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Q. How can I find out more about my drinking water quality?
A. Public water supply customers can contact their local utility and request a copy of the Annual Water Quality Report (or Consumer Confidence Report). This report is a summary of the water test results obtained by the utility for the previous year. This report lists the following:

  • The name of the contaminant(s) that were detected
  • The range or average amount of each contaminant that was detected
  • The MCL or Maximum Contaminant Level established by state or federal law for that contaminant
  • The potential source of each contaminant

Q.What is a Maximum Contaminant Level? How does that differ from a Maximum Contaminant Level Goal?
A. The Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) is the maximum amount of a particular contaminant that is allowed in a public drinking water. Water suppliers must notify their customers if a contaminant exceeds the MCL.

The Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) is the level of a contaminant in drinking water at which there is no known or anticipated health threat from that contaminant to a person who consumes the water.

Q. Where does lead come from in my drinking water?
A. Most lead in drinking water supplies leaches from the plumbing in our homes, including lead service lines, lead-based solder (used to join copper plumbing), and faucets. To reduce your exposure to lead, make sure to flush your pipes for several seconds before using the water for drinking or cooking.

Q. Where can I obtain further information on the health effects of contaminants that may be harmful to me?
A. You can contact your local or state public health department, personal physician, or the EPA's safe drinking water hotline at (800) 426-4791 for further information on the health effects and potential sources of the various contaminants found in drinking water supplies.

Q. Where can I find out more information about home water treatment devices?
A. NSF International is the leading not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization that tests home water treatment products on the market today. NSF evaluates water treatment devices to ensure the following:

  • The product meets structural integrity requirements
  • The product is constructed of materials which do not leach harmful contaminants into the water being treated
  • The product does reduce the contaminants claimed by the manufacturer
  • To assist consumers in obtaining a better understanding of these devices, NSF provides online information in the drinking water section of its consumer Web site, nsf.org.