Sanitary Survey Field Reference Guides

The purpose of a sanitary survey is to review a public water system (PWS) source, facilities, equipment, operation and maintenance to evaluate the adequacy of these elements for producing and distributing safe drinking water. These elements provide multiple barriers for the protection of public water supplies.

Below are resources for conducting a sanitary survey.

In order to provide information about the Ground Water Rule (GWR) in multiple ways to help states implement and systems comply, EPA prepared an article series that summarizes key components of the GWR.  There are 5 articles in the series.  The first introductory article outlines the series content and covers basics of the rule.  The other articles in the series cover triggered monitoring, compliance monitoring, sanitary surveys and corrective action, and Public Notice and CCR. The articles are meant to be shared by EPA’s partners.  States can publish these articles in their own newsletters or include in special mailings to water systems.

  1. GWR 1 Introduction
  2. GWR 2 Triggered and Additional Source Water Monitoring
  3. GWR 3 Compliance Monitoring
  4. GWR 4 Sanitary Survey Corrective Action
  5. GWR 5 Consumer Confidence Report, Public Notification, and Special Notice

Consumer Confidence Report Rule

On January 17, EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water hosted a two hour webinar to go over the new flexibilities in how CCRs (consumer confidence reports) can be delivered electronically and how those flexibilities should be considered within the context of the original Consumer Confidence Report rule.

Inactivation Disinfection

On October 10, 2012 EPA conducted a webinar about microbial inactivation by disinfection.  Contact Mike Finn of EPA for more information.

Water Loss Control

On January 26, 2012 EPA conducted a webinar about water loss control, with a focus on water audits and the tools and methods to conduct water audits. Contact Mike Finn of EPA for more information.

Membrane Filtration

On February 17, 2010 EPA conducted a webinar to help assist Membrane Filtration report reviewers in complying with LT2 and/or GWR. Contact Mike Finn of EPA for more information.

Ultra Violet Disinfection

On March 8, 2011 EPA conducted a webinar to help assist UV Validation report reviewers in complying with LT2 and/or GWR.  Contact Mike Finn of EPA for more information.

Consecutive Systems

On November 5, 2009 EPA conducted a webinar covering issues for consecutive systems as they attempt to achieve and maintain compliance with the Groundwater Rule, LT2ESWTR and Stage 2 DBP. The webinar described how monitoring worked for consecutive systems under these rules and the special communications issues faced by consecutive systems under these rules.

Every water system may at some point have to issue an advisory to their customers about some problem or potential problem in their water system. Certainly every state will have to assist a water system as they prepare and issue an advisory to their customers. So, states have an interest in assuring that the right message gets to the right audience and that the whole process runs smoothly. Representatives from CDC, EPA, AWWA, ASTHO, NEHA, and ASDWA worked over the last couple years to develop a “toolbox” as a resource for anyone that might need to issue an advisory – that’s all of us! The toolbox is now available and this webinar will cover the basic tools, how they were developed, and how they can be used.

What is the Toolbox? 

This Toolbox provides a protocol and practical guide for communicating with stakeholders and the public about water advisories that is based upon research and identified practices. The Toolbox focuses on water systems and addresses the spectrum of situations that generate drinking water advisories.

Where can I download the tool box?

Webinar for States on the Drinking Water Advisory Toolbox

The following webinar was recorded on February 14, 2012.  Slides from the presentations can be downloaded below.


Alan Roberson, Dir. of Federal Relations – AWWA, Washington, DC

Jeanne Bailey, Public Affairs Officer – Fairfax Water, Fairfax, VA

Lisa Ragain, Principal – Aqua Vitae, Arlington, VA

Drinking Water Advisory Communication Tool Box Webinar – Slides

EPA Links to Specific Rules/Rule Group Pages

EPA’s Regulation and Guidance Page


Chemical Rules

Consumer Confidence Report

Lead and Copper

Surface Water Treatment Rules

Ground Water Rule

DBP Rules

Public Notification


Revised Total Coliform Rule

Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring

Water Supply Guidance Documents