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Enhancing Water Quality Regulatory Reporting through the Application of Internal Control Methods Used in Financial Reporting

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In September 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a report titled “Promising Techniques Identified to Improve Drinking Water Laboratory Integrity and Reduce Public Health Risks”. The report was based an evaluation conducted by USEPA OIG to identify vulnerabilities in the drinking water sample analysis process. The report stated that between 2000 and 2003, there was an increase in laboratory fraud cases. Over one hundred vulnerabilities within the drinking water sample analysis process were identified in the evaluation. These vulnerabilities will increase the risk of public exposure to harmful contaminants in drinking water if they are not appropriately addressed.

Louisville Water Company (LWC) is responsible for monitoring and reporting drinking water quality for the customers it serves. As a leader in drinking water industry, rather than waiting for new regulations to emerge or standard practices to be established, LWC has consistently taken proactive measures to stay in front of new regulations and to promote best practices. LWC expects that the findings by the USEPA OIG will likely prompt some changes in the water quality monitoring and reporting process in the future. As a result, LWC is initiating new measures to enhance the integrity of its water quality monitoring and reporting process. This paper describes the measures taken to apply internal control methods used in financial reporting to the drinking water quality monitoring and reporting process.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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