Public Drinking Water Branch

2001 Annual Compliance Report of Missouri Drinking Water Systems

Introduction

Public Water System Annual Compliance Report Shows Reduction in the Number of Violations in Most Categories

The Annual Compliance Report of Missouri Drinking Water Systems for 2001, published by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR), is now available. The report, compiled by the Public Drinking Water Program, describes the extent of violations by Missouri public water systems during 2001.


The 2001 Annual Compliance Report

This report covers Missouri’s 2,759 public water systems. Overall, the violations by Missouri’s public water systems were down from 2000. Every category of monitoring violation showed improvement which means we know more about the quality of the drinking water than in past years. In one instance there was a significant increase in violations. This was for the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) under the Total Coliform Rule where each month water systems test for total coliform bacteria as an indicator of potential contamination. In this case, the increase is due to a more sensitive laboratory test rather than any increase in actual contamination over prior years. In fact, the cases where fecal contamination was confirmed, resulting in an acute MCL violation, were also down for the year. In spite of the increase in this MCL category. of the nearly 4.8 million Missourians served by community public drinking water systems, 94.6 percent still received drinking water that met all maximum contaminant level (MCL) standards in 2001. The MCL is the level of a specified contaminant that cannot be exceeded without compromising public health.

The majority of violations were for failure to meet the monitoring requirements of the Total Coliform Rule. Total coliform bacteria serve as an indicator that disease-causing organisms may be present. All public water systems in the state must test for this type of bacteria every month they dispense water to the public.

Many public water systems perform testing beyond that required by the state. A public water system, by definition, provides water for human consumption to at least 15 service connections or serves an average of 25 people for at least 60 days each year. County sanitarians and the Missouri Department Missouri Department of Health, rather than the Department of Natural Resources facilitate water testing at systems serving fewer people than this.

There are three basic types of public water systems. The first is a community system, where people live and consume the water on a daily basis. A community system could serve the residents of a large city, rural water district, or a small mobile home park or subdivision. The second is a non-transient, non-community system, such as a school or factory, where people drink the water on a daily basis, but do not reside there. The third is a transient, non-community system, such as a restaurant, resort or campground that would not be a regular source of drinking water for most of its pass-through customers.

The Annual Compliance Report lists all systems with MCL violations and chronic monitoring violators of the Total Coliform Rule. A number of systems missed collecting samples for one or two months; few systems missed sampling for three or more months. Only 120, or 4.3 percent of Missouri systems were listed as Significant Noncompliers for 2001.

For all violations, public water systems are required to notify their customers long before the department issues the Annual Compliance report and community systems send out their Consumer Confidence Report. The method of notification varies by the violation and system type. Water suppliers must then report back to the department how the public notice was done and provide a copy for the system's file. The department works closely with public water systems to help them remain or return to compliance in a timely manner when problems are found.

The following table summarizes the violation statistics from the 2001 Annual Compliance Report.

Contaminant Group/Rule Type of Violation Number of Violations Number of Systems with Violations
Organic Chemicals Monitoring 42 2
Organic Chemicals MCL * 0 0
Trihalomethanes Monitoring 0 0
Trihalomethanes MCL * 0 0
Inorganic Contaminants Monitoring 22 2
Inorganic Contaminants MCL * 6 2
Nitrate Monitoring 21 21
Nitrate MCL * 3 3
Radionuclides Monitoring 24 24
Radionuclides MCL * 9 9
Total Coliform Rule Monitoring 983 562
Total Coliform Rule MCL * 745 467
Surface Water Treatment Monitoring 0 0
Surface Water Treatment Treatment 16 10
Lead and Copper Monitoring 21 20
Lead and Copper Treatment 0 0
Consumer Confidence Report Reporting 128 128
* MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level

You can receive a copy of the 2001 Annual Compliance Report of Missouri Public Drinking Water Systems by accessing the 2001 Annual Compliance Report or by writing to the address at the bottom of this page, or call 800-361-4827 or 573-751-5331.