NYS Sanitary Code Part 5

Public Drinking Water
The primary purpose of the Water Supply Program is to ensure the safety of the county’s public water supplies. Environmental Health staff inspect and sample water supplies on a routine basis as well as respond to complaints and conduct investigations to assure compliance with the NYS Sanitary Code Part 5.

You can contact the Water Program staff, file a complaint, or call us at (518) 584-7460.

• Assist water suppliers in the creation of their Annual Water Quality Reports.
• Conduct inspections of public water supplies.
• Collect surveillance sampling of public water systems.
• Respond to complaints.
• Investigate reports of water-related illnesses.
• Perform enforcement action for violations.
• Issue Boil Water Orders and other advisories as necessary.
• Review and approve plans for water system improvements.
The Saratoga County Department of Health will issue a Boil Water Order to protect consumers when it is possible that drinking water has been contaminated by microorganisms or substances that can cause illness.

The Saratoga County Department of Health will inform the public of water emergencies via multiple outlets, including:
• Press releases sent to local TV stations, radio stations, and newspapers.
• Posting on our website.
CodeRED – instant notification
• Social media outlets including Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok

Information for Consumers:
Information for Residents and Homeowners

Checklist for Residents and Homeowners

Information for Water Suppliers:
Restaurant Operation During a Boil Water Order

FAQs for Food Service Establishments

Checklist for Food Service Establishment Operators

Water Utility Fact Sheet

Information for Hospitals and Medical Facilities:
FAQs for Hospitals and Other Resident Medical Facilities

Checklist for Hospitals and Other Resident Medical Facilities

We encourage designers to submit plans and applications via Email. If electronic submission is not available, applications may be dropped off at 6012 County Farm Road, Ballston Spa, NY 12020. Please note that only one set of plans is required.

If you would like to make changes to an existing water system or create a new small water system, please refer to the following submittal package for more details: Small Public Water System Submittal Package.

Fee Schedule

Application for Approval of Plans for Public Water Supply Improvement

Application for Approval of Backflow Prevention Devices

Appendix 5-D Standard for Wells Serving Public Water Systems

Recommended Standards for Water Works

There is no safe level of lead exposure. In drinking water, the primary source of lead is pipes, which can present a risk to the health of children and adults. On January 15, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) to reduce lead exposure from drinking water. The EPA identified priority improvements for the LCRR: proactive and equitable lead service line replacement (LSLR), strengthening compliance tap sampling to better identify communities most at risk of lead in drinking water and to compel lead reduction actions, and reducing the complexity of the regulation through improvement of the action and trigger level construct. The initial lead service line inventory (LSLI) submission is required by October 16, 2024.

Service Line Inventory Guidance

Lead Service Line Inventory Template (XLS)

Lead Service Line Replacement Program Overview

Lead and Copper Rule Improvements

Harmful algal blooms, also known as cyanobacteria, can produce toxins that pose a health risk to people and animals when exposed to them in large enough quantities. Health effects could occur when the blooms are swallowed while swimming or through contact with the skin.

Consuming water containing high levels of harmful algal blooms may have effects on the liver and the nervous system. Direct contact or breathing airborne droplets containing high levels of harmful algal bloom toxins during swimming or showering can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat and inflammation in the respiratory tract.

Pet owners should keep their pets away from water with algae blooms. If animals ingest the toxins, they can become sick quickly. If you believe your pet has been exposed to HABs, please contact your veterinarian.

Saratoga County Department of Health encourages the community and visitors to: Know It, Avoid It, and Report It. For more information, please visit https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/water_pdf/habsbrochure.pdf

Private Drinking Water
Saratoga County Department of Health provides technical assistance to property owners regarding their private water supply. Water supply sources include dug or drilled wells, ponds, and springs.

Check the well and area around the well for damage. Debris can dislodge parts of the well and distort or crack the well casing. Groundwater may also deposit mud or sediment in the well. If you see these conditions, you should have a professional repair the system. The following webpage provides detailed instructions on how to conduct an assessment of your well: What to Look For Around Your Well.

Germs and chemicals can enter your drinking water from runoff and natural changes in the water that serves your well. Using contaminated water for drinking, preparing food, and making ice can make you, your family, and your pets sick. Babies, children, pregnant people, older adults, and people with health conditions are most at risk of health effects from consuming contaminated water. Please see the guidelines at Test Your Well: Protect Your Family’s Water for more information on how to test and maintain your private drinking water.

Find an accredited environmental lab near you.

If your well is contaminated, take the following steps before using it again. Be sure the electricity is off until you complete your check of the well. Never step in water around a well, unless you are sure the power is off. Wait until the well has been restored properly by flushing and disinfection before you drink or wash with well water. For step-by-step instructions, please visit How to Clean Your Well.
Disinfect (sanitize) your water to kill germs before using the water for any household purposes. Even if your well is working, you should use other sources of water for drinking, food preparation, and brushing your teeth until your well test results show the water is safe to drink. For step-by-step instructions on how to disinfect your well, please visit Disinfection: How to Kill the Germs in Your Well.
Drinking water wells and other types of wells that are no longer in use can pose safety hazards, especially to small children and pets. These abandoned wells can also serve as pathways for contamination to enter groundwater. Abandoned wells should be properly decommissioned to eliminate these potential hazards. Wells should be decommissioned using the methods described on the following page, Decommissioning Abandoned Wells.
PFAS are human-made chemicals used since the 1950s in a variety of products, including some cosmetics; water, grease, and oil-resistant products; and some fire-fighting foams. PFAS can travel through soil into groundwater, and then into sources of drinking water. To learn more, please visit EPA’s Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS).

Water filtration units that use granulated activated carbon (GAC) and reverse osmosis (RO) can be effective in removing these chemicals from drinking water in homes. For more information, please visit In-home Water Filtration Options for Household Drinking Water.

To learn about sodium and chloride in drinking water, please visit Salt and Drinking Water.