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Drinking Water

The ADEM Drinking Water Branch works closely with the more than 700 water systems in Alabama that provide safe drinking water to 4 million citizens. Each month the bacteriological quality of the drinking water being provided is tested by the individual systems with the results submitted to ADEM for review and approval. Both quarterly and annually certain chemical contaminants are analyzed to ensure that the drinking water meets all established drinking water standards. Routinely, water systems in Alabama maintain a high compliance rate with drinking water standards of approximately 94%.

The excellent quality of drinking water and a high compliance rate of public drinking water systems can be attributed to numerous factors including mandatory operator certification that requires adequately trained operators to treat the drinking water, properly constructed and maintained drinking water treatment facilities that can only be constructed with a permit from ADEM, and a high quality of both surface water and ground water that is protected through numerous activities of the Department including the Wellhead Protection Program and the NPDES Discharge Permit Program. The Drinking Water Branch annually reviews more than 150 sets of plans and specifications for water construction projects, performs final inspections, and also provides annual inspections of all public water systems. (Technical assistance is also provided to managers and operators regarding new and proposed drinking water requirements.)

ADEM annually provides a compliance report listing all water system violations that have occurred. In addition, water systems are required to provide an Annual Consumer Confidence Report to its customers no later than July 1 each year, providing information on contaminants that have been detected in the drinking water, status of source water assessments, source of drinking water and treatment processes, and general information regarding board meeting dates and locations. All systems with drinking water sources have recently completed or will soon complete an assessment of contaminant activities which may impact drinking water quality. Upon completion of Source Water assessments by water systems, public meetings will be held to provide information to their consumers regarding the potential for contamination of their drinking water sources and identifying what steps are being taken to protect their drinking water sources.

Preparations for Drought, Hurricane or Other Possible Water Supply Disruption

Alabama Water and Wastewater Rates Dashboard

18th Annual Surface Water Meeting Agenda
18th Annual Surface Water Meeting Registration Form

Electronic Payments for BAC-T Reports

Other Drinking Water Information

Electronic Drinking Water Reporting System (eDWRS)

  • The eDWRS provides drinking water facilities with a way to submit MOR, CCR, DWR data and Plans and Specifications. It will also allow ADEM to electronically validate the data, acknowledge receipt, and upload data to the state's central drinking water database. The system can be found at: http://adem.alabama.gov/edwr
  • Implementing this new system will reach the goal of improving the management of data associated with the Department's drinking water monitoring program. The eDWR system will:
    • Save drinking water facilities compliance costs with a streamlined reporting method and readily available computer tools.
    • Save programmatic costs by reducing resources required for managing paper-based MOR, CCR, DWR reports and Plans and Specifications.
    • Improve the accuracy of compliance data by eliminating potential errors that will be otherwise introduced through manual data entry.
    • Improve the state drinking water programs' overall effectiveness while offering less process to the regulated community.
A participation package must be submitted by each water system in order to use eDWRS. This reporting system will be required by all public drinking water systems in the future. You may download a participation package from the following links:

Complete Package
eDWR Form 1 for the Water System
eDWR Form 1A for the Laboratory
eDWR Form 2 for each Water System or Laboratory Certifier

Groundwater Rule

  • EPA has finalized the Groundwater Rule. More information can be found on EPA's website at: http://water.epa.gov/drink/index.cfm.
  • The rule requires all ground water systems to either install or demonstrate 4-log removal of virus and bacteria or conduct source water monitoring as required by the rule.
    • Systems that demonstrate or install 4-log removal of virus and bacteria must monitoring the chlorine residual daily for systems with a population of < 10,000 or continuously for systems with a population > 10,000.
    • Equipment and/or monitoring must be conducted at each point of chlorine addition.
    • Systems unable to demonstrate or install 4-log treatment must conduct monthly source water monitoring to demonstrate compliance with the rule.
      • Any positive bacteriological sample taken from the distribution systems as required to meet the requirements of the Total Coliform Rule must within 24 hours take a raw water sample from each ground water source in use.
      • Any positive bacteriological sample found in a purchase system will require the parent system to collect bacteriological samples from each ground water source in use.
    • Any triggered source water monitoring that is positive for E-coli or fecal coliform will require public notification
    • The Groundwater Rule has several other requirements that may affect ground water systems.


  • EPA has finalized the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2ESWTR). More information can be found on EPA's website at: www.epa.gov/safewater/lt2/index.html or a prepublication version of the rules can be found at www.epa.gov/safewater/new.html. The rule was published in the Federal Register in January 2006.
  • The rule requires public water systems utilizing surface water sources or ground water under the influence of surface water to monitor for cryptosporidium in the source water. Based upon the results, the systems will be classified into bins which may require additional treatment to be added to achieve the required removal.
  • The rule required a large number of surface water systems to submit a monitoring plan by July 1, 2006 which contained specific monitoring dates and to begin monitoring for cryptosporidium by October 1, 2006.

Disinfection Byproduct Rule 2

  • EPA has finalized the Disinfection Byporduct Rule. More information can be found on EPA's website at: www.epa.gov/safewater/stage2/index.html or a prepublication version of the rules can be found at: www.epa.gov/safewater/new.html. The rule was published in the Federal Register in January 2006.
  • The rule changed the current limits on four Trihalomethanes (TTHM) and five Haloacetic acids (HAA5).
    • The rule requires water systems, based upon their population, to conduct an Initial Distribution System Evaluation (IDSE).
    • Water systems have to comply with the IDSE requires based upon the schedule of the largest water system in the combined distribution system unless the water system qualifies for a very small system waiver or for 40/30 Certification.
      • Schedule 1 contains 200 water systems.
      • Schedule 2 contains 15 water systems.
      • Schedule 3 contains 85 water systems.
      • Schedule 4 contains 281 water systems.
    • Water systems in schedule 1 will had to submit a monitoring plan to EPA by October 1, 2006 and began monitoring October 1, 2007.
    • Each subsequent schedule will be 6 months behind the previous schedule (i.e. schedule 2 had to have monitoring plans to EPA by April 1, 2007.
    • Compliance with the locational running annual averages of 80 for TTHM and 60 for HAA5 will begin in 2012.
    • Please contact your system inspector to determine what schedule your system will have to comply with.
    • Water systems are now required to monitor compliance with disinfection byproducts (DBPs) using a locational rolling annual average (LRAA) rather than the rolling annual average (RAA) in Stage 1.
    • Draft Water Treatment Plant Quaterly Report for Stage 2 (Form 547)

Contact Information

Attn: Drinking Water Branch
Post Office Box 301463
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-1463
(334) 271-7773
(334) 279-3051 Fax