Consumer Confidence Reports (CCRs), which can be called an annual water quality report or a drinking water quality report, provide information on your local drinking water quality. Every community water supplier must provide an annual report by July 1 of each year to its customers, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Consumer Confidence Report Rule. You may receive this by mail or electronically.
Most public water suppliers are required to provide CCRs annually to their customers. People who do not pay their own water bills, such as those who live in apartments or condos or rent houses, may need to contact a building manager for more information or check online to see if their CCR has been posted.
People who get their water from a private ground water well do not receive CCRs. Unlike public water systems, private wells are not regulated by EPA so there is no requirement for a CCR.
EPA Webinar on CCR Electronic Distribution
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. The powerpoint presentation appears below.
State drinking water programs may now offer new delivery methods to their water systems that still meet the requirements of the CCR rule. In additional to traditional paper delivery, utilities may now offer an electronic delivery option. Utilities may notify bill paying customers that they can access their annual CCR via a direct URL; send the CCR as an email attachment; or embed the CCR in an email sent to those customers for whom the utility has an active email address.
In planning a new delivery strategy, drinking water utilities should:
- Check first with your primacy agency to make sure that your approach meets both state and Federal requirements;
- Research your customers’ access to electronic technologies and their interest in receiving their CCR electronically (be sure to include an opt out message with all notices about the change);
- Make sure that your electronic strategy still reaches all bill paying customers and includes appropriate ‘good faith’ efforts.
Don’t forget about appropriate certification and record keeping requirements – these also apply to electronic distribution.