Following in the footsteps of the EPA as several other states have already done, the State of Delaware recently launched a water quality portal where residents can learn more about water quality and water quality issues where they live.
It always pleases us to hear that a State Agency has taken the initiative to help people understand more about the water in their lives and the dangers that may lurk within its composition.
DNREC, Division of Public Health launch water quality website
DOVER (Sept. 7, 2010) – Intent on making information about vital services and resources more accessible to the public, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and Delaware Health and Social Services’ Division of Public Health (DPH) today jointly launched a new drinking water quality website. Delawareans now can find comprehensive drinking water information by visiting www.waterquality.delaware.gov.
The new site provides easy access to drinking water quality data, including water system reports, violation notices, well test information, and the location and status of contaminated sites. An interactive map enables visitors to locate annual water quality reports for public water systems, from which 82 percent of Delawareans get their drinking water. The website, created with help from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, also links to EPA websites and databases.
DPH’s Office of Drinking Water enforces the federal Safe Drinking Water Act by testing public drinking water supplies, reviews water system plans, certifies water system operators, and manages the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, a loan program for infrastructure improvements. DPH regularly monitors 490 public water systems for more than 80 chemical and bacterial contaminants. Private well owners, advised to test their water annually, can learn how to purchase test kits from the Delaware Public Health Laboratory.
DNREC’s Division of Water regulates surface water quality, administers a source protection program, evaluates the location of private and public wells for potential contaminants during well construction, and conducts and oversees groundwater cleanups.
“Protecting and improving water quality is among the most important responsibilities of the State,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “Whether served by a public system, a public well or private well, Delawareans have a right to know that their drinking water is safe and healthy. This new website will serve as an easily accessible one-stop shop where Delawareans can review statewide water quality monitoring data collected by DNREC and Public Health, and learn about the state’s efforts to clean up contaminated ground water sites as we redouble our efforts to improve water quality across the state.”
“Delawareans depend on clean, safe drinking water, using about 101 million gallons daily for drinking, cooking and bathing,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “People deserve to know the quality of the water they drink, and this website compiles helpful information for them.”
“These user-friendly improvements provide timely and localized information on environmental conditions that could impact drinking water sources,” said EPA Region III Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “Delaware’s new electronic efforts coincide with EPA’s ongoing efforts to use the best human resources and cutting-edge technology to keep residents and local communities informed of publicly-available environmental information.”
For more information about drinking water testing, contact the Office of Drinking Water at 302- 741-8630. For information about surface water or groundwater, contact DNREC’s Division of Water at 302-739-9949. ( source )
Not a resident of Delaware but still want to learn more about the quality of the water in your area? Take a look at the resources on the Safe Water Section of the EPA’s web site.
Ways to test my drinking water at home?
While keeping up with water quality issues using the information given on a web site will make it easier to make decisions regarding water treatment options, keeping a closer watch on the quality of the water actually going into your home or office will help you make the most important decisions regarding water treatment options.
Always remember that no matter what an at-home drinking water test kit tells you, if you have reason to suspect risk of contamination of your water supply nothing takes the place of testing performed by a certified drinking water testing laboratory such as National Testing Laboratories.