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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 WaterPublic Water SystemsWhat is a Public Water System?

What is a Public Water System?

A public water system is defined as any publicly or privately-owned system of pipes or other constructed conveyances, structures and facilities through which water is obtained for or sold, furnished or distributed to the public for human consumption, if such system has at least 15 service connections or serves at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year or bottles water for sale. The term "public water system" shall include any collection, treatment, storage or distribution pipes or other constructed conveyances, structures or facilities under the control of the supplier of water and used primarily in connection with such a system, and any collection or pretreatment storage facilities not under that control that are used primarily in connection with such a system. (From the State of Maine Rules Relating to Drinking Water)

This definition means that if you serve water from your own source (well or surface intake) to 25 or more people per day, or have 15 or more service connections, and operate for 60 or more days per year, you are operating a public water system. There are three types of public water systems and each is regulated differently. The three types are:

Community Water System

Community Public Water System:

A public water system which serves at least fifteen service connections used by year-round residents or regularly serves at least 25 year-round residents. (Year- round is defined as permanent residence greater than six months.) Examples include water utilities, mobile home parks, apartment buildings, nursing homes.

Manufactured Housing Communities (PDF)

Nontransient, noncommunity

Non-Transient, Non-Community Public Water System:

A non-community public water system that serves at least 25 of the same persons for six months or more per year. Examples include schools, office buildings, factories.

Transient

Transient Public Water System:

A non-community public water system that serves at least 25 persons, but not necessarily the same persons, for at least 60 days per year. Examples include restaurants, camps and campgrounds, motels and hotels, and golf courses.

Guidebook for Transient Public Water Systems (PDF)

Additional Resources