Communities magically get their water from a faucet. People don’t stop to think about what is in their drinking water. People don’t know what safeguards bring safe drinking water to you and your neighbors.
A community generally pulls water from water wells or from a surface water source such as a lake or river. This water may have bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and other sources of contaminants that need to be removed. For more detailed information on contaminants and the types of water filters that remove them, visit our Types of Water Contaminants Removed by Reverse Osmosis page.
Most water systems in the United States are very safe and are monitored for water quality. Each year, the community water system is inspected. The community water supply is required to provide a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) about the quality of the drinking water provided. The CCR report is due on July 1st of each year and is usually mailed out to each water customer. People living in apartments or other types of rentals may need to contact the owner or management company for their rental. Also, you can request a CCR from the water utility directly.
The CCR includes important information about your water quality that you should be aware of. This article will hit the parts of the report that you should pay attention to.
The introduction includes the date and a brief introduction stating how the utility conformed to the EPA rules.
Where doe the water come from? Does the water that the utility decontaminates come from a river or from a lake? This section answers these questions.
This describes the testing performed on the water source. As discussed above, the water source describes where the water sample came from (rivers, lakes, wells, etc). In some cases, this section tells you what types of contaminants could be in the water and where these contaminants come from.
This section describes the contaminants in the drinking water. In many cases, this seems very alarming but keep in mind that they need to spell out all the possible sources of contamination.
This is a very important section because it spells out violations where the water supply did not pass the EPA regulations. Examples may include a contaminate that is above the EPA acceptable level such as a higher level of lead in the water. This section should also show how to fix the problem or how the problem is being addressed.
This section will give an overview about the dangers of lead. Although this is initially alarming, it is included in every report. The information about lead section doesn’t necessarily mean you have lead in your water. See the data table below to verify.
Similar to the lead information section, this section provides info on nitrates if the level is above 5mg/L.
This table describes he contaminants found during testing. An example table is shown below;. (courtesy of the CDC website).