Water and Sewage

Drinking Water

Public Drinking Water

The primary purpose of Environmental Health's Water Supply Program is to ensure the safety of county public water supplies. There are three general types of public water supplies: community, transient non-community, and non-transient non-community. Community water supply sources include wells, springs, lakes, or other surface water sources.

Private Drinking Water

The Environmental Health Division may be able to provide technical assistance to property owners regarding their private water supply.  Private water supply sources include dug, driven, or drilled wells, along with less common sources such as ponds and springs.

Private water samples collected by individuals other than Environmental Health staff are not accepted.  If you'd like to schedule a service request for a staff member to collect a water sample, please click here to complete the request form

Sewage and Wastewater

Wherever possible, sewage and wastewater should be collected in community sewers connected to a central treatment plant. However, in most rural areas and in many suburban residential areas community sewers are not available. In that case, individual household onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS), commonly referred to as septic systems, are installed to treat household waste.

An OWTS will adequately serve a home only if it is properly located, designed, constructed, and maintained. There are several variations of the basic OWTS design in use today. OWTSs are individually designed and/or adapted for a specific site. A private OWTS consists of two main components, a septic tank and a leach field or drain field.

Water and Sewage Survey for Property Transfers

The Environmental Health Division provides this mandatory service to private property owners for a fee. When any type of property in Chautauqua County, served by a private water supply and an onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS), is sold or transferred, the Environmental Health Division must evaluate the water supply and the OWTS.