Public Notice Rule (PN)

The PN Rule requires all public water systems (PWSs) to notify their consumers any time a PWS violates a national primary drinking water regulation or has a situation posing a risk to public health. Notices must be provided to persons served (not just billing customers).

LeeAnn Tillotson

Rule Manager

P: 701-328-5293

Fact Sheet


  • Where will I find the required public notice language?
    • Public notice templates are included with each violation letter. The template includes all mandatory language required by the Public Notice Rule, as well as sections for the water system to complete such as a description of the corrective action and local contact information.
  • By what date must the public notice be accomplished?
    • Based on the seriousness of the violation or situation, the public notice must be completed within 24 hours for the most serious violations; and within 14 days or 30 days for less serious violations. The due dates by which public notification and submission of Proof of Initial Public Notification must be achieved are provided on a Proof of Initial Public Notification form that is enclosed with the template in each violation letter.
  • How must I distribute the public notice to my consumers?
    • The required methods used to distribute public notification of a violation or situation posing risk to public health are explained on the Proof of Initial Public Notification form that is enclosed with each violation letter. Both community and non-community systems must use at least two methods for distribution of the public notice.
      The various methods required for public notification are determined by the seriousness of the violation and by the classification of your water system. Allowable methods of public notification differ between community water systems, transient non-community water systems and non-transient non-community water systems. Refer to the Proof of Initial Public Notification form enclosed with the violation letter for the methods that are allowed for your situation. Please contact the Drinking Water Program if you require further information.
  • May I change the language in the public notice that has been provided with the violation letter?
    • Each public notification template has been carefully edited to provide the language required by this Federal and State rule. Most of the language that is provided is mandatory and may not be changed. There are areas within each template for a water system to provide a description of what happened, what is being done to correct the situation and who to contact locally for further information. If you feel you would like to change the language in the public notice template, please contact the Drinking Water Program for assistance to ensure that all of the required elements are included in your message.
  • If posting of the public notice is an allowed method in my situation, how long must the public notice remain posted?
    • If your situation allows posting as a method of a public notice, it must remain posted until the violation or situation is resolved, but no fewer than seven days.