Public Drinking Water Program

Mission

To ensure the safety of Rhode Island's public drinking water supplies.

What we do

  • Approve and inspect water sources and treatment: Our staff engineers review plans submitted by water systems for new sources, treatment and other facilities, and inspect facilities before they are allowed to operate, and regularly thereafter.
  • Monitor: All public water systems are required to take water samples and have them analyzed at certified laboratories. We create sample schedules for each water system, and review results to ensure water quality.
  • Public Notice: If a water supply is found to be unsafe, or if required samples are not taken, systems are required to notify their customers in a timely fashion. We provide guidance, and ensure that the public notification happens as required.
  • Remove lead from drinking water: Water suppliers are required to test for lead, and to reduce lead corrosion if high levels are found
  • Provide outreach & training: We maintain contracts with industry organizations and professionals to provide wide-ranging services to the owners, operators, and managers of public water systems.
  • Plan for emergencies and security: We develop partnerships with academic, business, trade and political communities in support of utility security and emergency preparedness best practices. In addition, we collaborate with the Environmental Protection Agency, and other public and private associations, to plan, and implement effective water security practices.
  • Certify drinking water operators: We certify individuals that operate public water treatment and distribution system, to minimize potential risks to public health. The program ensures that suppliers maintain a competent workforce through enforcement of continuing education and experience requirements for the operators of public water systems.