What Should You Do if You Receive a Drinking Water Notice?

These days, it seems to be becoming more commonplace to hear about water quality issues. Many of us have been notified of a problem in our local area with a dreaded drinking water advisory notice. Unfortunately, deciphering the details can be a little tricky and may leave you unsure of what you should do to ensure that you and your family remain safe. So, here is some guidance on what you need to do if you receive a drinking water notice. unsafe-drinking-water-notice-sign

Water Regulations 

In the United States, the quality of public water systems is regulated by the EPA. The EPA sets the acceptable levels of water contaminants to ensure public safety. It is also required that utility companies regularly monitor water supplies for contaminants and notify all consumers if there is an occasion when the water fails to meet the regulations. While the monitoring schedules can vary according to the county, state, and even utility company, the details of the specific schedule for your area should be detailed with your utility bill. The monitoring process involves sending water samples to a state certified laboratory for analysis and testing. The laboratory will test for a specific range of contaminants that usually includes nitrate, coliform bacteria, arsenic, E.coli and volatile organic chemicals.

In addition to the monitoring, utility companies are also required to keep a record of operations and submit a monthly report that details daily activities and the sampling results.  

A Drinking Water Advisory Notice 

In the event of a contaminant level being found at higher than acceptable quantities, utility companies are required to advise consumers. This is usually in a water quality report that is produced annually and sent to all customers. Unfortunately, this measure is not sufficient in cases where there is a risk to public health. If a dangerous contaminant level is suspected, a drinking water advisory notice is issued. This will be widely advertised, and you may hear about the advisory on local radio and television stations. Each advisory is accompanied by specific instructions detailing what consumers should do to stay safe. This may include measures such as boiling water or in extreme cases sourcing an alternative water source such as filtered or bottled water.  

Ensuring Your Family Stays Safe 

While utility companies are legally obliged to notify consumers of any breaches of the contaminant regulations, this requires a prompt diagnosis of the problem. Since water testing doesn’t happen every minute or every day, it is possible for serious water quality issues to remain undetected for days or even weeks. The only reliable way to ensure that your family stays safe from water quality issues is to install a final barrier of protection. Domestic water treatment devices can provide the reassurance that whatever contaminant issues arise, your family will stay safe. 

If you have concerns about your water quality, you should consult a water treatment specialist. An experienced and fully WQA certified professional technician will not only be able to test your water to determine contaminant levels, but also guide you through the range of treatment devices and systems that are best suited to your specific requirements.

By Terry Reeh, EcoWater Systems of Nebraska. 

With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative.  Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state.  

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