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Home > How to Certify Safe Drinking Water is Being Provided

How to Certify Safe Drinking Water is Being Provided

All applicants, regardless of building use, must certify that the center provides safe drinking water before the DCF Office of Licensing will approve an application to operate a child care center.

  • If a Child Care Center is connected to a community water system, the Child Care Center shall provide such documentation:
    • the name of the community water system; and
    • copy of a recent water bill indicating service address of the Child Care Center; or
    • a letter from the public community water system certifying the service to the address of the Child Care Center

    Identifying your Public Water System
    To determine the name of the public water system serving a municipality, please visit: DEP DataMiner Safe Drinking Water. Select What Community Water Systems Serve My Town.

  • If the Child Care Center is not connected to a community water system, the Child Care Center shall demonstrate the following;
    • potable water which meets the Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) established for nontransient noncommunity water systems, including radiological contaminants
    • analytical results should be submitted to the Bureau of Water System Engineering for determination of compliance with N.J.A.C. 10:122-5.2

    We strongly recommend you contact the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Bureau of Water System Engineering at (609) 292-2957 prior to sampling.

Sampling Procedures and Parameters
Sampling shall be conducted within three years prior to the date of application submission, except nitrates and coliform, for which the sampling shall have been conducted within 90 days prior to the date of application.

Please note, if drinking water data (excluding radiological results) was used for a previous drinking water certification it may not be used towards a drinking quality certification for license renewal.

All analysis shall be conducted by a laboratory certified for appropriate drinking water parameters by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Quality Assurance. A list of certified laboratories can be obtained by phoning (609) 292-3950 or accessing DEP Data Miner Certified Laboratories.

Analytical methods and QA/QC protocols should be those used for compliance by community and nontransient noncommunity water systems as specified in the Federal and State Safe Drinking Water Act Regulations.

Sampling for all contaminants shall be of raw water, collected prior to any treatment. If treatment exists on the well to address a particular contaminant, the water shall also be tested after treatment for that contaminant.

Analysis must be for the following parameters:

  • Nitrate
  • Coliform
  • If total coliform bacteria are detected, a test must also be conducted for fecal coliform or E. coli
  • Volatile organic compounds including all for which federal or New Jersey Maximum Contaminant Levels exist
  • The following inorganic compounds: antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, cyanide, fluoride, mercury, selenium, thallium
  • The following radiological contaminants:
    • gross alpha particle activity, radium 226, radium 228, and uranium
    • analysis of radium 226 and uranium may not be necessary if the concentrations of gross alpha particle activity and radium 228 are sufficiently low
    • past radiological results may be acceptable for a renewal. Contact the Bureau of Water System Engineering at (609) 292-2957 or refer to the License Renewal Checklist for further information.
  • Lead and copper.
    • location and number of samples shall be conducted as if Child Care Center were a nontransient noncommunity water system
    • all samples must be collected first draw (minimum 6 hour standing time in the entire system) and from approved cold water sampling sites (kitchen tap, bathroom tap, or water fountain)
    • samples can not be collected from water coolers or outside hose spigots
    • please consult with the laboratory prior to conducting the sampling

If the water supplied to the building is currently regulated as a noncommunity water system under the Federal and New Jersey Safe Drinking Water Act Regulations, the noncommunity water system name and unique PWSID (Public Water System Identification Number) should be provided.

In addition each drinking water certification application must be accompanied by a Checklist for Completing the Child Care Center Safe Drinking Water Requirements, which may be found at

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