What You Need
What contaminants may be found in drinking water? . . .
Where does drinking water come from? . . . How is
drinking water treated? . . . What if I have special health
needs? . . . What are the health effects of contaminants
in drinking water? . . . Who is responsible for drinking
water quality? . . . What is a violation of a drinking water
standard? . . . How can I help protect drinking water?
Office of Water
Washington, DC 20460
The United States has one of the safest water supplies in the world.
However, national statistics don’t tell you specifically about the quality
and safety of the water coming out of your tap. That’s because drinking
water quality varies from place to place, depending on the condition of
the source water from which it is drawn and the treatment it receives.
Now you have a new way to find information about your drinking
water, if it comes from a public water supplier (EPA doesn’t regulate
private wells, but recommends that well owners have their water tested
annually). Starting in 1999, every community water supplier must
provide an annual report (sometimes called a consumer confidence
report) to its customers. The report provides information on your local
drinking water quality, including the water’s source, the contaminants
found in the water, and how consumers can get involved in protecting
drinking water. If you have been looking for specific information about
your drinking water, this annual report will provide you with the
information you need to begin your investigation.
These annual reports will by necessity be short documents. You may
want more information, or have more questions. One place you can go
is to your water supplier, who is best equipped to answer questions
about your specific water supply. This booklet will help you find other
sources of information.
At the end of this booklet there is a postcard with a listing of free