Final Consumer Confidence Report Rule Announced

Water systems across the country are preparing to publish their annual Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR) prior to the July 1 annual deadline. Two annual CCRs will be required beginning in 2027 under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) final revised CCR rule. Objectives of the upcoming changes are to make the annual drinking water quality reports more accessible and easier for water customers to understand.

Starting in 2027, the revised rule requires a summary section “displayed prominently at the beginning of the report” that includes an overview of violations and compliance information for the water system, how to request a paper copy of the CCR, and how to obtain translation or language assistance. 

The rule revisions aim to ensure CCRs are easier to read and support access to translations in appropriate languages while enhancing information about lead in drinking water. Specifically, for “water systems serving communities with a large proportion of consumers with limited English proficiency” as determined by the primacy agency, the CCR must inform consumers about where they can read a translated copy or access assistance in the appropriate language. Water systems serving a population of greater than 100,000 will also be required to develop a plan on how to address this issue. State primacy agencies will be required to provide technical assistance to meet the language requirements. USEPA will provide CCR templates and translated mandatory CCR language in multiple languages to assist in this requirement.  

USEPA is also taking steps to streamline the delivery of reports by encouraging electronic methods. Providing notice via mail or email that the report is available with a direct link to the CCR remains a valid method of direct delivery, and primacy agencies may approve other methods. The threshold for requiring water systems to post the CCR on a public website is being revised to apply to all systems serving at least 50,000 persons.  

Water systems are currently required to provide annual drinking water reports to customers each year.  Systems serving more than 10,000 customers will be required to distribute reports twice per year beginning in 2027. The first compliance date will be Jan. 1, 2027, meaning that updated CCR content and processes will be due July 1, 2027, and no later than December 31, 2027 for the second CCR. The second CCR of the year can be the same content published by July 1 unless the public water system had a new action level exceedance, violation, or Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) data that arrived between January and June that didn’t make it into the earlier CCR.

The revised rule introduces a new reporting requirement that will provide USEPA with better information to make decisions on oversight, enforcement, regulatory revisions, and training and technical assistance. It requires States or primacy agencies to submit compliance monitoring data received from public water systems to USEPA annually, and it also requires water systems to certify delivery of the CCR has been completed within 10 days of the delivery deadline.  

The final revised CCR rule becomes effective on June 24, 2024. If you have questions about the final CCR rule requirements, contact Nate Weisenburger, AE2S Drinking Water Practice Leader.