Understanding Lab Results
The Testing Results
EMSL Analytical, Inc.’s reports are cost-effective, informative, easy to understand, first step in assessing basic water quality. If contaminants are detected, a more thorough investigation may be warranted to determine the source and possible mitigation of the contamination.
This informational water quality testing report compares your sample results to national standards that are defined within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Primary and Secondary Drinking Water Regulations. Federal public health goals as well as state, county, municipal, and local health department regulations may recommend stricter standards for the same target contaminant. These entities may not utilize “softer” standards than the EPA.
Assessing Your Public Water System
The most effective starting point when learning about your public drinking water system is typically through
your local health and/or planning department. Other options may include:
• Public water supplies are required by the EPA to share information about their drinking water supply with its customers.
• Call your local water supplier in order to learn about where your water comes from and ask for information about its quality.
• Contact your local community officials, who are a good source for more information about drinking water and their local
efforts to maintain an abundance of safe water.
• State drinking water programs can offer information about its drinking water supplies.
In addition, public water systems are required by the EPA to issue annual drinking water quality reports to its consumers. The reports are often referred to as “Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR)” or “Annual Water Quality Reports”. Each year, the reports must be distributed to consumers by July 1st and should normally arrive with your water bill.
The EPA’s Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR) must provide the consumer with the following information about their drinking water:
Summary of susceptibility of contamination
How to get a copy of the source water assessment
Level/range of any detected contaminants
Likely source of any contamination detected
Potential health effects of contamination detected & actions to correct
Compliance with water-related rules
Education regarding contaminants of special concern
Phone numbers for additional sources of information
Click here to view your EPA Consumer Confidence Reports.
Assessing your Private Water System
• Contact your local health department sanitarian and/or local agricultural agents.
• The state agency that licenses water contractors can provide information on well construction and protection.
• Your local water well contractors can provide information about well drilling and construction.
• Call the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.