Sanitary Surveys – what are they & how to prepare for one

Group A Public Water Systems (PWS) are regulated by the Washington Department of Health (DOH) Office of Drinking Water (ODW). The WAC 246-290 provides the regulatory framework for Group A Public Water Systems (PWSs) including WAC 246-290-416, which spells out the requirements for Sanitary Surveys in Washington State.

A Sanitary Survey evaluates a water system’s records, facilities, and processes to determine if conditions currently present a public health hazard or could potentially lead to future hazards. All WA Group A PWSs must submit to a sanitary system on an either 3 or 5 year schedule.

In this workshop we will discuss the 8 components that are addressed during every routine Sanitary Survey:

  1. Planning & management documentation

  2. Operator certification status

  3. Source & sanitary control area

  4. Source pumps & pumping facilities

  5. Source treatment procedures & equipment

  6. Pressure tanks

  7. Finished water storage

  8. Distribution system and cross connection control program

In addition, we will explore how to prepare for a sanitary survey, respond to sanitary survey findings, report violations, and how to communicate with your regulator.