Monitoring Assistance Program | Frequently Asked Questions

What is MAP?

MAP stands for the Monitoring Assistance Program. Developed in the 1990s by the state of Arizona. MAP helps small drinking water systems comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act by assisting with the collection, transportation, analysis, and reporting of regulated contaminants taken at the entry point to the distribution system (EPDS).

Which public water systems are required to participate in MAP?

All community and non-transient non-community public water systems (except state or federally owned water systems) serving less than 10,000 people are required to participate in MAP.1

What contaminants and at what frequency does MAP sample?

MAP samples for the contaminants required to be taken at the entry point of the distribution system (EPDS) at initial, routine and reduced monitoring frequencies. These contiminants include Nitrate, Nitrite, Asbestos, Inorganic Chemicals, Volatile Organic Chemicals, Synthetic Organic Chemicals and Radionuclides.

MAP does not sample for Total Coliform/ E. Coli, Lead and Copper, Stage 1 Disinfection Byproducts (residual chlorine, chlorine dioxide, chlorite, bromate, pre-cursors) and Stage 2 Disinfection Byproducts (TTHM and HAA5). These contaminants are required to be sampled within the distribution system. MAP also does not cover triggered increased monitoring, treatment-related quarterly monitoring, or Point of Use device monitoring. The system is responsible for conducting this type of sampling.

How much does it cost to participate in MAP?

MAP systems are required to pay a yearly fee of $250, plus $2.57 per service connection.2

Why do I have to pay if it’s required that I participate in MAP?

The MAP fee covers all sampling and analytical costs during the calendar year. Due to the high volume of samples that MAP collects, you enjoy lower analytical costs than you would receive as a single client of another lab.

Why do I receive a refund from MAP?

Some years, depending on monitoring schedule frequencies, MAP does not use all of the money it collects. For these years, MAP systems have received a refund of a portion of the unused money, as required by rule.2

Can my water system participate in MAP, even if it's not required?

Yes, state or federally owned water systems or those with populations greater than 10,000 may opt to participate in MAP voluntarily if they abide all MAP guidelines and commit to participating in the program for at least three years.

Can I opt out of MAP?

Only if your system participates in MAP voluntarily. Such systems can opt out by sending an official letter request to the MAP Coordinator. If applicable, the system’s participation will be discontinued starting in the next calendar year.

Systems required to be in MAP cannot opt out.

I have a change in service connections, population and contact information. How do I submit updates to MAP?

MAP mails cards every year for systems to return with updated information. Alternatively, you can contact the MAP Coordinator or your system’s Compliance Assistance Coordinator to update information at any time | View Coordinator List > 

My EPDS will be out of service due to construction or water outages. What should I do?

Contact the MAP Coordinator and advise them of the situation. MAP sampling may be expedited or postponed so sampling is completed when the EPDS is online.

When is MAP coming to sample?

The MAP samplers make tentative schedules at the beginning of each year and will schedule a time with you when they are ready to sample your system. If you are concerned about being sampled, please contact the MAP Coordinator.

How do I know if I’m being sampled this year?

Unless your system has Point of Use (POU) devices for Nitrate treatment, every system is sampled at least once per year for Nitrate samples.

When does MAP generate next year’s schedules to send out?

MAP sends the next year’s monitoring schedule to the contractor and their samplers in November or December. If there are additional monitoring schedules or those that are no longer necessary throughout the year, MAP has a process to update the contractor and samplers as these changes occur.

How do I get my lab reports?

Laboratory reports are sent to the owner/responsible party of record for your public water system.

How do I read my lab reports?

The contracted lab sends out a report that consists of an acknowledgement page (which lists the samples that were received), followed by Drinking Water Analytical Report (DWAR) forms (which list the contaminant results and have check boxes by each contaminant to let you know if the result exceeded the trigger level or the maximum contaminant level (MCL)).

Can systems participating in MAP obtain reduced monitoring waivers?

MAP systems are still eligible to apply for reduced monitoring waivers, however, costs of the monitoring waiver application and approval processes often outweigh the benefits. By participating in MAP, your system is already receiving cost benefits.