The Environmental Working Group (EWG), an advocacy organization, will release its updated “ Tap Water Database ” on Wednesday, Oct. 23. Drinking water utilities are advised to be prepared for media inquiries resulting from the report. First released in 2005, EWG’s report is built on the premise that legal standards in the United States do not adequately protect public health. The group sets its own methodology for evaluating water quality, drawing on data from water quality reports and the Fourth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule. The report evaluates the safety of drinking water systems based upon non-enforceable measures such as California’s public health goals or EWG’s own health benchmarks . EWG used data collected from approximately 48,500 water utilities across the country to create its database. As noted in previous advisories , utilities should review their data on EWG’s site before speaking to media and be familiar with UCMR and compliance data. To access the updated database, visit https://waterutility.ewg.org . The username is “water” and the password is “utilities.” Utilities that find a discrepancy with their data are encouraged to contact EWG to request a correction. Please Note: AWWA is not a partner on this project. As in past years, some utilities have expressed concern about the presentation and accuracy of data in the database. AWWA Communications offers the following recommendations when speaking with reporters: Demonstrate empathy and care for your customers. Use the report as an opportunity to convey the good news about your water quality. Correct errors of fact; point out what is misleading and why. Emphasize your utility’s commitment to high-quality water rather than focusing on the advocacy group. Reach out to trusted community health professionals/health agencies who are willing to speak about the quality of your water. Water utilities that proactively engage with media on the EWG report may head off or bring more balance to potentially misleading stories. An editorial published in Raleigh, N.C., the last time EWG released its national update (2017) demonstrates how utilities may be able to use the report as an opportunity to show their commitment to safe drinking water. A 2017 blog entry from AWWA’s Drinktap.org site may also be helpful in selecting discussion points. Suggested messages to convey in interviews with media or conversations with customers include: We are committed to providing superior quality water that exceeds the high standards for safety under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The report in question is incorrect in places [point out errors of fact related to your water quality]. It is also misleading in places [point out areas that are misleading]. We want the people we serve to know as much as possible about their water quality. [Explain the ways your utility makes that information available, e.g. CCRs, newsletters, website]. In our experience, the more informed people are about their tap water quality, the more confidence they have in it. The Safe Drinking Water Act sets forth a rigorous scientific process that evaluates potential health risks of contaminants, considers the occurrence of those contaminants and analyzes the costs and benefits of a potential regulation. We encourage those interested in learning more about our community’s water to [call/visit our website/see our CCR]. If you are considering purchasing a water filter or other home treatment device, we encourage you to make a fully informed decision. Contact us or visit [website] to see our latest report on water quality. If you decide to purchase a water filter, make sure it is certified to address the issue of concern to you. NSF International is an independent organization that certifies home treatment devices. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure the device is maintained properly. Questions can be directed to Greg Kail , AWWA’s director of communications, or Steve Via , AWWA’s director of federal relations.