State Water Resources Control Board
Division of Drinking Water (DDW)
Electronic Annual Report to the Drinking Water Program (eARDWP)
Frequently Asked Questions by Water Systems
February 2017

Please read this FAQ first before starting a new report and be sure to acknowledge that you have done so at the bottom of this FAQ.

  1. Under what authority does the Division (formerly the California Department of Public Health or CDPH) require public water systems to submit an annual report?
  2. Why is the report needed? How does DDW use this information?
  3. Does the public have access to this information?
  4. When is this year's report due?
  5. When did DDW develop the online electronic reporting format?
  6. Can a water system submit the report in hard copy?
  7. How do I start a new report for this year?
  8. What is the process for registering online to submit the annual report?
  9. I forgot my password. What do I do?
  10. Can there be more than one user registered for a water system to complete the eARDWP? If so, how can they all participate in preparing the eARDWP? If YES, can they enter data into different sections of the report at the same time?
  11. How does a registrant change their profile information such as email address or phone number?
  12. How can a registrant add or remove water systems from their list?
  13. I could not find my water system on the list. What do I do?
  14. When I create my new 2016 eARDWP I see that there is already information in that report. Where did this information come from?
  15. What contact information do you want reported – the information as it existed in the previous year we are reporting for or current contact information that may have changed since the end of last year?
  16. How can I print the final report?
  17. Can I change any information once the report is submitted?
  18. How do I report problems with the eARDWP or make suggestions?
  19. What is new in this current eARDWP form?
  20. Can I still upload my Consumer Confidence Report (CCR)?
  1. Under what authority does the Division (formerly the California Department of Public Health or CDPH) require public water systems to submit an annual report?
    ANSWER: Section 116530 of the California Health and Safety Code (CHSC) specifies that a public water system shall submit a technical report to the department (now the Division) when requested. CDPH, and now the Division (DDW), has established a requirement for every public water system under DDW jurisdiction or Local Primacy Agency (LPA) jurisdiction (i.e., County Environmental Health Departments) to annually submit a technical report specifying contact and operational information for the prior calendar year.
  2. Why is the report needed? How does DDW use this information?
    ANSWER: Valuable information is taken from the annual report to assist in the implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act for all water utilities in California. DDW and LPA databases are updated with contact information, changes in population and changes in the number and type of service connections. Additional uses of the annual report include verification of the number of active sources, the use of standby sources, and compliance with operator certification requirements. DDW is also gathering information on water conservation for use by the State in the implementation of the 20X2020 Water Conservation Plan and information to use in the development of the Safe Drinking Water Plan updates.
    In addition, since 2014, DDW is collecting data for the Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) annual Public Water System Statistics (PWSS) survey to simplify water supplier data reporting and address redundant reporting to different state agencies. The data collected assists with state and regional planning.
  3. Does the public have access to this information?
    ANSWER: Some information gathered and/or updated via the eARDWP is available to the public via the Public Drinking Water Watch at the following website: http://sdwis.waterboards.ca.gov/PDWW. All information submitted via the eARDWP is public information except for confidential locational information and personal information and can be accessed through a Public Records Act Request. Information provided on the registration page (name and title, email address, and work phone number) are disclosable report information that may be obtained through the Public Records Act.
  4. When is this year's report due?
    ANSWER: The due date is April 30.
  5. When did DDW develop the online electronic reporting format?
    ANSWER: To improve the efficiency of information sharing and analysis, DDW first used online reporting for only water conservation information as part of the 2008 ARDWP. This was called “Part A – Drought, Usage and Emergency Information.” The full annual report was intended to be submitted electronically via the DRINC portal beginning with the 2009 annual report. Due to functionality problems on the DRINC portal, many of the 2009 annual reports were submitted in other formats. Changes implemented with the 2010 eARDWP resulted in a significant increase in the number of annual reports submitted electronically through DRINC, and the number continues to increase with each subsequent release of the eARDWP. DDW is continuing to improve the process of electronic data gathering.
  6. Can a water system submit the report in hard copy?
    ANSWER: Hard copy submittal is not encouraged. If a water system does not have access to the internet, such as in some remote locations, DDW or the LPA may accept a hard copy submittal of the information required by the eARDWP. DDW or the LPA will then input this information via the DRINC portal on behalf of the water system.
  7. How do I start a new report for this year?
    ANSWER: The registered user must login to the eARDWP portal then go to the MY EAR REPORTS tab. Each previously submitted report will have a link in this section. At the bottom of the page is a link to start a new report.
  8. What is the process for registering online to submit the annual report?
    ANSWER: In order to maintain the integrity of the information collected, an on-line registration process has been implemented to ensure that only valid water system representatives have access the online report. To access the eARDWP online page, go to the following link for our DRINC Portal at http://drinc.ca.gov select the Electronic Annual Report link on the left-hand side of the page, and then select the REGISTRATION tab, or go directly to http://drinc.ca.gov/EAR/registration.aspx. All of the ‘required’ fields must be completed. You must then select and ADD each water system you represent. Be sure to select the correct DISTRICT if your water system is regulated by DDW or the correct LPA if your water system is regulated by the county. Otherwise, you water system will not show up on the list. You need only register once to complete reports for multiple systems for which you are responsible. Within 3 to 5 days after you have registered and your local regulatory agency has approved your registration, you will receive an email from the DRINC Portal Administrator to allow you access to complete and submit a report for your Public Water System(s). If you have previously registered, you do not need to register again to begin completing the 2016 eARDWP. Remember to keep a record of your password created during the registration process.
  9. I forgot my password. What do I do?
    ANSWER: Go to the EARDWP login page (http://www.drinc.ca.gov/ear/Login.aspx), type your username (email address) and click “Continue.” This will take you to the next page where you will type your password. Below the “Login” button is the link “Forgot Password.” When you click the link an email will be sent to your email address with your password.
  10. Can there be more than one user registered for a water system to complete the eARDWP? If so, how can they all participate in preparing the eARDWP? If YES, can they enter data into different sections of the report at the same time?
    ANSWER: Yes, a water system can have multiple registered users, and they can input information into the eARDWP at the same time provided they are not working on the same section of the eARDWP. The eARDWP sections are separated by tabs at the top, and changes are saved section by section as the user navigates through the report. If working in separate tabs, multiple people can input information at the same time and each person’s edits will be saved. Please be aware that no further changes may be made to an eARDWP once the submit button has been pressed unless the eARDWP is returned to the water system for revision.
  11. How does a registrant change their profile information such as email address or phone number?
    ANSWER: Profile information such as title, phone numbers, address, and password can be changed in the MY PROFILE tab after you have logged into the DRINC portal.
    Email Address: If your email address has changed, you must re-register to create a new account with the updated email address. You should then connect the water system(s) to the new account for which you need to submit a 2016 eARDWP.
  12. How can a registrant add or remove water systems from their list?
    ANSWER: Go to the MY PROFILE tab after you have logged into the eARDWP portal, and scroll to the bottom of the page showing the boxes with water systems. The box on the right shows YOUR WATER SYSTEMS for which you have registered. To add a new water system, select one from the list on the left and click ADD. You may need to use the SEARCH or SORT functions to find your water system. Be sure to select the correct DISTRICT if your water system is regulated by DDW or the correct LPA if your water system is regulated by the county. Otherwise, you water system will not show up on the list. To remove a water system from YOUR WATER SYSTEMS list, select it from the list on the right, click REMOVE, and click SAVE YOUR CHANGES.
  13. I could not find my water system on the list. What do I do?
    ANSWER: First, check if you are looking up the correct District or LPA. If this is correct, click the link Lookup Water Systems and type in your water system number or water system name. Your Water System Details are displayed in the top box. If the Federal Type is NP, you are a Non-Public water system and you do not need to fill out an EAR. If this is not correctly set for your water system, contact your Regulatory Agency.
  14. When I create my new 2016 eARDWP I see that there is already information in that report. Where did this information come from?
    ANSWER: Some of the fields in the 2016 eARDWP are pre-filled with information from the DDW database (the Safe Drinking Water Information System or SDWIS). The rest of the fields in each section can be prefilled from the 2015 eARDWP by clicking "Prefill", if the latter was submitted and deemed complete. The user may then update that information for the 2016 year and complete the fields that are not pre-filled. TIP: You could compare the current report with your responses in the previous year’s report by opening the previous year’s report in another window or tab. Click the “MY EAR REPORTS” tab, select the report that you want and right click “View” and then click “Open in new tab” or “Open in new window.”
  15. What contact information do you want reported – the information as it existed in the previous year we are reporting for or current contact information that may have changed since the end of last year?
    ANSWER: Current contact information is being gathered through this eARDWP.
  16. How can I print the final report?
    ANSWER: Once the 2016 eARDWP has been submitted, it will be listed under the MY EAR REPORTS tab along with all other eARDWP that have been submitted by the registrant. On the right side of this section are options to VIEW or PRINT each report.
  17. Can I change any information once the report is submitted?
    ANSWER: Once the eARDWP has been submitted, a registrant can no longer modify or add to the information in the report. If you need to make changes or the report was not complete when submitted, contact your local regulatory office and request that they return the eARDWP for revision. Once you have revised the eARDWP it can be resubmitted through the DRINC portal.
  18. How do I report problems with the eARDWP or make suggestions?
    ANSWER: Any problems identified in the functionality of the 2016 eARDWP or the DRINC portal should be reported to the DRINC portal administrator at DRINC@waterboards.ca.gov. Suggestions are welcomed and should be provided via the COMMENT field included on the INTRO tab of the 2016 eARDWP.
  19. What is new in this current eARDWP form?
    ANSWER:
    1. The Water Quality Emergency Notification Plan (WQENP) can now be uploaded. Just go to the “MY WQENP UPLOADS” tab and click “Upload new WQENP file.”
    2. Responses in certain fields are now required to follow a specified format as shown below:

      Phone number:(XXX) XXX-XXXX
      Email address:xxx@xxx.xxx
      Date:MM/DD/YYYY with the month from 1 to 12 and the day from 1 to 31
      Month:from 1 to 12
      Day:from 1 to 31
      Integer:whole number (e.g., 10 instead of 10.2) AND without commas (e.g., 1000 instead of 1,000)
      Number:without commas (e.g., 1000.33 instead of 1,000.33)


      If the specified format is not followed, a validation error will appear and you will not be able to leave that section of the report while there is a validation error.

      TIP: Certain questions are required to be answered before your report could be submitted. If you don’t think a ‘Mandatory’ field applies to your water system or if you simply do not know the answer (AND have no way of getting the answer in a timely manner), you can enter “N/A” or “0” (zero) as appropriate so that these fields would not be left blank and flagged with an error.
    3. Last year’s report can now be viewed as this year’s report is being completed. At the top of each section of the EAR is a link: To view last year’s report, click HERE. On Internet Explorer, left-clicking HERE will open a new tab displaying that section of the report with the fields filled with information submitted the previous year. It is suggested to instead right-click HERE and select “Open in new window” to be able to view the current EAR and last year’s EAR at the same time.
    4. There are three sections of the LWS EAR with changes:
      1. The Water Rates subsection was revised with additional detailed questions while the Water Efficiency subsection now only has one question but now applies to all large water systems.
      2. Two fields were added in the System Operation – Distribution subsection to capture volume of water in all types of water system flushing.
      3. A new question was added in the Conservation section.
    5. There is one section in both the SWS and LWS EARs with a change.
      • The Maximum Month row in the Water Produced, Purchased and Sold section was deleted. As such, the month rows are now mandatory for the SWS EAR.
  20. Can I still upload my CCR?
    ANSWER: Yes, you can upload your CCR and CCR certification in or around April the same time as the eARDWP each year.
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