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Continued Public Outreach

PAGE 22 of 29

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Identify Additional Communication Steps

Media Tours

A media tour of water system facilities, labs, or distribution systems can give reporters a better understanding of advisories. Follow-up stories can explain the big picture, such as infrastructure needs and why water mains break. Water systems cannot control a media story, but can offer useful information.

For the public, lifting an advisory may not be the end of the incident. An advisory may disrupt the community and undermine the public’s confidence in the quality of the drinking water. Continued public outreach can help a water system maintain credibility and trust with customers and stakeholders following an advisory.

Follow up with the Public

Work with partners to identify, develop, and distribute additional outreach materials and activities to engage the public. These may include:

  • Revised messages
  • A letter to customers
  • Updates to websites, newsletters, and bill inserts
  • Meetings with reporters and editors

In addition, water systems should consider surveying their customers about the advisory. Surveys can be used to determine the effectiveness of the advisory and to determine whether the advisory influenced personal actions.

Water systems can use the annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) to further explain the advisory, give advice for future incidents, and provide other sources of information. Advisories due to contamination or a violation must be noted in the CCR tables and use specific EPA language.

Remember to use Federal Public Notification language when developing advisories when there are violations of National Primary Drinking Water Regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This information can be found in 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 141 (subpart Q, appendix B).

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