Water quality tips

One of the best ways to educate yourself about local water quality conditions is to obtain a copy of your community’s Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).

Issued around 1 July each year, these water quality reports provide customers of public and private water utilities with information regarding the source of their local community’s drinking water supply, as well as the quality of the finished drinking water supply.

Most water suppliers have been required to issue CCRs since 1998. Consumers sometimes find the technical information included in these reports difficult to understand. In response, NSF International created a special section on its web site that helps consumers learn more about these reports to help them make informed decisions about their water.

The site covers the following topics:

An Introduction to Consumer Confidence Reports (CCRs)
Understanding Your Report
Common Units of Measurement
Common Abbreviations
How to Interpret the Results on Your Report
Frequently Asked Questions

All water quality reports will contain a phone number to the local water utility, which the consumer can call with questions regarding their local water supply or the type of treatment the water receives. These reports will also include the phone number for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) safe drinking water hotline, which is staffed with individuals that can answer general questions about regulation of public drinking water supplies in the United States.

Consumers with questions regarding drinking water quality in general, including the use of home water treatment devices, can turn to NSF International, a not-for-profit public health and safety organization. NSF evaluates a wide range of consumer products, including pitchers, tap filters and other home water treatment systems, for performance against many different contaminants that can be found in drinking water supplies.

For additional information on a wide array of public health and safety issues, consumers can visit NSF’s Web site or contact NSF’s Consumer Affairs Office (see details below). An audio release on consumer confidence reports is also available. To view drinking water treatment products that have been certified by NSF, visit NSF’s web site and search by product category.

About NSF International
NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, certifies products and writing standards for food, water and consumer goods (www.nsf.org).

Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide.

NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.

Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations, organic certification provided by Quality Assurance International and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education.

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