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Sanitary Survey Program



Sanitary Survey Program:


Inspection Frequency:  Per Article 11 of the CPDWRs, routine sanitary surveys are required by the CPDWRs for all public water systems (PWS) every three to five years.
  • Community Water Systems (CWS) - Every three years
  • Non-Transient, Non-Community Water Systems (NTNC) - Every five years
  • Transient, Non-Community Water Systems (TNC) - Ever five years
The Water Quality Control Division (Division) has the authority to conduct more frequent sanitary surveys based on water quality concerns or to follow up on previous sanitary surveys.  In addition, the Division may conduct sanitary surveys without advance notice.
Records available for review during Sanitary Survey (including but not limited to):
  • Monitoring Plan
  • Monitoring Records (e.g., nitrate results)
  • Cross connection program documentation (e.g., backflow testing results)
  • Operations and Maintenance Manual (recommended - including line flushing, hydrant flushing procedures)
  • Emergency Response Plan (recommended - including line break procedures)
Field Review (may include but not limited to):
  • Integrity of facilities (e.g., no broken electrical conduits, 24-mesh screen intact, no holes in facility walls)
Inspection Letter:
Common sanitary survey definitions found in letters:
Significant Deficiencies and Major Violations: These items will be followed-up by the inspector who performed the sanitary survey. The written response to this letter must include all these items.
Other Violations: The water system may be contacted by a compliance specialist for additional follow-up on these violations. The water system must address and correct these violations prior to the subsequent sanitary survey and will be verified at that time.
Observations/Recommendations: While the Division will not directly follow-up on these items, it is highly recommended that the water system address these items
List of Deficiencies
Response to the Sanitary Survey Letter: 
The Division will document the sanitary survey findings in a letter sent out approximately 30 days after the sanitary survey.  According to Article 11 of the CPDWRs the system has 45 days from the sanitary survey letter to respond in writing to any deficiencies.  The system has 120 days to address any deficiencies unless the system has a approved Division correction action plan to address any deficiencies.
o    Sanitary Survey Response Form (link to each office form)
Additional Sanitary Survey Helpful Links for Public Water Systems


  •  Sanitary Survey fundamentals prep course (As offered by Montana University System)