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Sanitary Surveys

What is a Sanitary Survey?

All public drinking water systems are periodically inspected to assess their construction, operations, and record keeping. The inspections identify conditions that may present a sanitary or public health risk.

Utah state regulations (R309-100-7) require that a sanitary survey be conducted at least every three years on all public water systems except transient non-community water systems that use only protected and disinfected ground water. The Drinking Water Board’s Executive Secretary may reduce this frequency to once every five years based on outstanding performance on prior sanitary surveys. Sanitary surveys are conducted at least every ten years on all transient non-community water systems that use only disinfected ground water from protected ground water zones as designated under R309-600.

Sanitary surveys are conducted either by Division of Drinking Water personnel, Utah Department of Environmental Quality District Engineers, local health officials, Forest Service engineers, or other qualified individuals authorized in writing by the Executive Secretary. Surveyors are required to use the Desktop Electronic Sanitary Survey (ESS) software developed by the Drinking Water Academy.

Systems are evaluated against the rules and the specific criteria set forth in R309-400. Water System Rating Criteria. A Summary of R309-400 is available. Points are assigned for deficiencies. A sufficient number of points results in a “Not Approved” rating.

The surveyor will contact the water system management to make arrangements for conducting the survey. The surveyor will try to meet scheduling needs. Within 30 days of completing the survey, the surveyor will provide a report and deficiency list. Please read the report carefully, as it describes any observed deficiencies found during the inspection. It is the water system’s responsibility to correct these deficiencies within the timeline listed. A Deficiency Correction Report Form is available to assist the water system in reporting corrections to deficiencies listed on their IPS report. You can print this out and mail the completed form to us or submit it online using Adobe Reader (see our Forms page for more details).

Water systems are encouraged to do self-assessments of their operation and facilities. To assist, the Utah version of the electronic sanitary survey (ESS) questions, and a more comprehensive list, are provided:

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