Cortland County – Public Water Supplies (2016M-318)

Issued Date
January 06, 2017

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the County’s oversight of public water supplies (PWS) for the period January 1, 2015 through May 13, 2016.


Cortland County is located in the southern tier of New York State and has a population of approximately 48,500. The County is governed by the County Legislature, which is composed of 17 elected members who represent its one city, 15 towns and three villages.

Key Finding

  • Officials did not issue notices of violations (NOV) to PWS in three of 13 instances when operators failed to comply with regulations. Furthermore, sanitarians did not consistently document that they performed analytical reviews of the operators’ monthly operating reports (MOR). In addition, violations identified in completed surveys were not always reported to NYS DOH, officials did not provide documentation that all violations were corrected and one survey was not completed in a timely manner.

Key Recommendation

  • The Director should establish procedures to ensure NOVs are issued when warranted, voided NOVs have adequate supporting documentation, MORs are analyzed and corrected in a timely manner, sanitary surveys are performed in compliance with NYS DOH guidelines for frequency, sanitarians document that violations observed during surveys are corrected and public health hazard violations are reported to NYS DOH.