Public Notification Rule

Compliance with the Public Notice rule is required by the Public Water Supply Rules and the Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM 17.38.239) which adopts by reference The Public Notification Rule 40 CFR 141, subpart Q.

Public notification is designed to protect public health. As a public water supplier, you are required by law to prepare and distribute public notification to consumers. One of the best ways water systems can contribute to community health is to make sure as many people as possible within a service area know about water quality issues and how to protect themselves from potential risks. Public notification of drinking water violations and other situations provides a way to educate the public, protect public health, build trust with consumers through open and honest sharing of information, and establish an ongoing, positive relationship with your community. The greater the effort your water system makes to reach and inform everyone in your service area on your system, the more they will trust your commitment to delivering safe water and protecting public health.

Public Notification Tools

  • PNI Writer
  • EPA’s PN Quick Reference
  • Revised Public Notification Handbook
  • Public Notice Templates (Word Versions of Public Notices and Instructions)
  • EPA’s Public Notification Website
  • Certification Form

Tier 1 (Immediate Notice, Within 24 Hours)

Notice as soon as practical or within 24 hours via radio, TV, hand delivery, posting, or other method specified by primacy agency, along with other methods if needed to reach persons served. PWSs must also initiate consultation with primacy agency within 24 hours. Primacy agency may establish additional requirements during consultation.

Tier 2 (Notice as Soon as Possible, Within 30 Days)

Notice as soon as practical or within 30 days. Repeat notice every three months until violation is resolved. CWSs: Notice via mail or direct delivery. NCWSs: Notice via posting, direct delivery, or mail. Primacy agencies may permit alternate methods. All PWSs must use additional delivery methods reasonably calculated to reach other consumers not notified by the first method.

Tier 3 (Annual Notice)

Notice within 12 months; repeated annually for unresolved violations. Notices for individual violations can be combined into an annual notice (including the CCR, if public notification requirements can still be met). CWSs: Notice via mail or direct delivery. NCWSs: Notice via posting, direct delivery, or mail. Primacy agencies may permit alternate methods. All PWSs must use additional delivery methods reasonably calculated to reach other consumers not notified by the first method.

Reporting (10 Days) and Record Keeping (3 Years)

PWSs have ten days to send a certification of compliance and a copy of the completed notice to the primacy agency. PWSs must keep notices on file for three years.

Example

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER

Monitoring Requirements Not Met for DEQ PWS

Over the past year our water system failed to conduct all required monitoring.

Even though this was not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what happened and what we did to correct the situation. We are required to monitor your drinking water for specific contaminants on a regular basis. Results of regular monitoring are an indicator of whether or not our drinking water meets health standards. During August 2009 we did not complete all required monitoring or did not test according to required methods for total coliforms and, therefore, cannot be sure of the quality of our drinking water during that time.

We failed to monitor for our routine total coliform samples. We were required to take 2 samples and we collected 0 samples for August 2009.

What should I do?

  • There is nothing you need to do at this time.
  • If you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor.

What does this mean?

This is not an immediate risk. If it had been, you would have been notified immediately.

What is being done?

We took 2 routine total coliform samples 9/1/09.

We will collect all required samples by September 01, 2009. For more information, please contact Rule Manager at (406) 444-4400 or DEQ PWS Helena, MT 59601.

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

This notice is being sent to you by DEQ PWS.
State Water System ID#: MT0000001.

Date distributed: 9/1/2009.

Questions

Contact the appropriate Rule Manager for Assistance, or call DEQ PWS at (406) 444-4400.