What Our Customers Should Know About Drinking Water Consumer Confidence Reports

In the United States the safety and quality of drinking water is set and enforced by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the main federal law that ensures the quality of drinking water in our country. Under this federal law, EPA along with various state and local regulatory bodies oversees the standard and safety of water provided by municipal and private water supplier.

Since its inception in 1974, SDWA has played an important role in protecting public health by regulating the nation’s public drinking water supply. After 1974, SDWA was updated in 1986 and 1996 to ensure continued safety of our water. One of the key amendments made in 1996 was the requirement for all community water systems to report annually to their customers regarding the quality of their drinking water and any risks associated with contaminants detected in the water. This report, called the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), must be provided to all customers for the previous calendar year by July 1 of each year.

Every year United Water mails these Water Quality Reports to our customers, which contain important information about how our drinking water complies with government standards. A new development this year related to CCR has been the electronic availability of the report. In January 2013, the EPA issued a memorandum to all water systems allowing them to electronically deliver the CCRs to their customers. Historically a physical copy of the CCR, typically 8-10 pages, was mailed to all customers.

We at United Water believe that this change is not only convenient for our customers, allowing them timely and continuous access, but is also the right step towards conserving our environment.  Moreover, our customers now can choose to receive only electronic copies of the CCR, allowing us to greatly reduce our paper usage and related energy consumption. .

This year, United Water is mailing postcards to all our customers, which contain information on how to access the CCRs online. Our New York customers will start receiving postcards in their mailboxes early May, Pennsylvania customers mid May and the rest of our customers in early June. Once you receive these postcards in your mailbox, please follow the instructions on how to access the CCR online and review it carefully. If you have questions or concerns please call your local United Water customer service center and we will be happy to assist you.

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