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General:

Community Water System Customers:

Community Water System Owners and Operators:


General:

What is a CCR?
The Consumer Confidence Report, or CCR, is an annual water quality report that a community water system is required to provide to its customers. The CCR helps people make informed choices about the water they drink. They let people know the source of their water, the presence of contaminants, if any, in their drinking water, and how these contaminants may affect their health. CCRs also give the water system an opportunity to communicate the value of water and water delivery services.

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Are all public water systems required to provide CCRs to their customers?
Only community water systems that serve the same people year-round provide CCRs to their customers. If your water supplier is a non-community system, contact your utility for drinking water quality information.

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How do renters get water quality information about their drinking water?
A community water system must make a good faith effort to reach consumers who do not get water bills, such as renters or workers. An adequate good faith effort would include a mix of methods appropriate to the particular system such as: posting the reports on the Internet; mailing to postal patrons in metropolitan areas; advertising the availability of the report in the news media; publication in a local newspaper; posting in public places such as cafeterias or lunch rooms of public buildings; or delivery of multiple copies for distribution by single-billed customers such as apartment buildings, nursing homes, schools or large private employers and community organizations.

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How do people served by non-community water systems get water quality information about their drinking water?
If your water supplier is a public water system, but not a community water system (i.e., does not serve a permanent resident population), contact the utility for water quality information.

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Why does the current CCR contain results from previous calendar years?
Federal regulations require that if a system is allowed to monitor for regulated contaminants less often than once a year, the table must include the date and results of the most recent sampling. Thus, the table in the CCR may reflect the date and result of the last samples taken.

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Community Water System Customers:

Why do I get a CCR?
Every community water system (CWS, or public water system that serve 25 people or 15 service connections year-round) is required by law to provide its customers with a water quality report also known as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) by July 1 (one) of each year. This report lists any regulated contaminants the CWS detected in its treated water and the level at which they were found for the preceding calendar year.

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Does the annual water quality report indicate there is something wrong with the water, or that it’s unsafe?
The CCR is a general overview of the water quality delivered by your community water system during the preceding calendar year. This report must include a table of any regulated contaminants detected in the system’s treated water and the level at which they were detected. This table must also indicate whether any of the detected contaminants exceeded safe drinking standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as any health effects related to those contaminants.

In addition to the CCR, your water system must give public notice for all violations of national primary drinking water regulations. These include monitoring and testing requirements, treatment requirements, and any exceedances of safe drinking water standards set by the EPA. For more information, please visit EPA’s website on the Public Notification Rule.

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What do MCL, MCLG and MRDL mean?

Maximum contaminant level (MCL): The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the maximum contaminant level goals as feasible using the best available treatment technology.

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.

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.

Maximum residual disinfection level goal (MRDLG): The level or 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.

Treatment technique (TT): A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

Action level (AL): The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.

Variances and Exemptions: State or EPA permission not to meet an MCL or a treatment technique under certain conditions.

MNR: Monitored not regulated.

MPL: State assigned maximum permissible level.

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Why did my CCR contain information on cryptosporidium?
A section concerning cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants is required in all CCRs to provide information for severely weakened immune (immunocompromised) systems, such as individuals with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly and infants. The section does not indicate the presence of cryptosporidium in drinking water.

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Does my public water system treat the water for cryptosporidium?
Contact your water system to inquire about its cryptosporidium removal practices.

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Should I be concerned about cryptosporidium in my drinking water?
Current EPA drinking water standards are designed to assure 99 percent removal or killing of Cryptosporidium. People who have severely weakened immune systems (immunocompromised) are more at-risk to infection than the general population and may want to take extra precautions. These include pregnant women, infants, the elderly, people with HIV/AIDS, organ transplants, and people on cancer therapy. Cryptosporidiosis, an infection of the small intestine caused by the parasite cryptosporidium, is not treatable with antibiotics, so prevention of infection is critical. People with weakened immune systems will have cryptosporidiosis for a longer period of time, and it could become life-threatening. Young children, pregnant women, or the elderly infected with cryptosporidiosis can quickly become severely dehydrated.

EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed guidance for severely immunocompromised people. Such individuals should consult with their health care provider about what measures would be most appropriate and effective for reducing their overall risk of Cryptosporidium and other types of infection.

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What can I do if I am more sensitive to contaminants or more at risk to infections than the general population?
Seek advice from your health care provider.

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Is there a safe level of lead in drinking water for children?
EPA has set the maximum contaminant level goal for lead at zero because lead is a toxic metal that can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels. Lead is persistent, and it can bio-accumulate in the body over time. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends intervention when the level of lead in a child’s blood is 10 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) or greater. It is important to recognize all the ways a child can be exposed to lead. Children are exposed to lead in paint, dust, soil, air, and food, as well as drinking water. Therefore, the amount of lead a child can be exposed to in drinking water before exceeding the recommended blood level depends upon the amount of lead coming from these other sources. Young children, infants, and fetuses are particularly vulnerable to lead because the physical and behavioral effects of lead occur at lower exposure levels in children than in adults. A dose of lead that would have little effect on an adult can have a significant effect on a child. In children, low levels of exposure have been linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing, and impaired formation and function of blood cells.

More information concerning lead in drinking water is available online.

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Why is the Safe Drinking Water Hotline’s 800 number listed in the report if the Hotline cannot provide local water quality information?
Systems area required to provide a name and telephone contact at the water system who can answer questions about the report. In addition, a toll free number for EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline provides general information about CCRs and other safe drinking water issues. The hotline can also direct callers to more sources of information, and can help people to understand the purpose and language of the CCRs.

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Community Water System Owners and Operators:

Can we submit our CCR to a primacy agency by e-mail?
Community water systems (CWS) can send their CCRs to the primacy agencies in an electronic or hard copy format. Check with your primacy agency for additional information.

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What is EPA’s guidance on how we certify to the primacy agency that we have distributed CCRS to our customers and that the information is correct and accurately reflects compliance monitoring data previously submitted to that agency?
Example certification formats can be found in:

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Where do we send the CCR certification letter?
Send the CCR certification letter to the state drinking water office or other primacy agency.

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How long does a primacy agency have to retain CCRS and certifications?
Each primacy agency must maintain copies of the CCRs for a period of one year. The agency must also keep the corresponding certifications for a period of five years (40 CFR 142.16(f)(3)).

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Are there Web tools available to help us prepare a CCR?
In the Spring of 2003, EPA released a Web-based program, the CCRiWriter. The program uses a “step-by-step” interview process to fill in the report, which allows persons of varying backgrounds and degrees of technical expertise to enter data and generate a CCR for their customers that is both informative and in compliance with current federal regulations. The CCRiWriter takes users through all the sections of a CCR, converts lab results into “CCR units,” provides mandatory language, and allows users to insert and edit EPA’s recommended text. Users access the secure Website with a user identification and password and can download the finished report in PDF or Microsoft Word. The CCRiWriter program was updated in December 2009 to comply with more recent rules and regulations, including the Ground Water Rule.

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What tools are available if we don’t have Web access?
EPA is currently updating the CCRWriter CD-ROM, a desktop application of the iWriter that runs on computers that use Microsoft Windows 95 or newer, so that it uses the same interview format as the web based CCRiWriter. The updated CDs will be available soon from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline. The previous CD version 3.0, is currently available.

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How do we determine and report the likely sources of contaminants detected during lab testing?
Specific information regarding contaminants may be available in sanitary surveys and source water assessments.

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Are we required to list health effects language in the CCR for unregulated contaminants detected during lab testing?
There is no federal requirement for health effect information for unregulated contaminants. 40 CFR 141.153(d)(7) requires CWS to list the average and range at which an unregulated contaminant was detected, and suggests the inclusion of a brief explanation of the reasons for monitoring for unregulated contaminants.

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How long are we required to include Information Collection Rule data in the CCR?
ICR monitoring data collected pursuant to 40 CFR 141.142 and 141.143 must only be included in the Consumer Confidence Report for five years from the date of the last sample or until any of the detected contaminants becomes regulated (40 CFR 141.153(d)(3)(ii)).

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Are we required to include information about our state’s source water assessment in the CCR?
Yes. If a source water assessment has been completed, the CCRs must contain information about the availability of the assessment and the means to obtain it. CWSs that have received their source water assessments must provide brief summaries of their source water’s susceptibililty to contamination. If source water assessment information is not available, CWSs are encouraged to include any other information about potential sources of contamination (40 CFR 141.153(b)(2)).

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Can a community water system obtain a waiver from the requirement that we mail or directly deliver one copy of the CCR to each customer?
The governor of a state, designee, or a tribal leader where the tribe has met the eligibility requirements in Section 142.72, can waive the CCR distribution requirements for community water systems serving fewer than 10,000 persons. A system that obtains a waiver musts inform its customers that the report will not be mailed, publish the CCR in one or more newspapers serving the local area, and make the report available to the public upon request (40 CFR 141.155(g)).

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As a wholesaler, does the CCR rule require me to produce a CCR or any other information on a particular date?
A wholesaler does not have to produce a CCR. The responsibility to produce a CCR belongs to the system that purchases and distributes the water to consumers.

But, water wholesalers must provide the system with monitoring and other information by April of each calendar year so that the system has enough time to produce the CCR report by July 1st.

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If a CWS had one total trihalomethane (TTHM) detect above 80 parts per billion during the year, but the annual average was below the MCL, do they need to include the health effects statement?
Community water systems that detect TTHM above 80 parts per billion (0.80 mg/L), but below the MCL 80 parts per billion as an annual average, must include health effects language for TTHMs (CFR Section 141.154(e)).

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