Distribution System Water Quality (formerly Water Quality Control in the Distribution System)

Drinking water distribution systems are one of the multiple barriers available to public water systems to prevent contamination and to maintain safe and high-quality water. Increasing emphasis is being placed on monitoring and preserving drinking water quality from the point-of-entry to the point-of-use. AWWA supports the development and implementation of best design, operation, and management practices to maintain distribution water quality.

Distribution system practices should seek to maintain and improve water quality while balancing system capacity. AWWA encourages utilities to establish operational goals that optimize internal corrosion control and the maintenance of appropriate pressure and disinfectant levels for controlling microbiological growth and disinfection byproduct formation within the distribution system. AWWA also encourages the partnering of utilities, property owners and other stakeholders to jointly develop measures to maintain water quality within premise plumbing systems. 

Operations should include at a minimum a cross-connection program, routine monitoring, and response training to prevent, detect, control, and resolve water quality issues. AWWA also encourages water utilities to establish asset management programs to support the long-term integrity and protection of the distribution system. 

Practices specified in this policy statement are consistent with all other pertinent AWWA policy statements. 

Adopted by the Board of Directors Jan. 26, 1975, revised June 15, 1980, reaffirmed June 10, 1984, and June 19, 1988, revised June 17, 2001, and revised Jan. 16, 2005.  Revised Mar. 5, 2012. Revised June 10, 2012, June 11, 2017.