DPH: Public Notice Rule

Public Notice Rule

Overview of the Public Notification Rule

Public notification is intended to ensure that consumers will always know if there is a problem with their drinking water. Public water systems must notify the people who drink their water if the level of a contaminant in the water exceeds Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and/or Connecticut Drinking Water Regulations; if there is a waterborne disease outbreak or any other situation that may pose a risk to public health; if the water system fails to test its water as required; or if the system has a variance or exemption from the regulations. Depending on the severity of the situation, water suppliers have from 24 hours to one year to notify their customers. EPA sets strict requirements on the form, manner, content, and frequency of public notices.

Public notification is provided in addition to the annual water quality report (consumer confidence report, or CCR), which provides customers with a more complete picture of drinking water quality and system operations. The annual CCR tells consumers what's in their water, where it comes from, and where they can obtain additional information.

Public Notification Tiers

The 3 Tiers of Public Notification

Notice Type

Required Distribution*

Violations and Situations Requiring Notice

Notification Delivery Methods (one or more)

Tier 1

24 hours

  • Acute Total Coliform (E.coli./Fecal Coliform) maximum contaminant level (MCL) Violation

  •  Ground Water Source Sample Positive for Fecal Indicators (E.coli)

  • Nitrate, nitrite or total nitrate and nitrite MCL Violations

  • Chlorine Dioxide maximum residual disinfectant level (MRDL) violation

  • Turbidity MCL Violation under RCSA 19-13-B102(e)(7)(H)(ii) and 19-13-B102(j)(2)(D)

  • Turbidity MCL Violation under 19-13-B102(j)(4)

  • Occurrence of a waterborne disease outbreak

  • Any chemical listed in RCSA 19-13-B102(e)(2) to 19-13-B102(e)(4) found at a level that is determined to have serious adverse effects on human health as a result of short term exposure based on available scientific and epidemiological findings

  1. Appropriate broadcast media, such as radio and television;

  2. Posting of the notice in conspicuous location(s) throughout the area served by the public water system;

  3. Hand delivery of the notice to persons served by the public water system; or

  4. Another delivery method approved in writing by the department.

Tier 2

30 days

  • MCL, MRDL and treatment technique violations except where a Tier 1 notice is required

  • Total coliform, nitrate, nitrite, total nitrate and nitrite and chlorine dioxide monitoring violations

  • Terms and conditions of any variance, consent order, consent agreement or exemption in place

  1. Mail or other direct delivery to each customer receiving a bill and to other service connections to which water is delivered by the system; and publication in a local newspaper or newsletter;
  2. Posting the notice in conspicuous locations throughout the distribution system and frequented by persons served by the system; or
  3. Any other delivery method approved in writing by the department.

Tier 3

One year

  • Violation of a monitoring requirement, except where a Tier 1 or Tier 2 notice is required

  • Violation of a testing requirement, except where a Tier 1 or Tier 2 notice is required

  • Operated under an administrative order, variance, or an exemption

  • Failed to provide the notice of the availability of unregulated contaminant monitoring results, as required under 40 CFR 141.207

  • Exceeded the fluoride secondary maximum contaminant level (SMCL)

  1. Mail or other direct delivery to each customer receiving a bill and to other service connections to which water is delivered by the system; and

  2. Publication in a local newspaper or newsletter; or

  3. Posting the notice in conspicuous locations throughout the distribution system frequented by persons served by the system; or

  4. Any other delivery method approved in writing by the department.

* Requirement starts when the public water system learns of the violation or situation

Ten Required Elements of a Public Notice

  1. A description of the violation or situation, including the contaminant(s) of concern, and when applicable the contaminant level(s);
  2. Any potential adverse health effects from the violation or situation, including, but not limited to, any applicable standard language required by 40 CFR 141.205 as amended from time to time;
  3. The population at risk, including any subpopulation particularly vulnerable if exposed to the contaminant in their drinking water;
  4. What the system is doing to correct the violation or situation;
  5. Whether alternative water supplies should be used;
  6. What action the consumer should take, including when the consumer should seek medical help, if known;
  7. The name, business address, and the telephone number of the owner, operator or designee of the public water system as a source of additional information concerning the notice;
  8. When the violation or situation occurred;
  9. When the water system expects to return to compliance or resolve the situation; and
  10. A statement to encourage the recipient of notice to distribute the public notice to other persons served

Public Notification Templates

The following templates have been designed to assist public water systems with maintaining compliance with public notification requirements. When properly completed, the templates contain the ten required elements of a public notification. A public water system may develop its own notice as long as the content requirements are met.   

Tier 1 Public Notification Templates

Tier 2 Public Notification Templates

Tier 3 Public Notification Templates

Certification of Compliance

Submittal
For electronic submittal of public notices use the following e-mail address: DPHPNCoordinator@ct.gov




Content Last Modified on 12/7/2015 9:10:34 AM