Sunshine Week: How to find reports on drinking water quality

Saturday , March 18, 2017 - 5:00 AM

LEIA LARSEN, Standard-Examiner Staff

March 12-18 is Sunshine Week, recognized by journalists and nonprofits as a time to focus on and highlight the importance of government transparency. This year, we’re providing how-to guides to explain which records Utahns ought to have access to, according to state laws. These records have a number of critical public-facing purposes, including protecting consumers and preserving civil liberties.

Have questions or want us to investigate a government transparency issue? Email cityed@standard.net or mail your proposal and supporting documents to 332 Standard Way, Ogden, UT 84044.

What is the record?

Every community drinking water system must conduct an annual Consumer Confidence Report detailing water sources and testing results for contaminants like bacteria, lead and arsenic.

What are some ways it’s useful?

The reports tell consumers what’s in their water and possible health effects when there are violations. The reports can also be helpful for sensitive groups with needs beyond federal drinking water standards. 

Where can you get it?

By law, water providers must mail them out to customers and to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality every year by July 1. Systems that serve more than 100,000 people must also make their reports available online, although most cities in Northern Utah post them. The reports are usually found on the public works or water department page, although it might take some digging to find them. Water providers will also provide these reports when requested. 

The Utah State University Extension has built a handy online tool for interpreting water quality test results to help consumers make sense of the report. 

Here are links to the water reports for major cities in Northern Utah.

Ogden City: www.ogdenwater.com/519/Water-Reports

Layton City: www.laytoncity.org/LC/PublicWorks

Bountiful City: www.bountifulutah.gov/Water-Department

Roy City (data not current): www.royutah.org/?page_id=129

Clearfield City: www.clearfieldcity.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=58980&pageId=67804

Kaysville City: www.kaysvillecity.com/departments-services/water

Syracuse City: www.syracuseut.com/Departments/PublicWorks/PublicWorksInfo.aspx

Clinton City (data not current): www.clintoncity.net/2356/Water-Quality-Reports%20(outdated)

Farmington City: www.farmington.utah.gov/departments/public-works/water-department/

Brigham City: www.brighamcity.utah.gov/water-division.htm

North Ogden City: www.northogdencity.com/departments/public-works/culinary-water

South Ogden City (not current): www.southogdencity.com/public_works/brochures

Some of the reports are outdated. To get an updated report, or find contact information for community water systems not listed above, search the online Consumer Confidence Report database compiled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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