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Basic Information

Public water systems must notify their customers when they violate EPA or state drinking water regulations (including monitoring requirements) or otherwise provide drinking water that may pose a risk to consumer’s health. 

Water systems test regularly for approximately 90 contaminants to make sure that no contaminant is present at levels which may pose a risk to human health. 

Unfortunately, water quality can sometimes change.  Despite the efforts of water suppliers, problems with drinking water can and do occur. 

When it does, people who drink the water have a right to know what happened and what they need to do.  The public notice requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act require water suppliers to provide this notice.

EPA sets strict requirements on the form, manner, content, and frequency of public notices.  Notices must contain:


EPA specifies three categories, or tiers, of public notification. Depending on what tier a violation or situation falls into, water systems have different amounts of time to distribute the notice and different ways to deliver the notice:

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