EPA Finalizes New Rule Clarifying Public Awareness of Water Quality

EPA Finalizes New Rule Clarifying Public Awareness of Water Quality

The new rule provides easier access and clarity for annual drinking water reports.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new regulation to make annual drinking water quality reports more accessible and understandable for the public. This initiative, set to take effect in 2027, will enhance the clarity of these reports, support translation into various languages and provide more detailed information about lead contamination.

According to a recent release, the EPA's final rule will ensure that water systems serving over 10,000 customers distribute these reports twice annually. Currently, these systems are required to deliver reports only once a year. The rule also encourages electronic delivery methods.

“EPA is taking action today to help ensure that the American public has improved access to information about the drinking water in their communities by strengthening requirements for annual drinking water quality reports,” acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water Bruno Pigott said in a statement. “Today's announcement will ensure these reports are easier to understand and easier to access in additional languages to provide all people with the information they want and need about their water.”

This regulatory update is part of the broader effort under the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, which tasked the EPA with revising the Consumer Confidence Report Rule. These reports, also known as Drinking Water Quality Reports, inform residents about the quality of their local drinking water and any contaminants present. The new rule includes a reporting requirement that mandates states to submit compliance monitoring data annually to the EPA. 

In improving these reports, the EPA aims to support the Safe Drinking Water Act's "right-to-know" provisions, enabling the public to make better decisions in general.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor for Environmental Protection.