports
are available at www.epa.gov/safewater/dwinfo.hlm.

Water suppliers must promptly inform you if your
water has become contaminated by something that
can cause immediate illness. Water suppliers have
24 hours to inform their customers of violations of
EPA standards "that have the potential to have seri-
ous adverse effects on human health as a result of
short-term exposure." If such a violation occurs, the
water system will announce it through the media, and
must provide information about the potential adverse
effects on human health, steps the system is taking to
correct the violation, and the need to use alternative
water supplies (such as boiled or bottled water) until
the problem is corrected.

Systems will inform customers about violations of
less immediate concern in the first water bill  sent
after the violation, in a Consumer Confidence Report,
or by mail within a year.  In 1998, states began com-
piling information on individual systems, so you can
evaluate the overall quality of drinking water in your
state. Additionally, EPA must compile and summarize
the state reports into an annual report on the condi-
tion of the nation's drinking water. To view the most
recent annual report, see www.epa.gov/safewater/annual.

How Often Is My Water Supply

EPA has established pollutant-specific minimum test-
ing schedules for public water systems. To find out
how frequently your drinking water is tested, contact
your water system or the agency in your state in
charge of drinking water.

If a problem is detected, immediate retesting  require-
ments go into effect along with strict instructions
about how the system informs the public. Until the
system can reliably demonstrate that it is free of
problems, the retesting is continued.

In 2001, one out of every four community water
systems  did not conduct testing or report the results
for all of the monitoring required to verify the safety

                 Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

of their drinking water.4 Although
failure to monitor does not necessar-
ily suggest safety problems, conduct-
ing the required reporting is crucial to
ensure that problems will be detected.
Consumers can help make sure certain
monitoring and reporting requirements
are met by first contacting their state
drinking water agency to determine if
their water supplier is in compliance.
If the water system is not meeting the
requirements, consumers can work with
local and state officials  and the water
supplier to make sure the required mon-
itoring and reporting occurs.

A network of government agencies
monitor tap water suppliers and enforce
drinking water standards to ensure the
safety of public water supplies. These
agencies include EPA, state depart-
ments of health and environment,
and local public health departments.
     Reported Community Water Systems Violating
      Maximum Contaminant Levels orTreatment
                 Standards in FY2002
D 0% - 6% of Systems    D  6% -11% of Systems   D 11+% of Systems
   Common Sources of Pollution

   Naturally Occurring:  microorganisms (wild-
   life and soils), radionuclides (underlying rock),
   nitrates and nitrites (nitrogen compounds in
   the soil), heavy metals (underground rocks
   containing arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead,
   and selenium), fluoride.
   Human Activities: bacteria and nitrates
   (human and animal wastes—septic tanks and
   large farms), heavy metals (mining construc-
   tion, older fruit orchards), fertilizers and pes-
   ticides (used by you and others (anywhere
   crops or lawns are maintained)), industrial
   products and wastes (local factories, indus-
   trial plants, gas stations, dry cleaners, leak-
   ing underground storage tanks, landfills, and
   waste dumps), household wastes (cleaning
   solvents, used motor oil, paint, paint thinner),
   lead and copper (household plumbing materi-
   als), water treatment chemicals (wastewater
   treatment plants).
           Nevertheless, problems with local drinking water can,
           and do, occur.
           What Problems Can Occur?

           Actual events of drinking water contamination are
           rare, and typically do not occur at levels likely to
           pose health concerns. However, as development in
           our modern society increases, there are growing
           numbers of activities that can contaminate our drink-
           ing water. Improperly disposed-of chemicals, animal
           and human wastes, wastes injected underground, and
           naturally occurring substances have the potential to
           contaminate drinking water. Likewise, drinking water
           that is not properly treated or disinfected, or that
           travels through an improperly maintained distribution
           system, may also pose a health risk. Greater vigilance
           by you, your water supplier, and your government
           can help prevent such events in your water supply.

           Contaminants can enter water supplies either as  a
           result of human and animal activities, or because they
           occur naturally in the environment. Threats to your
           drinking water may exist in your neighborhood, or
           may occur many miles away. For more information
           on drinking water threats, see www.epa.gov/safewater/

                            Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

publicoutreacMandscapeposter.html. Some typical
examples are microbial contamination, chemical con-
tamination from fertilizers, and lead contamination.
                Boil Water Notices for
                Microbial Contaminants

                When microorganisms such as
                those that indicate fecal contami-
   nation are found in drinking water, water suppliers
   are required to issue "Boil Water Notices." Boiling
   water for one minute kills the microorganisms that
   cause disease. Therefore, these notices serve as a
   precaution to the public, www.epa.gov/safewater/
Microbial Contamination:

The potential for health problems from microbial-
contaminated drinking water is demonstrated by
localized outbreaks of waterborne disease. Many of
these outbreaks have been linked to contamination by
bacteria or viruses, probably from human or animal
wastes. For example, in 1999 and 2000, there were 39
reported disease outbreaks associated with drinking
water, some of which were linked to public drinking
water supplies.5

Certain pathogens (disease-causing microorgan-
isms), such as Cryptosporidium, may occasionally
pass through water filtration and disinfection process-
es in numbers high enough to cause health problems,
particularly in vulnerable members of the population.
Cryptosporidium causes the gastrointestinal disease,
cryptosporidiosis,  and can cause serious, some-
times fatal,  symptoms, especially among sensitive
members of the population. (See box on Sensitive
Subpopulations on page 1.) A serious outbreak of
cryptosporidiosis occurred in 1993 in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin,  causing more than 400,000 persons to
be infected  with the disease, and resulting in at least
50 deaths. This was the largest recorded outbreak of
waterborne  disease in United States history.6
    Excessive levels of nitrates
                can  cause
       "blue baby syndrome,"
          which can be fatal
          medical attention.

Chemical Contamination From Fertilizers:

Nitrate, a chemical most commonly used as a fertil-
izer, poses an immediate threat to infants when it is
found in drinking water at levels above the national
standard. Nitrates are converted to nitrites in the
intestines. Once absorbed into the bloodstream,
nitrites prevent hemoglobin from transporting oxy-
gen. (Older children have an enzyme that restores
hemoglobin.) Excessive levels can cause "blue baby
syndrome," which can be fatal without immediate
medical  attention. Infants most at risk for blue baby
syndrome are those who are already sick, and while
they are  sick, consume food that is high in nitrates
or drink water or formula mixed with water that is
high in nitrates. Avoid using water with high nitrate
levels for drinking. This is especially important for
infants and young children, nursing mothers, pregnant
women and certain elderly people.
                   Do NOT Boil

                   Do NOT boil water to
                   attempt to reduce nitrates.
   Boiling water contaminated with nitrates
   increases its concentration and potential risk.
   If you are concerned about nitrates, talk to
   your health care provider about alternatives to
   boiling water for baby formula.
                Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

Lead Contamination:

Lead, a metal found in natural deposits, is commonly
used in household plumbing materials and water
service lines. The greatest exposure to lead is swal-
lowing lead paint chips or breathing in lead dust.
But lead in drinking water can also cause a variety
of adverse health effects. In
babies and children, exposure
to lead in drinking water
above the  action level of lead
(0.015 milligram per liter)
can result in delays in physi-
cal and mental development,
along with slight deficits
in attention  span and learn-
ing abilities. Adults who
drink this water over many
years could  develop kidney
problems or high blood pres-
sure. Lead is rarely found
in source water, but enters
tap water through corrosion
of plumbing materials. Very
old and poorly maintained
homes may  be more likely
to have lead pipes, joints,
and solder. However, new
homes are also at risk: pipes
legally considered to be "lead-free" may contain up
to eight percent lead. These pipes can leach signifi-
cant amounts of lead in the water for the first several
months after their installation. For more information
on lead contamination, see www.epa.gov/safewater/con-
                   Lead: Do NOT Boil

                   Do NOT boil water to attempt
                   to reduce lead. Boiling water
                   increases lead concentration.
   Always use water from the cold tap for pre-
   paring baby formula, cooking, and drinking.
   Flush pipes first by running the water before
   using it. Allow the water to run until it's cold.
   If you have high lead levels in your tap water,
   talk to your health care provider about alter-
   natives to using boiled water in baby formula.
For more information on drinking water contaminants
that are regulated by EPA, see Appendix A, or visit

Where Can I  Find More Information
About My Drinking Water?

                 Drinking water varies from
                 place to place, depending on the
                 water's source and the treatment
                 it receives. If your drinking water
                 comes from a community water
                 system, the system will deliver
                 to its customers annual drinking
                 water quality reports (or Consumer
                 Confidence Reports). These
                 reports will tell consumers what
                 contaminants have been detected
                 in their drinking water, how these
                 detection levels compare to drink-
                 ing water standards, and where
                 their water comes from. The
                 reports must be provided annually
                 before July 1, and, in most cases,
                 are mailed directly to customers'
                 homes. Contact your water suppli-
                 er to get a copy of your report, or
                 see if your report is posted online
at www.epa.gov/safewater/dwinfo.htm. Your state's
department of health or environment
can also be a valuable source of information. For
help in locating these agencies,  call the Safe Drinking
Water Hotline. Further resources can be found in
Appendix C. Information on testing household wells
is on page 19.
1  Factoids: Drinking Water & Ground Water Statistics for
  2002, 2003.
2  Community Water Systems Survey 2000, Volume I, 2001.
  The Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Gap
  Analysis, EPA 816-R-02-020.
  Factoids: Drinking Water and Ground Water Statistics for
  2001, EPA816-K-02-004.
  Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Surveillance for
  Waterborne Disease Outbreaks, United States 1999-2000,
  25 Years of the Safe Drinking Water Act, 1999.
                 Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

3.    Where Does  My Drinking Water
       Come From And How  Is  It Treated?
Your drinking water comes from surface water or
ground water. The water that systems pump and
treat from sources open to the atmosphere, such
as rivers, lakes, and reservoirs is known as surface
water. Water pumped from wells drilled into under-
ground aquifers, geologic formations containing
water, is called ground water. The quantity of water
produced by a well depends on the nature of the rock,
sand, or  soil in the aquifer from which the water is
drawn. Drinking water wells may be shallow (50 feet
or less) or deep (more than 1,000 feet). More water
systems  have ground water than surface water as a
source (approx. 147,000 v.  14,500), but more people
drink from a surface water system (195 million v.
101,400). Large-scale water supply systems tend to
rely on surface water resources, while smaller water
systems  tend to use ground water. Your water utility
or public works department can tell you the source of
your public water supply.
How Does Water Get To
My Faucet?

An underground network of pipes typically delivers
drinking water to the homes and businesses served by
the water system. Small systems serving just a hand-
ful of households may be relatively simple, while
large metropolitan systems can be extremely com-
plex—sometimes consisting of thousands of miles of
pipes serving millions of people. Drinking water must
meet required health standards when it leaves the
treatment plant. After treated water leaves the plant, it
is monitored within the distribution system to identify
and remedy any problems such as water main breaks,
pressure variations, or growth of microorganisms.
How Is My Water Treated
To Make It Safe?

Water utilities treat nearly 34 billion gallons of water
every day.1 The amount and type of treatment applied
varies with the source and quality of the water.
Generally, surface water systems require more treat-
ment than ground water systems because they are
directly exposed to the atmosphere and runoff from
rain and melting snow.

Water suppliers use a variety of treatment processes
to remove contaminants from drinking water. These
individual processes can be arranged in a "treatment
train" (a series of processes applied in a sequence).
The most commonly used processes include coagu-
lation (flocculation and sedimentation), filtration,
and disinfection. Some water systems also use ion
exchange and adsorption. Water utilities select the
treatment combination most appropriate to treat the
contaminants found in the source water of that par-
ticular system.

Coagulation (Flocculation & Sedimentation):

Flocculation: This step removes dirt and other par-
ticles suspended in the water. Alum and iron salts or
synthetic organic polymers are added  to the water to
form tiny sticky particles called "floe," which attract
the dirt particles.
  All sources of drinking water contain some
  naturally occurring contaminants. At low levels,
  these contaminants generally are not harmful in
  our drinking water. Removing all contaminants
  would be extremely expensive, and in most
  cases, would not provide increased protection
  of public health. A few naturally occurring min-
  erals may actually improve the taste of drinking
  water and may even have nutritional value at
  low levels.
                Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

Sedimentation: The flocculated particles then settle
naturally out of the water.


Many water treatment facilities use filtration to
remove all particles from the water. Those particles
include clays and silts, natural organic matter, precip-
itates from other treatment processes in the facility,
iron and manganese, and microorganisms. Filtration
clarifies the water and enhances the effectiveness of
   Water Treatment  Plant

   Follow a drop of water from the source through the treatment process. Water may be treated differently
   in different communities depending on the quality of the water which enters the plant. Groundwater is
   located underground and typically requires less treatment than water from lakes, rivers, and streams.
                            Coagulation removes dirt and other particles suspended in
                            water. Alum and other chemicals are added to water to form
                            tiny sticky particles called "floe" which attract the dirt
                            particles. The combined weight of the dirt and the alum
                            (floe) become heavy enough to sink to the bottom during
            The heavy particles
            (floe) settle to the
            bottom and the
            clear water moves
            to filtration.
                                   Disinfection: A small amount of chlorine is added or
                                   some other disinfection method is used to kill any
                                   bacteria or microorganisms that may be in the water.
                       Storage: Water is placed in
                       a closed tank or reservoir
                       for disinfection to take
                       place. The water then flows
                       through pipes to homes
                       and businesses  in the
             Filtration: The water passes
             through filters, some made
             of layers of sand, gravel, and
             charcoal that help remove
             even smaller particles.
       Source: AWWA Drinking Water Week Blue Thumb Kit
                   Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791


Disinfection of drinking water is considered to be
one of the major public health advances of the 20th
century. Water is often disinfected before it enters the
distribution system to ensure that dangerous micro-
bial contaminants are killed. Chlorine, chlorinates, or
chlorine dioxides are most often used because they
are very effective disinfectants, and residual concen-
trations can be maintained in the water system.
                       Water System Filtration Tank
Why Is My Water Bill  Rising?

The cost of drinking water is rising as suppliers meet
the needs of aging infrastructure, comply with pub-
lic health standards, and expand service areas. In
most  cases, these increasing costs have caused water
suppliers to raise their rates. However, despite rate
increases, water is generally still a bargain compared
to other utilities, such as electricity and phone ser-
vice.  In fact,  in the United  States, combined water
and sewer bills average only about 0.5 percent of
household income.2
1 Protect Your Drinking Water, 2002.
2 Congressional Budget Office Study: Future Investment in
  Drinking Water & Waste-water Infrastructure, 2002.
Disinfection  Byproducts

Disinfection of drinking water is one of the
major public health advances of the 20th
century. However, sometimes the disinfec-
tants themselves can react with naturally
occurring materials in the water to form
unintended byproducts, which may pose
health risks. EPA recognizes the importance
of removing microbial contaminants while
simultaneously protecting the public from
disinfection byproducts, and has developed
regulations to limit the presence of these
byproducts. For more information, see
                                                                 Water passes through charcoal, sand, and
                                                           gravel layers in a water system's filtration tank.
               Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

4.    How  Do We  Use  Drinking
       Water In Our  Homes?
We take our water supplies for granted, yet they are
limited.  Only one percent of all the world's water
can be used for drinking. Nearly 97 percent of the
world's water is salty or otherwise undrinkable, and
the other two percent is locked away in ice caps
and glaciers. There is no "new" water: whether our
source water is a stream, river, lake, spring, or well,
we are using the same water the dinosaurs used mil-
lions of years  ago.
                          How Much Water Do Homes In
                          The U.S. Use Compared To Other

                          Americans use much more water each day than indi-
                          viduals in both developed and undeveloped countries:
                          For example, the average European uses 53 gallons;
                          the average Sub-Saharan citizen, 3-5 gallons.4
           Common Household Uses of Drinking Water*
                     (*Gallons per Capita per Day)
                 Bathing, 20 gpcd
            Toilet Flushing, 24 gpcd
   8.5 gpcd
                                        Garbage Disposal, 1 gpcd
                                           Dishwasher, 4 gpcd
                              2.5 gpcd
      Lawn Watering and
         Pools, 25 gpcd
Source: Van Der Leeden, F., F. L. Troise, and D. K.Todd.
TheWater Encyclopedia. Lewis Publishers, Inc. Second Edition, 1990.
                Water efficiency plays an impor-
                tant role in protecting water sourc-
                es and improving water quality. By
                using water wisely, we can save
                money and help the environment.
                Water efficiency means using less
                water to provide the same benefit.
                Using water-saving techniques
                could  save you hundreds of dollars
                each year, while also reducing the
                amount of pollutants entering our
The average American uses about 90 gallons of water
each day in the home, and each American household
uses approximately 107,000 gallons of water each
year.l For the most part, we use water treated to meet
drinking water standards to flush toilets, water lawns,
and wash dishes, clothes, and cars. In fact, 50-70
percent of home water is used for watering lawns
and gardens.2 Nearly 14 percent of the water a typi-
cal homeowner pays for is never  even used—it leaks
down the drain.3
                How Do Drinking
                Water Utilities
                Conserve Water?

                Water utilities forecast water
                source availability, growth in
                population, and water demand to
ensure adequate future water supplies during normal
conditions, as well as periods of drought. When water
shortages are predicted or experienced, water utilities
have many options for conserving water. Temporary
cutbacks or permanent operating adjustments can
help conserve water.

Temporary cutbacks may include:
• Reduction of system-wide operating pressure, and
• Water use bans, restrictions, and rationing.
                                          Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

Permanent conservation measures may include:
•  Subsidizing use of water-efficient faucets, toilets.
   and showerheads,
•  Public education and voluntary use reduction.
•  Billing practices that impose higher rates for high-
   er amounts of water use.
•  Building codes that require water-efficient fixtures
   and appliances.
•  Leak detection surveys and meter testing, repair,
   and replacement, and
•  Reduction in use and increase in recycling of
   industrial water.

How Can  Businesses Conserve

The industrial and commercial sectors can con-
serve water through recycling and waste reduction.
Industry has implemented conservation measures to
comply with state and federal water pollution con-
trols. Evaluation of industrial plant data may show
that a particular process or manufacturing step uses
the most water or causes the greatest contamination.
Such areas can be targeted for water conservation.
Also, water that is contaminated by one process may
be usable in other plant processes that do not require
high-quality water.

How Can I Conserve Water?

The national average cost of water is $2.00 per
1,000 gallons. The average American family spends
about $474 each year on water and sewage charges.5
American households spend an  additional $230 per
year on water heating costs.6 By replacing appliances
such as the dishwasher and inefficient fixtures such
as toilets and showerheads, you can save a substantial
amount each year in water,  sewage, and energy costs.

There are many ways to save water in and around
your home. Here are the five that might get the best
                                     Ways To Save Water At Home*
                              *Water Savings as Percent of Total Interior Water Use)
           Low-Flow Showerheads
        (or Flow Restrictors), 12 percent
           Low-Water Use
      Clothes Washers, 5 percent
  Source: Corbitt, Robert A.
  Standard Handbook of Environmental Engineering.
  McGraw-Hill, Inc. 1989.
                  Low-Water Use Toilets
              (or Plastic Bottles orWater Dams
              in Toilet Reservoir), 18 percent
                      Low-Flow Aerators on
                     Faucets (or Replacement
                        Faucets), 2 percent

                         Low-Water Use
                      Dishwasher, 4 percent
                                                                     Insulation on
                                                                    HotWater Lines,
                                                                      4 percent
                 Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

   Stop Leaks.
   Replace Old Toilets with models that use 1.6
   gallons or less per flush.
   Replace Old Clothes Washers with EPA Energy
   Star certified models.
   Plant the Right Kind of Garden that requires less
   Provide Only the Water Plants Need.
For more information on ways to conserve water in
the home, see www.epa.gov/water/waterefficiency.html or
  Water Trivia Facts, EPA 80-F-95-001.
  AWWA Stats on Tap.
  Using Water Wisely in the Home, 2002.
  The Use of Water Today, World Water Council.
  Investing in America s Water Infrastructure, 2002.
  Using Water Wisely in the Home, 2002.
                                            Nearly  14 percent
                                            of the water
                                            a  typical homeowner
                                            pays for
                                            is never even  used—
                                            it leaks  down
                                            the drain.
                                                      Using Water Wisely in the Home, 2002
             Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

5.    What's Being  Done To Improve
       Water Security?
What Security Measures Are In
Place To Protect Water Systems?

Drinking water utilities today find themselves fac-
ing new responsibilities due to concerns over water
system security and  counter-terrorism.  EPA is com-
mitted to the safety of public drinking water supplies
and has taken numerous steps to work with utilities,
other government agencies, and law enforcement to
minimize threats.

The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism
Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 requires that
all community water systems serving more than 3,300
people  evaluate their susceptibility to potential threats
and identify corrective actions. EPA has provided
assistance to help utilities with these Vulnerability
Assessments by  giving direct grants to large systems,
supporting self-assessment tools,  and providing tech-
nical help and training to small and medium utilities.
For more information on water system security, see
www. epa.gov/safewater/security.

How Can I Help Protect My
Drinking Water?

Local drinking water and wastewater systems may
be targets for terrorists and other  would-be criminals
wishing to disrupt and cause harm to your community
water supplies or wastewater facilities.

Because utilities are often located in isolated areas,
drinking water sources and wastewater collection sys-
tems may cover large areas that are difficult to secure
and patrol. Residents can be educated to notice and
report any suspicious activity in and around local
water utilities. Any residents interested in protecting
  their water resources and  community as a whole
  can join together with law enforcement, neighbor-
  hood watch groups, water suppliers, wastewater
  operators, and other local public health officials.
  If you witness suspicious  activities, report them to
  your local law enforcement authorities.

  Examples of suspicious activity might include:

  •    People climbing or cutting a utility fence

       People dumping or discharging material to a
  water reservoir
                Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

  Unidentified truck or car parked or loitering near
  waterway or facilities for no apparent reason
  Suspicious opening or tampering with manhole
  covers, fire hydrants, buildings, or equipment
  People climbing or on top of water tanks
  People photographing or videotaping utility
  facilities, structures or equipment
  Strangers hanging around locks or gates
  Do not confront strangers. Instead report
  suspicious activities to local authorities.
  When reporting an incident:
  •  State the nature of the incident
  •  Identify yourself and your location
  •  Identify location of activity
  •  Describe any vehicle involved (color, make,
    model, plate number)
  •  Describe the participants (how many, sex, race,
    color of hair, height,  weight, clothing)

For emergencies,  dial
9-1-1  or other local
emergency  response

  For more information on water security, visit:
  www. epa.gov/safewater/security
             Report suspicious
                  activity to local
               Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

6.    What Can  I  Do  If There Is A  Problem
       With  My  Drinking Water?
Local incidents, such as spills and treatment prob-
lems, can lead to short-term needs for alternative
water supplies or in-home water treatment. In isolated
cases, individuals may need to rely on alternative
sources for the long term, due to their individual
health needs or problems with obtaining new drinking
water supplies.

What Alternative Sources Of Water
Are Available?

Bottled water is sold in supermarkets and conve-
nience stores. Some companies lease or sell water
dispensers or bubblers and regularly deliver large
bottles of water to homes and businesses. It is expen-
sive compared to water from a public water system.
The bottled water quality varies among brands,
because of the variations in the source water used,
costs, and company practices.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regu-
lates bottled water used for drinking. While most con-
sumers assume that bottled water is at least as safe
as tap water, there are still potential risks. Although
required to meet the same safety standards as public
water supplies, bottled water does not undergo the
same testing and reporting as water from a treatment
facility. Water that is bottled and sold in the same
state may not be subject to any federal standards at
all. Those with compromised immune systems may
want to read bottled water labels to make sure more
stringent treatments have been used, such as reverse
osmosis, distillation, UV radiation, or filtration by an
absolute 1 micron filter.

Check with NSF International to see if your bottled
water adheres to FDA and international drinking
water standards. The International Bottled Water
Association can also provide information on which
brands adhere to even more  stringent requirements.
Contact information is listed in Appendix C.

Can I Do  Anything In My House To
I improve The Safety Of My Drinking

Most people do not need to treat drinking water in
their home to make it safe. However, a home water
treatment unit can improve water's taste, or provide
a factor of safety for those people more vulnerable
to waterborne disease. There are different options
for home treatment systems. Point-of-use (POU)
systems treat water at a single tap. Point-of-entry
(POE) systems treat water used throughout the house.
POU systems can be installed in various places in
       the  home, including the counter top, the
       faucet itself, or under the sink. POE systems
       are  installed where the water line enters the

       POU and POE devices are based on various
       contaminant removal technologies.  Filtration,
       ion exchange, reverse osmosis, and distilla-
       tion are some of the treatment methods used.
       All types of units are generally available
       from retailers, or by mail order.  Prices can
       reach well into the hundreds and sometimes
       thousands of dollars, and depending on the
       method and location of installation, plumbing
       can also add to the cost.
                Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

                                           TREATMENT LIMITATIONS
  Activated Carbon Filter

  (includes mixed media that
  remove heavy metals)
y Adsorbs organic contaminants that
 cause taste and odor problems.

ySomedesigns remove chlorination

y Some types remove cleaning solvents
 and pesticides
                                        Is efficient in removing metals such
                                        as lead and copper

                                        Does not remove nitrate, bacteria or
                                        dissolved minerals
  Ion Exchange Unit
  (with activated alumina)
  Reverse Osmosis Unit
  (with carbon)
y Removes minerals, particularly calcium
 and magnesium that make water"hard"

y Some designs remove radium and

J Removes fluoride
y Removes nitrates, sodium, other
 dissolved inorganics and organic

y Removes foul tastes, smells or colors

y May also reduce the level of some
 pesticides, dioxins and chloroform and
                                        If water has oxidized iron or iron
                                        bacteria, the ion-exchange resin will
                                        become coated or clogged and lose
                                        its softening ability
                                        Does not remove all inorganic and
                                        organic contaminants
  Distillation Unit
/ Removes nitrates, bacteria, sodium,
 hardness, dissolved solids, most
 organic compounds, heavy metals, and

/ Kills bacteria
                                        Does not remove some volatile
                                        organic contaminants, certain pesti-
                                        cides and volatile solvents

                                        Bacteria may recolonize on the cool-
                                        ing coils during inactive periods
Activated carbon filters adsorb organic contami-
nants that cause taste and odor problems. Depending
on their design, some units can remove chlorination
byproducts, some cleaning solvents, and pesticides.
To maintain the effectiveness of these units, the car-
bon canisters must be replaced periodically. Activated
carbon filters are efficient in removing metals such
as lead and copper if they are designed to absorb or
remove lead.

Because ion exchange units can be used to remove
minerals from your water, particularly calcium and
magnesium, they are sold for water softening. Some
ion exchange softening units remove radium and bar-
ium from  water. Ion exchange systems that employ
activated alumina are used to remove fluoride and
                        arsenate from water. These units must be regenerated
                        periodically with salt.

                        Reverse osmosis treatment units generally remove a
                        more diverse list of contaminants than other systems.
                        They can remove nitrates, sodium, other dissolved
                        inorganics, and organic compounds.

                        Distillation units boil water and condense the result-
                        ing steam to create distilled water. Depending on
                        their design, some of these units may allow vaporized
                        organic contaminants to condense back into the prod-
                        uct water, thus minimizing the removal of organics.

                        You may choose to boil your water to remove micro-
                        bial contaminants. Keep in mind that boiling reduces
                                         Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

the volume of water by about 20 percent, thus con-
centrating those contaminants not affected by the
temperature of boiling water, such as nitrates and
  Maintaining Treatment Devices

  All POU and POE treatment units need main-
  tenance to operate effectively. If they are not
  maintained properly, contaminants may accu-
  mulate in the units and actually make your
  water worse. In addition, some vendors may
  make claims about their effectiveness that
  have no merit. Units are tested for their safety
  and effectiveness by two organizations, NSF
  International and Underwriters Laboratory.
  In addition, the Water Quality Association
  represents the household, commercial, indus-
  trial and small community treatment industry
  and can help you locate a professional that
  meets their code of ethics. EPA does not test
  or certify these treatment units.
                This treatment device is
                for point of use (POU).
              For more information  on
     different types of devices contact
                      NSF International,
      Underwriters Laboratory, or the
              Water  Quality Association
                      See Appendix Cfor
                    contact information.
pesticides. For more information on boiling water, see
page 5 of this booklet.

No one unit can remove everything. Have your water
tested by a certified laboratory prior to purchasing
any device. Do not rely on the tests conducted by
salespeople that want to sell you their product.

Where Can I Learn More About
Home Treatment Systems?

Your local library has articles, such as those found
in consumer magazines, on the effectiveness of these

The U.S. General Accounting Office published
a booklet called Drinking Water: Inadequate
Regulation of Home Treatment Units Leaves
Consumers At Risk (December 1991). To read this
booklet, visit www.gao.gov and search for document
number RCED-92-34, or call (202) 512-6000.
               Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

7.    How Safe  Is The Drinking Water
       In  My  Household Well?
EPA regulates public water systems; it does not have
the authority to regulate private wells. Approximately
15 percent of Americans rely on their own pri-
vate  drinking water supplies (Drinking Water from
Household Wells, 2002), and these supplies are not
subject to EPA standards. Unlike  public drinking
water systems serving many people, they do not have
experts regularly checking the water's source and its
quality before it is sent to the tap.  These households
must take special precautions to ensure the protection
and maintenance of their drinking water supplies.

Drinking Water from Household Wells is an EPA
publication available to specifically address special
concerns of a private drinking water supply.  To learn
more, or to obtain a copy, visit www.epa.gov/safewater/
privatewells, or call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline.

How Much Risk Can I  Expect?

The risk of having problems depends on how good
your well is—how well it was built and located,
and how well you
maintain it. It also
depends on your
local environment.
That includes the
quality of the aqui-
fer from which your
water is drawn and
the human activities
going on in your
area that can affect
your well.

Several sources of
pollution are easy to
spot by sight, taste, or smell. However, many serious
problems can be found only by testing your water.
Knowing the possible threats in your area will help
you decide the kind of tests you may need.
What Should I  Do?

There are six basic steps you can take to help protect
your private drinking water supply:

1.   Identify potential problem sources.

2.   Talk with local experts.

3.   Have your water tested periodically.

4.   Have the test results interpreted and explained

5.   Set and follow a regular maintenance schedule
    for your well, and keep up-to-date records.

6.   Immediately remedy any problems.

Identify Potential Problem Sources

Understanding and spotting possible pollution sources
is the first step to safeguarding your drinking water.
If your drinking water comes from a well, you may
also have a septic system.  Septic systems and other
                 on-site wastewater disposal sys-
                tems are major potential sources
                 of contamination of private water
                 supplies if they are poorly main-
                tained or located improperly, or if
                they are used for disposal of toxic
                 chemicals. Information on septic
                 systems is available from local
                health departments, state agen-
                 cies, and the National Small Flows
                 Clearinghouse (www. epa.gov/owm/
                mab/smcomm/nsfc.htm) at (800)
                 624-8301. A septic system design
                manual and guidance on system
maintenance are available from EPA (www.epa.gov/
OW-O WM. html/mtb/decent/homeowner, htm).
                Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

Talk With Local Experts

Ground water conditions vary greatly from place to
place, and local experts can give you the best infor-
mation about your drinking water supply.  Some
examples are your health department's "sanitarian,"
local water-well contractors, public water system
officials, county extension agents of the Natural
Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), local or
county planning commissions, and your local library.

Have Your Water Tested Periodically

Test your water every year for total coliform bacteria,
nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels.  If you
suspect other contaminants, test for these as well.
As the tests can be expensive, limit them to possible
problems specific to your situation. Local experts
can help you identify these contaminants.  You should
also test your water after replacing or repairing any
part of the system, or if you notice any change in
your water's look, taste, or smell.

Often, county health departments perform tests for
bacteria and nitrates. For other substances, health
departments, environmental offices, or county gov-
ernments should have a list of state-certified labora-
tories. Your State Laboratory Certification Officer
can also provide you with this list. Call the Safe
Drinking Water Hotline for the name and number of
your state's certification officer.  Any laboratory you
use should be certified to do drinking water testing.

Have YourTest Results Interpreted And
Explained Clearly

Compare your well's test results to federal and
state drinking water standards (see Appendix A, or
visit www.epa.gov/safewater/mcl.html or call the Safe
Drinking Water Hotline). You may need to consult
experts to aid you in understanding your results, such
as the state agency that licenses water well contrac-
tors, your local health department, or your state's
drinking water program.
Protecting Your Ground Water

•   Periodically inspect exposed parts of the
   well for problems such as:
   -  Cracked, corroded, or damaged well
   -  Broken or missing well cap
   -  Settling and cracking of surface seals.
•   Slope the area around the well to drain sur-
   face runoff away from the well.
•   Install a well cap or sanitary seal to prevent
   unauthorized use of, or entry into, the well.
•   Disinfect drinking water wells at least once
   per year with bleach or hypochlorite gran-
   ules, according to the manufacturer's direc-
•   Have the well tested once a year for coli-
   form bacteria, nitrates, and other constitu-
   ents of concern.
•   Keep accurate records of any well main-
   tenance, such as disinfection or sediment
   removal, that may require the use of chem-
   icals in the well.
•   Hire a certified well driller for any new well
   construction, modification, or abandon-
   ment and closure.
•   Avoid mixing or using pesticides, fertilizers,
   herbicides, degreasers, fuels, and other
   pollutants near the well.
•   Do not dispose of wastes in dry wells or in
   abandoned wells.
•   Do not cut off the well casing below the
   land surface.
•   Pump and inspect septic systems as often
   as recommended by your local health
•   Never dispose of hazardous  materials in a
   septic system.
               Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

Set A Regular Maintenance Schedule For
Your Well And Your Septic System

Proper well and septic system construction and con-
tinued maintenance are keys to the safety of your
water supply. Your state water well and septic system
contractor licensing agency, local health department,
or local public water system professional can provide
information on well construction. Make  certain your
contractors are licensed by the state, if required, or
certified by the National Ground Water Association.

Maintain your well, fixing problems before they
reach crisis levels, and keep up-to-date
records of well installation and repairs, as
well as plumbing and water costs. Protect
your own well area from contamination.

Immediately Remedy Any

If you find that your well water is con-
taminated, fix the problem as soon as
possible. Consider connecting into a
nearby community water system, if one is
available. You may want to install a water
treatment device to remove impurities.
Information on these devices is provided
         Animal waste
           water supply
on page 16.  If you connect to a public water system,
remember to close your well properly.

After A Flood-Concerns And Advisories

•  Stay away from well pump to avoid electric shock.

•  Do not drink or wash from a flooded well.

•  Pump the well until water runs clear.

•  If water does not run clear, contact the county or
  state health department or extension service for
               Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

8.    What You  Can Do To  Protect Your
       Drinking Water
Drinking water protection is a shared responsibility.
Many actions are underway to protect our nation's
drinking water, and there are many opportunities for
citizens to become involved.
Be Involved!

EPA activities to protect drinking water include set-
ting drinking water standards and overseeing the
work of states that enforce federal standards—or
stricter ones set by the individual state. EPA holds
many public meetings on issues ranging from pro-
posed drinking water standards to the development of
databases. You can also comment on proposed drafts
of other upcoming EPA documents. A list of public
meetings  and regulations open for comment can be
found at www.epa.gov/safewater/pubinput/html.

Be Informed!

•  Read the annual Consumer Confidence Report
   provided by your water supplier.  Some Consumer
   Confidence Reports are available at www.epa.gov/
   safewater/dwinfo. htm.

•  Use  information from your state's Source Water
   Assessment to learn about potential threats to your
   water source.

•  If you are one of the 15 percent of Americans who
   uses a private source of drinking water—such as
   a well, cistern, or spring—find out what activi-
   ties are taking place in your watershed that may
   impact your drinking water; talk to local experts/
   test your water periodically; and maintain your
   well properly.

•  Find out if the Clean Water Act standards for your
   drinking water source are intended to protect water
   for drinking, in addition to fishing and swimming.
Be Observant!

•  Look around your watershed and look for
  announcements in the local media about activities
  that may pollute your drinking water.

•  Form and operate a citizens watch network with-
  in your community to communicate regularly with
  law enforcement, your public water supplier and
  wastewater operator. Communication is key to a
  safer community!

•  Be alert. Get to know your water/wastewater utili-
  ties,  their vehicles, routines and their personnel.

•  Become aware of your surroundings. This
  will help you to recognize suspicious activity as
  opposed to normal daily activities.
  Other Ways To Get Involved

  •  Attend public hearings on new construc-
     tion, storm water permitting, and town
  •  Keep your public officials accountable by
     asking to see their environmental impact
  •  Ask questions about any issue that may
     affect your water source.
  •  Participate with your government and your
     water system as they make funding deci-
  •  Volunteer or help recruit volunteers to par-
     ticipate in your community's contaminant
     monitoring activities.
  •  Help ensure that local utilities that protect
     your water have adequate resources to do
     their job.
                Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

  If you see any suspicious activities in or around
  your water supply, please notify local authorities or
  call 9-1-1 immediately to report the incident.
   Stormwater runoff threatens our sources of
   drinking water. As this water washes over
   roofs, pavement, farms and grassy areas, it
   picks up fertilizers, pesticides and litter, and
   deposits them in surface water and ground
   water.  Here are some other threats to our
   drinking water:

   Every year:
   •  We apply 67 million pounds of pesticides
     that contain toxic and harmful chemicals to
     our lawns.
   •  We produce more than 230 million tons of
     municipal solid water—approximately five
     pounds of trash or garbage per person per
     day—that contain bacteria, nitrates, virus-
     es, synthetic detergents, and household
   •  Our more than 12 million recreational
     and houseboats and 10,000 boat marinas
     release solvents, gasoline, detergents, and
     raw sewage directly into our rivers, lakes
     and streams.
               Don't Contaminate!

                       Reduce paved areas: use
               permeable surfaces that allow rain to
               soak through, not run off.

                       Reduce or eliminate pesticide
               application: test your soil before
               applying chemicals, and use plants
               that require little or no water, pesti-
               cides, or fertilizers.

               •       Reduce the amount of trash
           S  you create:  reuse and recycle.

               •       Recycle used oil: 1 quart of
               oil can contaminate 2 million gallons
   of drinking water—take your used oil and anti-
   freeze to a service station or recycling center.

•  Take the bus instead of your car one day a week:
   you could prevent 33 pounds of carbon dioxide
   emissions each day.

•  Keep pollutants away from boat marinas and
   waterways: keep boat motors we 11-tuned to prevent
   leaks, select nontoxic cleaning products and use
   a drop cloth, and clean and maintain boats away
   from the water.

For more information on how you can help pro-
tect your local drinking water source,  call the Safe
Drinking Water Hotline, or check www.epa.gav/
safewater/publicoutreach. Additional resources are
listed in Appendix C.
                 Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

  National Primary Drinking Water Regulations

1 Acrylamide
| Alachlor
1 Alpha/photon emitters
1 Antimony
1 Arsenic
| Asbestos (fibers >10
1 Atrazine
1 Barium
1 Benzene
1 Benzo(a)pyrene
1 Beryllium
1 Beta photon emitters
1 Bromate
1 Cadmium
1 Carbofuran
1 Carbon tetrachloride
Chloramines (as C12)
1 Chlordane
Chlorine (as C12)
Chlorine dioxide
(as C1O2)
| Chlorite
1 Chlorobenzene
1 Chromium (total)
| Copper
1 Cryptosporidium
| Disinfection Byproduct
TT1 (mg/L)2
15 picocuries
per Liter
7 million
fibers per
Liter (MFL)
4 millirems
per year
Level =
Potential health effects from
long-term3 exposure above the MCL
Nervous system or blood problems;
increased risk of cancer
Eye, liver, kidney or spleen problems;
anemia; increased risk of cancer
Increased risk of cancer
Increase in blood cholesterol; decrease
in blood sugar
Skin damage or problems with circulatory
systems, and may have increased
risk of getting cancer
Increased risk of developing benign
intestinal polyps
Cardiovascular system or reproductive
Increase in blood pressure
Anemia; decrease in blood platelets;
increased risk of cancer
Reproductive difficulties; increased risk
of cancer
Intestinal lesions
Increased risk of cancer
Increased risk of cancer
Kidney damage
Problems with blood, nervous system, or
reproductive system
Liver problems; increased risk of cancer
Eye/nose irritation; stomach discomfort;
Liver or nervous system problems;
increased risk of cancer
Eye/nose irritation; stomach discomfort
Anemia; infants, young children, and fetuses of
pregnant women: nervous system effects
Anemia; infants, young children, and fetuses of
pregnant women: nervous system effects
Liver or kidney problems
Allergic dermatitis
Short-term exposure: Gastrointestinal
distress. Long-term exposure: Liver or
kidney damage. People with Wilson's
Disease should consult their personal
doctor if the amount of copper in their
water exceeds the action level
Short-term exposure : Gastrointestinal illness
(e.g., diarrhea, vomiting, cramps)
Common sources of contaminant
in drinking water
Added to water during sewage/
wastewater treatment
Runoff from herbicide
used on row crops
Erosion of natural deposits of certain
minerals that are radioactive and
may emit a form of radiation known
as alpha radiation
Discharge from petroleum refineries;
fire retardants; ceramics; electronics;
Erosion of natural deposits; runoff
from orchards; runoff from glass &
electronics production wastes
Decay of asbestos cement in water
mains; erosion of natural deposits
Runoff from herbicide used on row
Discharge of drilling wastes; discharge
from metal refineries; erosion
of natural deposits
Discharge from factories; leaching
from gas storage tanks and landfills
Leaching from linings of water storage
tanks and distribution lines
Discharge from metal refineries and
coal-burning factories; discharge
from electrical, aerospace, and
defense industries
Decay of natural and man-made
deposits of certain minerals that are
radioactive and may emit forms of
radiation known as photons and beta
Byproduct of drinking water disinfection
Corrosion of galvanized pipes; erosion
of natural deposits; discharge
from metal refineries; runoff from
waste batteries and paints
Leaching of soil fumigant used on rice
and alfalfa
Discharge from chemical plants and
other industrial activities
Water additive used to control
Residue of banned termiticide
Water additive used to control
Water additive used to control
Byproduct of drinking water
Discharge from chemical and agricultural
chemical factories
Discharge from steel and pulp mills;
erosion of natural deposits
Corrosion of household plumbing
systems; erosion of natural deposits
Human and animal fecal waste
Public Health
Goal (mg/L)2
^^B Inorganic Chemical ^^^ Organic Chemical
Microorganism ^^1 Radionuclides
Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

pontaminant MC

I Cyanide 0
' (as free cyanide)
. or Potential health effects from Common sources of contaminant
ig/L)2 long-term3 exposure above the MCL in drinking water
Nerve damage or thyroid problems Discharge from steel/metal factories:
^^^H discharge from plastic and fertilizer
^^^H factories
^•22^1 2,4-D 0.07 Kidney, liver, or adrenal gland problems Runoff from herbicide used on row

1 Dalapon 0
| l,2-Dibromo-3- 0.0
1 o-Dichlorobenzene 0
Minor kidney changes Runoff from herbicide used on rights
^^^H of way
302 Reproductive difficulties; increased risk Runoff/leaching from soil fumigant
^^^H of cancer used on soybeans, cotton, pineapples,
^^^H and orchards
6 Liver, kidney, or circulatory system Discharge from industrial chemical
^^^1 problems factories
1 p-Dichlorobenzene 0.075 Anemia; liver, kidney or spleen damage; Discharge from industrial chemical
changes in blood factories
1 1,2-Dichloroethane 0.005 Increased risk of cancer Discharge from industrial chemical

1 1 , 1 -Dichloroethylene 0.007 Liver problems Discharge from industrial chemical
1 cis-l,2-Dichloroethylene 0.
ltrans-1,2- 0
1 Dichlorom ethane O.C
37 Liver problems Discharge from industrial chemical
1 Liver problems Discharge from industrial chemical
05 Liver problems; increased risk of cancer Discharge from drug and chemical
^^^H factories
^MM^H 1,2-Dichloropropane 0.005 Increased risk of cancer Discharge from industrial chemical

1 Di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate 0.4 Weight loss, liver problems, or possible Discharge from chemical factories
reproductive difficulties
1 Di(2-ethylhexyl) O.C
1 Dmoseb O.C
06 Reproductive difficulties; liver problems; Discharge from rubber and chemical
^^^H increased risk of cancer factories
07 Reproductive difficulties Runoff from herbicide used on soybeans
^^^1 and vegetables
1 Dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD) 0.00000003 Reproductive difficulties; increased risk Emissions from waste incineration
of cancer and other combustion; discharge
from chemical factories
1 Diquat 0.02 Cataracts Runoff from herbicide use
^KSU^I Endothall 0.1 Stomach and intestinal problems Runoff from herbicide use
^Kffi^l Endrin 0.002 Liver problems Residue of banned insecticide
| Epichlorohydrin T
^4 Increased cancer risk; stomach problems Discharge from industrial chemical
^^^H factories; an impurity of some water
^^^H treatment chemicals
^•22^1 Ethylbenzene 0.7 Liver or kidney problems Discharge from petroleum refineries
H Ethylene dibromide 0.00005 Problems with liver, stomach, reproductive Discharge from petroleum refineries
system, or kidneys; increased risk of cancer

1 Fecal coliform and MC
E. coli
'L6 Fecal coliforms andE. coli are bacteria whose Human and animal fecal waste
^^^H presence indicates that the water may be contaminated
^^^H with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes
^^^H may cause short term effects, such as diarrhea, cramps,
^^^H nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a
^^^H special health risk for infants, young children, and people
^^^H with severely compromised immune systems.
1 Fluoride 4.0 Bone disease (pain and tenderness of Water additive which promotes
the bones); children may get mottled strong teeth; erosion of natural
teeth deposits; discharge from fertilizer
and aluminum factories
H Giarcha lamblia TT7 Short-term exposure: Gastrointestinal illness Human and animal fecal waste
(e.g., diarrhea, vomiting, cramps)

1 Glyphosate 0
7 Kidney problems; reproductive Runoff from herbicide use
^^^1 difficulties
Public Health
Goal (mg/L)2
1 Haloacetic acids 0.060 Increased risk of cancer Byproduct of drinking water n/a9
(HAA5) disinfection
1 Heptachlor 0.0004 Liver damage; increased risk of cancer Residue of banned termiticide
1 Heptachlor epoxide 0.0002 Liver damage; increased risk of cancer Breakdown of heptachlor
Heterotrophic plate TT7 HPC has no health effects; it is an HPC measures a range of bacteria
count (HPC) analytic method used to measure the that are naturally present in the
variety of bacteria that are common in environment
water. The lower the concentration of
bacteria in drinking water, the better
maintained the water system is.
| Disinfection Byproduct
^^9 Inorganic Chemical ^^^ Organic Chemical
Microorganism ^^B Radionuclides

Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791


1 Hexachlorobenzene
1 Hexachlorocyclopentadiene
1 Legionella
1 Lindane
1 Mercury (inorganic)
1 Methoxychlor
1 Nitrate (measured as
1 Nitrite (measured as
1 Oxamyl (Vydate)
1 Pentachlorophenol
1 Picloram
1 Polychlorinated biphenyls
1 Radium 226 and
Radium 228 (combined)
1 Selenium
1 Simazine
| Styrene
1 Tetrachloroethylene
1 Thallium
1 Toluene
1 Total Coliforms
1 Total Trihalomethanes
• (TTHMs)
1 Toxaphene
| 2,4,5-TP (Silvex)
1 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
1 1 , 1 , 1 -Trichloroethane
1 1,1,2-Trichloroethane
1 Trichloroethylene

| Disinfection Byproduct
TT1 (mg/L)2
Potential health effects from
long-term3 exposure above the MCL
Liver or kidney problems; reproductive
difficulties; increased risk of cancer
Kidney or stomach problems
Infants and children: Delays in physical or
or mental development; children could
show slight deficits in attention span
and learning abilities; Adults: Kidney
problems; high blood pressure
Legionnaire's Disease, a type of
Liver or kidney problems
Kidney damage
Reproductive difficulties
Infants below the age of six months who
drink water containing nitrate in excess
of the MCL could become seriously ill
and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms
include shortness of breath and blue-baby
Infants below the age of six months who
drink water containing nitrite in excess
of the MCL could become seriously ill
and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms
include shortness of breath and blue-baby
Slight nervous system effects
Liver or kidney problems; increased
cancer risk
Liver problems
Skin changes; thymus gland problems:
immune deficiencies; reproductive or
nervous system difficulties; increased
risk of cancer
Increased risk of cancer
Hair or fingernail loss; numbness in fingers
or toes; circulatory problems
Problems with blood
Liver, kidney, or circulatory system problems
Liver problems; increased risk of cancer
Hair loss; changes in blood; kidney, intestine,
or liver problems
Nervous system, kidney, or liver problems
Common sources of contaminant
in drinking water
Discharge from metal refineries and
agricultural chemical factories
Discharge from chemical factories
Corrosion of household plumbing
systems; erosion of natural deposits
Found naturally in water; multiplies in
heating systems
Runoff/leaching from insecticide used
on cattle, lumber, gardens
Erosion of natural deposits; discharge
from refineries and factories;
runoff from landfills and croplands
Runoff/leaching from insecticide used
on fruits, vegetables, alfalfa, livestock
Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching
from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of
natural deposits
Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching
from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of
natural deposits
Runoff/leaching from insecticide used
on apples, potatoes, and tomatoes
Discharge from wood-preserving
Herbicide runoff
Runoff from landfills; discharge of
waste chemicals
Erosion of natural deposits
Discharge from petroleum and metal refineries:
erosion of natural deposits; discharge
from mines
Herbicide runoff
Discharge from rubber and plastic
factories; leaching from landfills
Discharge from factories and dry cleaners
Leaching from ore-processing sites:
discharge from electronics, glass,
and drug factories
Discharge from petroleum factories
Coliforms are bacteria that indicate that other, Naturally present in the environment
potentially harmful bacteria may be present.
See fecal coliforms andE. coll
Liver, kidney or central nervous system problems; Byproduct of drinking water disinfection
increased risk of cancer
Kidney, liver, or thyroid problems:
increased risk of cancer
Liver problems
Changes in adrenal glands
Liver, nervous system, or circulatory
Liver, kidney, or immune system
Liver problems; increased risk of cancer
Inorganic Chemical
Microorganism ^^B
Runoff/leaching from insecticide used
on cotton and cattle
Residue of banned herbicide
Discharge from textile finishing
Discharge from metal degreasing
sites and other factories
Discharge from industrial chemical
Discharge from metal degreasing
sites and other factories
Organic Chemical
Public Health
Goal (mg/L)2

Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

TT1 (mg/L)2
Potential health effects from
long-term3 exposure above the MCL
Common sources of contaminant          Public Health
in drinking water                          Goal (mg/L)2
                    Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness of water.
                    It is used to indicate water quality and filtration
                    effectiveness (e.g., whether disease-causing organisms
                    are present). Higher turbidity levels are often associated
                    with higher levels of disease-causing microorganisms
                    such as viruses, parasites and some bacteria. These
                    organisms can cause short term symptoms such as
                    nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.
                                                                                                   Soil runoff
H Uranium
1 Vinyl chloride
Viruses (enteric)
^^^| Xylenes (total)
Increased risk of cancer, kidney toxicity
Increased risk of cancer
Short-term exposure: Gastrointestinal illness
(e.g., diarrhea, vomiting, cramps)
Nervous system damage
Erosion of natural deposits
Leaching from PVC pipes; discharge
from plastic factories
Human and animal fecal waste
Discharge from petroleum factories;
                                                                                                   discharge from chemical factories

        Disinfection Byproduct
               Inorganic Chemical

                                   | Organic Chemical

                                                                           Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

1 Definitions
  •  Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG)—The level of a contaminant in drinking water below
    which there is no known or expected risk to health.  MCLGs allow for a margin of safety and are
    non-enforceable public health goals.
  •  Maximum Contaminant Level  (MCL)—The highest  level of a contaminant that is allowed in
    drinking water. MCLs are set as close to MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment
    technology and taking cost into consideration. MCLs are enforceable standards.
  •  Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG)—The level of a drinking water disinfectant
    below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the  benefits of
    the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.
  •  Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL)—The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in
    drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for
    control of microbial contaminants.
  •  Treatment Technique (TT)—A required process intended  to reduce the level of a contaminant in
    drinking water.
2 Units are in milligrams per liter (mg/L) unless otherwise noted. Milligrams per liter are equivalent
  to parts per million (ppm).
3 Health effects are from long-term exposure unless specified as short-term exposure.
4 Each water system must certify annually, in writing, to the state (using third-party or manufacturers
  certification) that when it uses acrylamide and/or epichlorohydrin to treat water, the combination (or
  product) of dose and monomer level does not exceed the levels specified, as follows: Acrylamide
  = 0.05 percent dosed at 1 mg/L  (or equivalent);  Epichlorohydrin = 0.01 percent dosed  at 20 mg/L
  (or equivalent).
5 Lead and copper are regulated  by a Treatment Technique that requires systems to control the
  corrosiveness of their water. If more than 10 percent of tap water samples exceed the action level,
  water systems must take additional steps. For copper,  the action level is 1.3 mg/L, and for lead is
  0.015 mg/L.
6 A routine sample that is fecal coliform-positive or E. compositive triggers repeat samples-if any
  repeat sample is total coliform-positive, the system has an acute MCL violation. A routine sample
  that is total coliform-positive and fecal coIiform-negative or E.  co//-negative triggers repeat  samples-if
  any repeat sample is fecal coliform-positive or E. co//-positive,  the system has an acute MCL violation.
  See also Total Coliforms.
7 EPAs surface water treatment rules require systems using surface water or ground water under
  the direct influence of surface water to (1)  disinfect their water, and (2) filter their water or meet
  criteria for avoiding filtration so that the following contaminants are controlled at the following levels:
  •  Cryptosporidium'. 99 percent removal for systems that filter. Unfiltered systems are required to
    include Cryptosporidium in their existing watershed control provisions.
  •  Giardia lamblia:  99.9 percent removal/in activation
  •  Viruses: 99.99 percent removal/inactivation
  •  Legionella'. No limit, but EPA believes that if Giardia and viruses are removed/inactivated according
    to the treatment techniques in the surface water treatment rule, Legionella will also be controlled.
  •  Turbidity: For systems that use conventional or direct filtration, at no time can turbidity (cloudiness of
    water) go higher than 1 nephelolometric turbidity unit (NTU), and samples for turbidity must be
    less than or equal to 0.3 NTU in at least 95 percent of the samples in any month. Systems that use
    filtration other than conventional or direct filtration must follow state limits, which must include turbidity
    at no time exceeding 5 NTU.
  •  HPC: No more than 500 bacterial colonies per milliliter
  •  Long Term 1  Enhanced Surface V\foter Treatment; Surface water systems or ground water systems
    under the direct influence of surface water serving fewer than 10,000 people must comply with the
    applicable Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Vteter Treatment Rule provisions (e.g. turbidity standards,
    individual filter monitoring, Cryptosporidium removal  requirements, updated watershed control
    requirements for unfiltered systems).
  •  Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface V\foter Treatment; This rule applies to all surface water systems
    or ground water systems under the direct influence of surface water. The rule targets additional
    Cryptosporidium treatment requirements for higher risk systems and includes provisions to reduce
    risks from uncovered finished water storages facilities and to ensure that the systems maintain microbial
    protection as they take steps to reduce the formation of disinfection byproducts. (Monitoring
    start dates are staggered by system size. The largest systems (serving at least 100,000
    people) will begin  monitoring in October 2006 and the smallest systems (serving fewer than
    10,000 people) will not begin monitoring until October 2008. After completing monitoring and
    determining their treatment bin, systems generally have three years to comply with any additional
    treatment requirements.)
  •  Filter Backwash Recycling: The Filter  Backwash Recycling Rule requires systems that recycle to
    return specific recycle flows through all processes of the system's existing conventional or direct
    filtration system or at an alternate location approved by the state.
8 No more than 5.0 percent samples total coliform-positive in a month. (For water systems that collect
  fewer than 40 routine samples per  month,  no more than one sample can be total coliform-positive
  per month.) Every sample that has total  coliform must be analyzed for either fecal coliforms or
  E. co//. If two consecutive TC-positive samples,  and one is also positive for E. coli or fecal coliforms,
  system has an acute MCL violation.
9 Although there is no collective MCLG for this contaminant group, there are individual MCLGs for
  some of the individual contaminants:
  •  Haloacetic acids: dichloroacetic acid (zero); trichloroacetic acid (0.3 mg/L)
  •  Trihalomethanes: bromodichloromethane (zero); bromoform (zero); dibromochloromethane (0.06 mg/L)
                                    Safe  Drinking Water  Hotline: 800-426-4791

Appendix  B:    References
US EPA Publications

25 Years of the Safe Drinking Water
Act: History & Trends

Community Water Systems Survey
2000, Volume I

Drinking Water Costs and Federal

Drinking Water from Household Wells

Drinking Water Priority Rulemaking:
Microbial and Disinfection Byproduct

Drinking Water Treatment

Factoids:  Drinking Water
and Ground Water Statistics for 2001

Factoids:  Drinking Water and Ground
Water Statistics for 2002

Fact Sheet: 1999 Drinking Water
Infrastructure Needs Survey

"Investing in America's Water
Infrastructure" Keynote Address by
G. Tracy Mehan III to the Schwab
Capital  Markets' Global Water
Protect Your Drinking Water

Public Access to Information & Public

Report to Congress: EPA Studies
on Sensitive Subpopulations and
Drinking Water Contaminants
Safe Drinking Water Act-Protecting
America's Public Health
Safe Drinking Water Act:
Underground Injection Control
Program: Protecting Public Health
and Drinking Water Resources

The Clean Water and Drinking Water
Infrastructure Gap Analysis

The Drinking Water State Revolving
Fund: Protecting the  Public Through
Drinking Water Infrastructure

Understanding the Safe Drinking
Water Act

Using Water Wisely in the Home
EPA 800-F-02-001

Featured  Consumer
Information  Resources

Download the following documents
from EPA's New Drinking Water
Consumer Information Web site:

Or order hard copies from EPA's
National Service Center for
Environmental Publications:
 HYPERLINK "http://www.epa.gov/
nscep" http://www.epa.gov/nscep or

Public Health and  Emergency

Bottled Water Basics, 816-K-05-003

Filtration Facts, 816-K-05-002

Emergency Disinfection of
Drinking Water
English,  816-F-06-027
Spanish, EPA816-F-06-028
French, 816-F-06-045
Arabic, 816-F-06-030
Vietnamese, 816-F-06-029
What to Do After the Flood
English, 816-F-05-021
Spanish, 816-F-05-021
Vietnamese, 816-F-05-025

Is There Lead In My Drinking Water?

Guidance for People with Severely
Weakened Immune Systems,

Public Involvement in Water Security
Web site,  a compilation of resources
to help increase public awareness
of water security issues and to give
citizens information and guidance
to help them prepare for potential
emergency incidents and incorporate
security activities into their daily lives,

Environmental Education:

Thirstin's Drinking Water Games and
Activities (CD-ROM), 816-C-04-008

Virtual Tour of a Water Treatment
Plant (CD-ROM), 816-C-06-002

Find answers to your questions about
drinking water and ground water
programs authorized under the Safe
Drinking Water Act in EPA's dynamic
question and answer database,

Publications From
Outside Sources

Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention.  Morbidity and Mortality
Weekly Report:  Surveillance for
Waterborne-Disease Outbreaks-
United States-1999-2000.

Congressional Budget Office.  Future
Investment in Drinking Water &
Wastewater Infrastructure
                                    Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

Appendix  C:   Sources of Additional  Information
American Water Works Association
Public Affairs Department
6666 West Quincy Avenue
Denver, CO 80235
Phone (303)794-7711

Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies
16201 Street NW
Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
Phone (202) 331-2820
Fax (202)  785-1845

Association of State Drinking Water
1401 Wilson Blvd.
Suite 1225
Arlington, VA 22209
Phone (703) 812-9505

Clean Water Action
4455 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite A300
Washington, DC 20008
Phone (202) 895-0420
www. clean water, org

Consumer Federation of America
1620 I Street NW
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20006
Phone (202) 387-6121
www. consume/fed, org

The Groundwater Foundation
P.O. Box 22558
Lincoln, NE 68542
Phone (800) 858-4844
www. groundwater. org

The Ground Water Protection Council
13308 N. Mac Arthur
Oklahoma City, OK 73142
Phone (405) 516-4972
International Bottled Water Association
1700 Diagonal Road
Suite 650
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone (703)683-5213
Information Hotline 1-800-WATER-11
ibwainfofftbottleclwater. org

National Association of Regulatory Utility
1101 Vermont Ave NW
Suite 200
Washington,  DC 20005
Phone (202)  898-2200

National Association of Water Companies
2001 L Street NW
Suite 850
Washington,  DC 20036
Phone (202)  833-8383

National Drinking Water Clearinghouse
West Virginia University
P.O. Box 6064
Morgantown, WV  26506
Phone (800)  624-8301
www. ncfwc. wvu. edu

National Ground Water Association
601 Dempsey Rd
Westerville, OH 43081-8978
Phone:  (800) 551-7379

National Rural Water Association
2915 South 13th Street
Duncan, OK  73533
Phone (580)  252-0629

Natural Resources Defense Council
40 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
Phone (212)  727-2700
               Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

NSF International
P.O. Box 130140
789 North Dixboro Road
Ann Arbor, Ml  48113
Phone (800) NSF-MARK

Rural Community Assistance Program
1522 K Street NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC  20005
Phone (800) 321-7227

Underwriters Laboratories
Corporate Headquarters
2600 N.W. Lake Road
Camas, WA 98607
Phone (877) 854-3577

Water Quality Association
4151 Naperville Road
Lisle, IL  60532
Phone (630) 505-0160

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Water
Resource Center
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC  20460
SDWA Hotline (800) 426-4791
www. epa. go v/safe water

Water Systems Council
National Programs Office
101 30th Street NW
Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20007
Phone: (202) 625-4387
Wellcare Hotline 888-395-1033
www. watersystems council.org

EPA Region 1
(CT, ME, MA, NH, Rl, VT)
Phone (888) 372-7341
Phone (617) 918-1614
EPA Region 2
(NJ, NY, PR, VI)
Phone (212)637-3000

EPA Region 3
(DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WV)
Phone (215)814-5000

EPA Region 4
(AL, FL, GA, KY,  MS, NC, SC, TN)
Phone (404) 562-9900

EPA Region 5
(IL,  IN,  Ml, MN, OH, Wl)
Phone (312)353-2000

EPA Region 6
(AR, LA, NM, OK, TX)
Phone (214)665-2200

EPA Region 7
(IA,  KS, MO, NE)
Phone (913) 551-7003

EPA Region 8
(CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY)
Phone (303)312-6312

EPA Region 9
Phone (415)947-8000

EPA Region 10
(AK, ID, OR, WA)
Phone (206) 553-1200
               Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

Appendix D:    Glossary
Action Level
The level of lead and copper which, if exceeded,
triggers treatment or other requirements that a
water system must follow.


A natural underground layer, often of sand or
gravel, that contains water


A group of related bacteria whose presence in
drinking water may indicate contamination by
disease-causing microorganisms

Community Water  System (CWS)
A water system that supplies drinking water to 25
people or more year-round in their residences

Anything found in water (including microorgan-
isms, radionuclides, chemicals, minerals, etc.)
which may be harmful to human health

Microorganism found commonly in lakes and rivers
which is highly resistant to disinfection.

A chemical (commonly chlorine, chloramines, or
ozone) or physical process (e.g., ultraviolet light)
that kills microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria,
and protozoa

Distribution System
A network of pipes leading from a treatment plant
to customers'plumbing systems
Ground Water
Water that is pumped and treated from an aquifer

Inorganic Contaminants
Mineral-based compounds such as metals, nitrates,
and asbestos; naturally occurring in some water,
but can also enter water through human activities

Maximum Contaminant Level

The highest level of a contaminant that EPA allows
in drinking water (legally enforceable standard)

Maximum Contaminant Level Goal

The level of a contaminant at which there would be
no risk to human health (not a legally enforceable

Tiny living organisms that can be seen only under
a microscope; some can cause acute health prob-
lems when consumed in drinking water

Non-Transient Non-Community Water
A non-community water system that serves the
same people more than six months of the year, but
not year-round

Organic Contaminants

Carbon-based chemicals, such as solvents and pes-
ticides, which enter water through cropland runoff
or discharge from factories

Disease-causing organism
                Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791

Public Water System (PWS)
A water system which supplies drinking water to at
least 25 people, at least 60 days each year
Sensitive Subpopulation

People who may be more vulnerable to drinking
water contamination, such as infants, children,
some elderly, and people with severely compro-
mised immune systems
Septic System
Used to treat sanitary waste; can be a significant
threat to water quality due to leaks or runoff
Source Water
Water in its natural state, prior to any treatment for
drinking (i.e., lakes, streams, ground water)

Surface Water
Water that is pumped and treated from sources
open to the atmosphere, such as rivers, lakes, and
Transient Non-Community Water System
A non-community water system that serves the
public but not the same individuals for more than
six months

Failure to meet any state or federal drinking water
Vulnerability Assessment

An evaluation of drinking water source quality and
its vulnerability to contamination by pathogens and
toxic chemicals

The land area from which water drains into a
stream, river, or reservoir


A bored, drilled or driven shaft whose depth is
greater than the largest surface dimension, a
dug hole whose depth is greater than the largest
surface dimension, an improved sinkhole, or a sub-
surface fluid distribution system
                 Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791


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