Non-community public water systems are facilities, such as schools, factories, restaurants, resorts, and churches, served by their own water supply (usually a well). These facilities are required to provide a safe and adequate supply of water under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
Non-community water systems serve either a transient or a non-transient population. A non-transient, non-community public water system serves the same individuals every day, such as a school, daycare, or factory. A transient, non-community public water system serves different individuals each day, such as a restaurant, campground, or highway rest area. Since they serve different types of populations, there are different requirements for transient and non-transient public water systems. Currently, there are nearly 3,800 non-community public water systems in Illinois.
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The Non-Community Water Supply Program is responsible for assuring the compliance of non-community water systems with the SDWA. The program consists of field staff located in Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) regional offices and local health department offices (LHD), and compliance staff located in Springfield. The program activities include:
- Sanitary Surveys: A sanitary survey is an on-site review of the adequacy of the water source, facilities, equipment, operation, and maintenance of a public water system for producing and distributing safe drinking water. Sanitary surveys for non-community water systems are conducted once every 2 years by IDPH and LHD field staff.
- Water Samples: All non-community water systems are tested at least every year for total coliform bacteria and nitrate. Non-transient water systems also are tested for contaminants, such as pesticides, solvents, lead and copper, arsenic, metals, and disinfection byproducts.
- Plan Review: A construction permit must be obtained for new non-community public water systems and major alterations or extensions of existing non-community public water systems. Plan reviews are conducted by IDPH Springfield staff.
- Technical Assistance: Field staff provides on-site technical assistance to non-community water systems in resolving contamination events and other water system problems.
- Training and Education: The program provides water supply training for IDPH and LHD staff. Training also is provided to certify operators of the non-transient non-community public water systems. The IDPH has created the Non-community Public Water Supply Program Handbook as a guideline for water supplies.