Annual Drinking
Water Reports

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requiring water suppliers to put annual drinking water quality reports into the hands of their customers. These Consumer Confidence Reports will enable Americans to make practical, knowledgeable decisions about their health and their environment.

EPA developed this rule in consultation with water suppliers, local governments, environmental groups, risk communication experts, and others during many public meetings in 1996 and 1997. The Consumer Confidence Report (Drinking Water Report) is the centerpiece of many provisions adopted in the 1996 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act to give consumers more information on their drinking water and unprecedented opportunities to get involved in protecting it.

The Drinking Water Reports include the following information:

  • the lake, river, aquifer, or other source of the drinking water;
  • a brief summary of the susceptibility to contamination of the local drinking water source, based on the source water assessments that states are completing over the next five years;
  • how to get a copy of the water system's complete source water assessment;
  • the level (or range of levels) of any contaminant found in local drinking water, as well as EPA's health-based standard (maximum contaminant level) for comparison;
  • the potential health effects of any contaminant detected in violation of an EPA health standard, and an accounting of the system's actions to restore safe drinking water; information about how vulnerable populations can avoid Cryptosporidium.
  • the water system's compliance with other drinking water-related rules;
  • an educational statement for vulnerable populations about avoiding Cryptosporidium;
  • educational information on nitrate, arsenic, or lead in areas where these contaminants are detected above 50% of EPA's standard; and
  • phone numbers of additional sources of information, including the water system and EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

All community public water systems must distribute their Annual Drinking Water Report and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources must receive a copy of their report no later than July 1st.

Drinking Water Report Certification of Distribution.

The Drinking Water Reports include the following information:

The Consumer Confidence Rule requires water suppliers to mail or otherwise directly deliver the CCR to each bill-paying customer. In January 2013, EPA issued new guidance about what electronic methods meet the definition of direct delivery. Here are the new methods that EPA will accept as a form of direct delivery and a description of each method.

  • Mail - notification that CCR is available on website:A water system mails to each bill-paying customer a notification that the CCR is available and provides a direct URL to the CCR where it can be viewed. The mail method for the notification may be, but is not limited to a water bill insert, statement on the water bill or community newsletter.
  • Email - direct URL to CCR:A water system emails a direct URL to the CCR on a publicly available site on the internet.
  • Email - CCR sent as an attachment to the email: A water system emails the CCR as an electronic file email attachment such as an Adobe PDF.
  • Email - CCR sent as an embedded image in an email: A water system emails the CCR text and tables inserted into the body of an email (not as an attachment.)

If a water system is aware of a customer's inability to receive a CCR electronically, a paper copy must be provided.

Water systems are not allowed to use social media such as Twitter or Facebook since these are membership Internet outlets and would require a customer to join the website to read their CCR. Water systems cannot use automatic telephone dialers to distribute CCRs because the entire content of the CCR cannot be provided.

In addition to electronic delivery, EPA accepts mail or hand delivery of CCRs as forms of acceptable delivery.

To view EPA's CCR Delivery Options and their slide show presentation follow these links:

South Dakota's Drinking Water Report

The state of South Dakota prepares an Annual Drinking Water Report for all community public water systems throughout the state. If your system has had no violations for the previous year and is not served by another water system, your water system can use the report generated by the state to distribute to their customers. A copy of your water system's latest report can be found on our web page by selecting the Your Water System Information screen. Your water system should be contacted if you have questions or comments about your Annual Drinking Water Report.

A copy of your current report as submitted to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, can be found on the Your Water System Information screen. For more information on the Consumer Confidence Report Rule, contact Mitch Williams in the Drinking Water Program or phone (605) 773-3754.