Field Notes - Five Golden Rules for Consumer Confidence Reports (CCRs)

  1. You MUST report any contaminant that you are REQUIRED to monitor for (be it regulated or unregulated). Your sample schedule is the best resource for this, but keep in mind that not all required monitoring may be indicated on the schedule (i.e. chlorine residual, perchlorate and turbidity)
  2. Only report contaminants that are DETECTED. A detected contaminant is any contaminant observed at or above its minimum laboratory detection limit (MDL). You are not required to include detects between the laboratory method detection limit and the MDL (this means, for example, perchlorate detected below the MDL of 1.0 but above a laboratory method detection limit of 0.3) Do NOT report non-detects.
  3. Only report contaminants detected in the FINISHED water. Do not report any raw water detects. (EXCEPTION - cryptosporidium detected in the raw water must be reported)
  4. When you report your detects, report the range and the HIGHEST NUMBER UPON WHICH COMPLIANCE IS BASED. This could be the number of positive total coliform samples found in one month, the 90th percentile lead value, or the highest running annual average for TTHMs. Whatever compliance with the DEP regulations is based upon is what you report. (Note that for radionuclides the +/- values are not used to determine compliance therefore should not be reported) Appendix E of the guidance document has detailed examples of how to determine the compliance number for many different contaminants groups and monitoring scenarios.
  5. If you did not sample for a contaminant in the past year, and it was detected in the last round of sampling, you must report the MOST RECENT sampling result for that contaminant. (Nitrite is a good example of this) Make sure you include the date that the sample was taken and a statement saying that this is the most recent data available for that contaminant. This is applicable for data up to 5 years old. In the case of a system having a monitoring waiver and not sampling for more than 5 years, refer to the guidance on reporting monitoring waivers.
Source: Recommended Tips for Preparing User Friendly Consumer Confidence Reports, March 5, 2005

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