Water

Understanding Drinking Water

Although water covers about 70 percent of the Earth, less than 1 percent is available as freshwater for human use. The drinking water that is supplied to homes comes from either surface water or ground water. Surface water collects in streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Ground water is water located below the ground where it collects in pores and spaces within rocks and in underground aquifers. We obtain ground water by drilling wells and pumping it to the surface.

A private well uses ground water as its water source. Owners of private wells and other individual water systems are responsible for ensuring that their water is safe from contaminants. For more information on private wells visit Private Wells page.

Public Water Systems provide water from surface and ground water for public use. Surface water systems withdraw water from the source, treat it, and deliver it to our homes. Frequency of drinking water testing depends on the number of people served, the type of water source, and types of contaminants. To find out about levels of regulated contaminants in your treated water for the preceding calendar year, consult your annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) or the Drinking Water Watch, which can be searched by county or several other parameters.