Where does my drinking water come from? Is my water safe to drink? How is my water being treated?
If you've ever found yourself asking these common drinking water questions, you're not alone!
Drinking water customers have the right to know what is in the water they are consuming and where this water comes from. This founding principle spurred the passage of the federal Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) rule in the 1996 amendment to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
Consumer Confidence Reports, or annual Water Quality Reports, provide consumers with an annual snapshot of the quality of their drinking water, while also providing important information on health risks, treatment methods and other educational materials.
Overall, your utility's Annual Water Quality Reports are meant to help you make informed decisions about the water you drink!
But what happens when your drinking water provider lacks the capacity or know-how to produce effective, meaningful water quality reports for their customers?
Our new report seeks to explore the challenges and opportunities that small NC water systems face when publishing their annual Consumer Confidence Reports.
With the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently in the process of revising the CCR rules, we hope our findings provide a unique insight into not only how the NC Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ) can better assist small, struggling water systems, but how the new federal rules can also be accommodating to the tens of thousands of smaller drinking water providers across the nation.
While our main focus is to provide recommendations to NC DEQ and EPA about helpful tools and resources that can assist small utilities with publishing effective CCRs, the general public may also find this report helpful in:
- ...understanding their rights as a drinking water customer under the federal SDWA
- ...how they can access their annual water quality reports
- ...how the EPA is working to ensure the new rules reflect a greater focus on equity and inclusion for the diverse populations of drinking water customers in the United States
Our new report, "Consumer Confidence Reports: Challenges and Opportunities for Small NC Water Systems" is just one of many resources Clean Water for NC has published to help community members become better informed about the quality of their drinking water.
Check out our resources list below for more tips and tricks to becoming an informed drinking water expert!
- YouTube Video: Understanding Your Drinking Water Utility's Consumer Confidence Report
- Fact Sheet: Annual Water Quality Reports
- Brochure: Types of Water Systems in North Carolina