Individual Water Systems

Homeowners can obtain their drinking and other domestic use water through a variety of sources.  These include:

  • public source
  • private well on their property* 
  • natural spring* and 
  • surface water from lakes and streams*  

Public water systems provide regular contaminant testing and reporting to the public, while all other sources* do not.  

  • If you are on public water, request your annual water quality report from the company listed on your monthly water bill. Consumption of non-public water means the quality and safety of the water is up to the individual using it.  
  • Individual onsite water supply systems (IWS) require regular testing and maintenance to reduce hazards which may impact your (the consumer’s) health.

What is your water source?  If you do not receive a bill from a provider, i.e. OCWA, then your water is from a private source, an IWS.  If you don’t know, track down the source of your water!

Due to the dynamic nature and likelihood of bacterial contamination, it is strongly recommended that surface (lakes and streams) water as well as natural springs not be consumed.

Having your individual water system (IWS) tested for hazardous contaminants is the only way to be sure your water is safe to drink. 

You cannot tell by the look, taste, or smell of the water if disease-causing organisms are in it.

Click the image below for Roadside Spring Information

Warning! Do not drink water from springs. Springs can contain chemicals that could make you sick.

If you choose to contact a local water testing service, below is a link with information about what you may want to have tested and what the results mean.   

Click the image below for Lead Testing Pilot Program Details

Click to apply for free lead testing in drinking water. A NYS Department of Health Pilot Program.