Frequently Asked Questions
Noncommunity Public Water Supply

The following is a list of commonly asked questions individuals have concerning Noncommunity Public Water Supply Systems. Most of the answers are based on information provided in Minnesota Rules, chapter 4720 and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (40 CFR 141).

On this page:

What is a Noncommunity Public Water Supply System?

Noncommunity public water supply systems are facilities such as schools, factories, restaurants, resorts, and churches that are served by their own supply of water (usually a well). These facilities are required to provide a safe and adequate supply of water under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

Noncommunity water supply systems serve either a transient or a nontransient population. A nontransient noncommunity public water supply system serves the same individuals every day (such as a school, daycare, or factory). A transient noncommunity public water supply system serves different individuals each day (such as a restaurant, motel, or highway rest area). Because they serve different types of populations, there are different requirements for transient and nontransient public water supply systems. Currently, there are over 7,000 noncommunity public water supply systems in Minnesota.

Go to > top.

Who collects water samples at Noncommunity Public Water Supply Systems?

In Minnesota, samples from noncommunity public water supply systems are most often collected either by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) or your local health department. Occasionally, a facility will be required to collect its own samples, such as when lead/copper sampling or monthly bacteriological sampling is required. In these cases, MDH will supply the facility with the necessary sample bottles.

Go to > top.

If a facility provides bottled water, is it still a Noncommunity Public Water Supply System?

Even though a facility provides bottled water, it is still considered a public water supply system and all the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act still apply. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.EPA) has determined that uses which expose people to water - such as bathing, showering, brushing teeth, cooking, and dishwashing - are “ human consumption” and that providing bottled water therefore does not exempt a facility from being a public water supply system.

Go to > top.

What happens if a Noncommunity Public Water Supply System gets a “ bad ” water sample result?

If any of the samples collected from a noncommunity public water supply system show the presence of a contaminant above its health-based standard (called a maximum contaminant level or MCL), MDH or the local health department will work with the system in resolving the contamination. Additional samples may be required to confirm the presence of the contaminant. If contamination is confirmed, the system is required to notify its users of the problem and it must take steps to correct the problem. Corrective actions may include repairs to the water system, disinfection of the water system, installation of treatment, or drilling a new well.

Go to > top.

Is a certified water operator needed at a Noncommunity Public Water Supply System?

A certified water operator is required only for nontransient noncommunity public water supply systems. There is no operator certification requirement for transient noncommunity water supply systems. More information is available on our web site under operator certification.

Go to > top.

Updated Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:21AM