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Monitoring Summary

The monitoring summary is a document put together each year by the Drinking Water Program staff that outlines the sampling, inspection, and reporting requirements for a Public Water System (PWS). The monitoring summary is a helpful planning tool for PWSs to identify samples and other requirements that need to be completed within a given year to help stay in compliance with Drinking Water Regulations.

Annual Informational Flyer

Each monitoring summary is sent directly to the PWS via email or mail along with an informational flyer (below) detailing additional reminders for the upcoming year. The monitoring summary can also be accessed electronically on the Drinking Water Watch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get an electronic copy of my monitoring summary?

Copies of your monitoring summary are available on the Drinking Water Watch. If you are unsure where to find this on the Drinking Water Watch, refer to the Navigating the Monitoring Summary information webpage.

What kind of information does a monitoring summary include?

The monitoring summary lists what contaminants need to be sampled and where the sample should be collected. It also includes information on when the Sanitary Survey is due along with other requirements such as the Consumer Confidence Report or follow up actions on Sanitary Survey deficiencies.

Once I have received my monitoring summary, what now?

Once you have received your monitoring summary a few planning techniques to implement include the following:

  • Post the monitoring summary on the wall in the water plant or office.
  • Sample as early as possible.
  • Consider employing other reminder schedule tools such as writing down in your calendar days to sample or establishing email reminders.
  • Budget the amount of money you will need each year to sample accordingly.
  • Complete all lab forms accurately.
  • Some laboratories offer sample assistance programs. Ask your laboratory about services they provide if you are having trouble planning sampling.
How should I coordinate with labs?

When you have reviewed the monitoring summary carefully and are ready to begin sampling, contact a state certified lab to order sample kits. Each system can choose any state certified laboratory and can find contact information by clicking the links below:

NOTE: Laboratories are required to report results directly to the DW Program. However, PWSs are responsible for ensuring the DW Program receives these results. Monitoring summaries reflect sampling information the DW Program receives from both the certified laboratories and PWSs.

What additional considerations should be made before I sample?

Before sampling, consider the following:

  • Ensure all of the appropriate supplies are on-hand.
  • Notify your laboratory ahead of time of when you plan to send in your sample.
  • Contact and remind homeowners ahead of time to ensure these locations are available for sampling; provide sample collection instructions if necessary to homeowners or business owners, and make sure payments and funds are available for sample shipment and analysis.
  • Fill out all necessary paperwork and include the chain of custody when sending the bottles back to the laboratory. Read all directions more than once to ensure you are sampling at the right location, filling the jars with the water sample accordingly, and have planned correctly for mailing them back to the laboratory.
  • Check the weather. Ensure water samples to get to the laboratory within their hold time so they do not expire in transit.
What should I do if I have collected a particular sample, but it does not show up on the monitoring summaries “Last Sample” column?

If you believe you have sampled and the monitoring summary doesn’t reflect your current sampling status correctly, take note of exactly when your monitoring summary was created because sampling requirements might change throughout the year depending on your system’s sample results. Additionally, another way to see what samples have been submitted is to check Drinking Water Watch.

What are some tips for staying in compliance with the regulations and avoiding violations?

Some tips for staying in compliance include the following:

  • Submit the required samples according to your monitoring summary and use this as a planning tool for the year. Samples can be costly, however if you spread them out over the year, these costs can be more manageable.
  • If you are required to conduct daily operator testing, use and submit the proper Monthly Operator Report form for your system. Your operator report must be filled out, signed, and sent to the DW Program before the 10th of the following month. (For example, the January operator report should be sent to the DW Program by the 10th of February).
  • Take other types of samples at the beginning of a monitoring period (i.e., the first month of the quarter). This helps ensure samples are not forgotten and allows time if resampling is required.

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