Journalists may find a newly sharpened tool for covering problems with drinking water in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's searchable online ECHO database.
EPA this month announced a major upgrade of the drinking water portion of its Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) database. Their refinement of the search engine for drinking water violations should make it possible for journalists to ask much more sophisticated and complex questions.
The starting point for drinking water searches in ECHO is here.
The usual caveats apply. While ECHO has evolved into one of EPA's most usable interfaces, databases are only as good as the data they contain, and EPA relies on state and local authorities to provide information. Journalists are advised to "ground truth" what they get from any database.