Division of Environmental and Community Health

Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention

A Division of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services

DHHSMeCDCEnvironmental and Community HealthDrinking WaterDrinking Water ConsumersConsumer Confidence Reports

Consumer Confidence Reports

Page Index

Rule Requirements

Electronic Form

Mailing Waiver

Electronic Distribution

CCRs as Public Relations Tools

CCR Compliance

Additional Resources

The Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) is an annual water quality report that includes practical information about consumers' drinking water, based on their water system's current conditions. It provides educational materials that allow consumers to make informed decisions about any potential health risks related to the quality, treatment, and management of their drinking water supply.

On September 18, 1998, the Consumer Confidence Report requirement of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act became law. Consequently, the Drinking Water Program (DWP) must require that all Community water systems produce and distribute an annual water quality report for their customers. A Community water system is defined as: "a public water system which serves at least fifteen service connections or at least 25 year-round residents (e.g., municipal water utilities, mobile home parks, apartment complexes)."


CCR Rule Requirements

Reports must be delivered to customers by July 1st each year.

CCRs must include the following information. The DWP reviews CCRs for these critical elements.

  • Water System Information: Name/phone number of a contact person.
  • Source(s) of Water: Description of the source of drinking water, e.g., lake name or well location.
  • Definitions:
    • Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL);
    • MCL Goal (MCLG);
    • Treatment Technique (TT);
    • Action Level (AL);
    • Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL);
    • MRDL Goal (MRDLG);
    • Level 1 Assessments (L1A);
    • Level 2 Assessments (L2A);
    • Variances and Exceptions.
  • Detected Contaminants: A table summarizing reported concentrations and relevant MCLs, MCLGs, etc.; known sources of detected contaminants; health effects language.
  • Information on Monitoring for Cryptosporidium, Radon, and Other Contaminants (if detected).
  • Compliance with Other Drinking Water Regulations: Any violations and Ground Water Rule special notices, requirements to perform Level 1 or 2 assessments not due to an E. coli MCL.
  • Variance and Exemptions (if applicable).
  • Required Educational Information: Explanation of contaminants in drinking water and bottled water; information to vulnerable populations about Cryptosporidium; statements on nitrate, arsenic, and lead.

Optional CCR Information:

  • An explanation of the water treatment processes.
  • Source water protection efforts and/or water conservation tips.
  • Costs of making the water safe to drink.
  • Statement from the general manager.
  • Information to educate consumers about taste and odor issues, collaborations or partnerships, opportunities for public participation, etc.

Multilingual Requirements

Water systems that have a large proportion of non-English speaking residents must include information in the appropriate language(s) indicating the importance of the CCR, or a phone number or address where residents may contact the water systems for a translated copy of the CCR or assistance in the appropriate language.

Additional resources for drinking water system owners and operators are available on EPA's Consumer Confidence Report website to assist in complying with requirements of the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) rule.

EPA CCR Quick Reference Guide (PDF)


CCR Electronic Form

Fillable PDF is a helpful, time-saving tool.

To simplify the CCR, the DWP has developed an auto-generated form with data specific to your water system already filled-in. When you enter your PWSID# in the box provided, a fillable form (in pdf format) is generated based on your water system's water tests results from the previous year. Please note: There are still areas within the form that need to be populated before the CCR is complete.

The 'auto-generated' CCR can be accessed by clicking here.


Mailing Waiver for Public Water Systems

Systems meeting the requirements below may request a waiver from direct delivery to all bill-paying customers by publishing the entire CCR in local newspapers and informing customers prior to the publication. Systems must submit a request in writing to the DWP, and approval must be granted, before the PWS may proceed with public notifications in this manner.

To be eligible for the Mailing Waiver, a public water system must:

  • Serve a population fewer than 10,000 persons;
  • Have no outstanding violations; and
  • Have no detections of a regulated contaminant above 50% of the MCL


Electronic Distribution

Options for delivering CCR to customers electronically:

  • Posting CCR on a website. Systems must provide customers with a short URL (web address) that links directly to the CCR.
  • Attach CCR to an e-mail.
  • Insert CCR into the body of an e-mail.

Community water systems that opt for electronic distribution must adhere to the following requirements:

  • Water systems must inform consumers that a hard (paper) copy will not be provided unless requested.
  • Systems may notify customers of the availability of the CCR online by mail. However, this notice must be included on every mailing (a statement on water bills, for example).
  • Emails used for CCR distribution – either as an attachment or within the body of the email – must state that paper copies will be provided upon request.
  • Systems must automatically send a paper copy to the intended recipients of any emails that are kicked-back or otherwise 'undeliverable'.
  • Systems must send a paper copy to any consumers for whom no e-mail address is recorded.
  • Systems with auto-bill and auto-pay customers must send a dedicated e-mail to inform those customers of the availability of the CCR each year.

Practices that do not meet the CCR distribution requirements include:

  • Providing customers with a web address (URL) from which additional navigation (clicks) is necessary to locate the CCR. Access to the CCR must be a direct link.
  • Using social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
  • Employing automated phone calls as a means of providing customer notification.

Certification for Electronic Delivery

Community public water systems that opt to use an electronic delivery method must provide the DWP with the CCR's web address (URL) and a copy of the notification that was provided to customers. If the CCR was distributed by e-mail, the system must provide a copy of the e-mail containing the CCR attachment or embedded CCR. In all cases, the system must provide a statement that paper copies were delivered upon request or to persons without e-mail


CCRs as Public Relations Tools

Water systems have an opportunity to use the CCR as a positive public relations tool and describe the good things their water system does.

Communication Tips

  • Be consistent, simple, truthful, and straightforward with your message. Avoid acronyms, initials, and jargon.
  • Provide links to useful information.
  • Don't be wordy – write short sentences and keep paragraphs short.
  • Assume that consumers will only read the top half of the notice or what can be read in 10 seconds.
  • Have important elements in bold and/or large type in the top half of the notice.
  • Do not make your text too small.
  • Use graphics, photos, maps, and drawings to illustrate your message.
  • Consider printing CCR on recycled paper or take other steps to make your CCR "environmentally friendly."
  • Use the CCR as an opportunity to tell your customers about all of the things you are doing well.


CCR Compliance

Important: Every year there are two dates in particular to remember.

  1. July 1st: Copies of the previous year's CCR must be distributed by this date. Per CCR rules, distribution includes all persons served by the water system and the DWP.
  2. October 1st: Written certification that the CCR has been distributed and that the information is correct must be received at the DWP by this date.


Additional Resources

Updated 4/4/2023