The Drinking Water Branch carries out the requirements of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) which is designed to ensure that Public Water Supplies (PWS) deliver water to Hoosier homes and businesses that is adequate in quantity and is safe to drink. We do this by concentrating on the water from the source all the way to the tap. To help ensure the safety of citizens using private wells, the branch responds to individual private well complaints. The branch performs monitoring of ambient ground waters and assists with the implementation of the State’s Ground Water Standards to protect our ground water resources. The Drinking Water Branch has five different sections: Total Coliform & Compliance Support, Inspection, Chemical & Surface Water Compliance, Ground Water, and finally Capacity Development, Operator Certification, & Permits.
The Total Coliform & Compliance Section in conjunction with the Chemical & Surface Water Compliance Section are responsible for updating and maintaining inventory information as well as implementing Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) rules and regulations applicable to approximately 4,043 active Public Water Systems (PWS). Staff utilize the Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS)/State to update, manage, and evaluate the rules and regulations in order to determine compliance with a system’s monitoring and reporting requirements.
The Inspection Section ensures that Public Water Supplies (PWSs) are operated and maintained in such a way that they produce safe water and meet the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The section staff perform routine inspections at all PWSs. These inspections include a review of the source, treatment, distribution system, storage, monitoring programs, operator certification and the overall management and operation of the PWS.
The Permit Section has an overall mission of protecting the quality of drinking water supplies and distribution systems through the review of designs for public water system construction projects, issuance of construction permits and implementation of Indiana’s Cross Connection Control and Backflow Prevention program.
The goal of the Ground Water Section is to protect and assess Indiana's source water. The Ground Water Section provides guidance for public water systems in establishing Wellhead Protection Plans, Source Water Assessment Plans, responding to citizen’s complaints, as well as providing guidance to private well owners and characterizing ground water statewide.
The Capacity Development and Operator Certification (CAPCERT) Section administers two programs which are designed to help ensure public water systems operate effectively and efficiently. The capacity development program has two components designed to help ensure the provision of safe and adequate supplies of drinking water. The first provides assistance to drinking water systems to help them with acquiring and maintaining sufficient technical, managerial, and financial capacity to effectively operate their system. The second component ensures that new community and nontransient noncommunity public water systems understand the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act and have the capability to meet those requirements prior to beginning operation. The drinking water operator certification program carries out the testing and certification for drinking water system operators. This program also maintains the continuing education approval for drinking water certified operators.
The Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR) became effective on April 1st, 2016, for all Public Water Supplies in the state. This rule drastically changes monitoring requirements for drinking water systems.