S afe D rinking W ater A ct

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S afe D rinking W ater A ct. 25 years old in 1999. Marty Swickard drinking water program EPA Region 8. SDWA -- Pre-History (b.s.). - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • SafeDrinkingWaterActMarty Swickarddrinking water programEPA Region 825 years old in 1999

  • SDWA -- Pre-History (b.s.)Late 1800s(just over 100 years ago) Modernmicrobiology started. We figured out that living things are made of cells,that bacteria exist, and that some of them can make us sick 1914US Public Health Service (PHS)developed first national standards (for bacteriological quality); they applied to water moving in interstate commerce (trains)

  • SDWA -- Pre-History (continued)1930sClassical waterborne diseases (e.g.typhoid fever, amoebic dysentery, bacillary dysentery, cholera) are mostly controlled in the US through increased use of disinfectants, etc.1940sThe chemical revolution begins

    1946PHS standards also applied to planes and buses; they now included some chemical standards

  • SDWA -- Pre-History (continued)1962--Last revisions to drinking water standards made by PHS.--Emphasis was still on infectious disease though some chemicals were included--About 20 standards - some mandatory, some recommended--Also recommended use of qualifiedpersonnel, use of water from protected sources, control of pollution of sources, chlorination of water from sources notadequately protected

  • SDWA -- History1970A study of community systems showed widespread problems with water qualityand health risks associated with deficiencies in facilities, O&M, etc.

    1971The first viruses are detected in treateddrinking water (2 systems in Massachusetts)

    1974The first asbestos is discovered in drinking water (Duluth, MN)

  • SDWA -- History1974EPA announced finding smallamounts of 66 organic chemicals,some carcinogenic, in New Orleansdrinking water

    Dec. 1974 Congress enacted the SDWA

    1975EPA confirmed that trihalomethanesare formed when chlorine is added to water containing certain organics

    1986 & 1996Congress passed major amendments to the SDWA

  • SDWA -- Major Provisions -- 1974The federal government (EPA) is to set standards for drinking waterStates are to assure compliance with and enforce the standardsWater systems are responsible for the quality of water they serve (they are the regulated entities)Underground sources of drinking water are to be protected from contamination from injection wells (UIC program)

  • SDWA -- Major Provisions -- 1986Required EPA to regulate 83 contaminants by 1989 (only about 22 had been regulated so far)Required EPA to regulate 25 new contaminants every 3 yearsRequired EPA to set requirements for filtration and disinfection of water suppliesBanned the use of lead pipes and solderEstablished the voluntary wellhead protection program

  • SDWA -- Major Provisions -- 1996Eliminated the 25 new contaminants every 3 years requirementRequired EPA to conduct cost-benefit analysis in setting standardsExpanded consumer information requirementsIncreased protection of source waterStrengthened enforcement, including against Federal facilities

  • SDWA -- EPAs Rule-making Under the ActAs required by the SDWA, EPA has promulgated regulations to assure water systems serve safe water to control underground injection wellsThe UIC rules can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations at 40 CFR Parts 144 - 149 (more about these later in the training)

  • SDWA -- EPAs Rule-making (cont.)Regulations on water systems can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations at 40 CFR Parts 141, 142, and 143

  • SDWA -- EPAs Rule-making (cont.)Part 141 is the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWRs) that water systems must comply with.These protect human health,Are enforceableContain the MCLs and requirements for monitoring and treatment, etc.

  • SDWA -- EPAs Rule-making (cont.)Part 142 covers how the States, Tribes, and EPA implement the Public Water System Supervision (PWSS) program.Provides for delegation to states or tribes with oversight by EPAProvides rules for federally-issued variances or exemptionsProvides for federal enforcement

  • SDWA -- EPAs Rule-making (cont.)Part 143 is the National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations (NSDWRs)It contains Secondary MCLs (SMCLs)These are recommended standards that relate to the acceptability of drinking water to consumersThese are not enforceable (except for the public notice required for exceedance of the fluoride SMCL)

  • SDWA / NPDWRs -- Basic Concepts

  • SDWA / NPDWRs -- Basic Concepts (cont.)Public Water System (PWS) -- a system for the provision to the public of water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyances,if such system has at least fifteen service connections or regularly serves an average of at least twenty-five individualsdaily at least 60 days out of the year(SDWA Sec. 1401(4), 40 CFR 141.2)

  • SDWA / NPDWRs -- Basic Concepts (cont.)Community Water System (CWS) -- a public water system that serves at least 15 service connections used by year-round residents or regularly serves at least 25 year-round residents.Serves people where they live.Exposure to contaminants could be lifetime.(SDWA Sec. 1401(15), 40 CFR 141.2)

  • SDWA / NPDWRs -- Basic Concepts (cont.)Noncommunity Water System (NCWS) -- a public water system that is not a community water system.

    There are two types of non-community systems (based on the length of exposure of the consumers to the water): transient and non-transient.(SDWA Sec. 1401(16), 40 CFR 141.2)

  • SDWA / NPDWRs -- Basic Concepts (cont.)Non-transient Noncommunity Water System (NTNCWS) -- a public water system that is not a community water system but that regularly serves at least 25 of the same persons over 6 months of the year.e.g., schools or businesses with their own water systemExposure to contaminants could be similar to that for community water systems.(40 CFR 141.2)

  • SDWA / NPDWRs -- Basic Concepts (cont.)Transient Noncommunity Water System (TNCWS) -- a noncommunity water system that does not regularly serve at least 25 of the same individuals at least 6 months per year.e.g., rest areas, campgrounds, truck stops, visitor centers with their own water systemIndividual exposure to the water is very short-term. (40 CFR 141.2)

  • SDWA / NPDWRs -- Basic Concepts (cont.)MCLG and MCL (& TT) Maximum Contaminant Level Goal(MCLG) -- maximum level of a contaminant at which no known or anticipated adverse health effects occur with an adequate margin of safety (SDWA Sec. 1412(b)(4)(A); 40 CFR 141.2)These are non-enforceable goals based on health effects only.

  • SDWA / NPDWRs -- Basic Concepts (cont.) Maximum Contaminant Level Goal -- (MCLG) (continued)

    The MCLG for carcinogens is 0 (we dont know of a threshold below which there is no effect).

    Must be published for each contaminant for which an MCL or treatment technique is set.

  • SDWA / NPDWRs -- Basic Concepts (cont.)Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) --maximum permissible level of a contaminant which is delivered to any user of a public water system. (SDWA Sec. 1401(3) & 1412(b)(4)(B)&(D); 40 CFR 141.2)

    Enforceable standard.

  • SDWA / NPDWRs -- Basic Concepts (cont.)Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) (cont.)Set as close to the MCLG as is feasible.Feasible means feasible with the use of the best technology, treatment techniques and other means which EPA finds, after examination for efficacy under field conditions and not solely under laboratory conditions, are available, taking costs into consideration.

  • SDWA / NPDWRs -- Basic Concepts (cont.)Treatment Technique Requirement (TT) -- If the level of a contaminant in drinking water is too hard or too expensive to test for, EPA may set a treatment technique requirement in lieu of an MCLe.g., the Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWTR)

  • SDWA / NPDWRs -- Basic Concepts (cont.)Treatment Technique Requirement (cont.)Enforceable requirementMust be treatment techniques which, in EPAs judgment, would prevent known or anticipated adverse effects on the health of persons to the extent feasible. (SDWA Sec. 1401(1)(C)(ii) & 1412(b)(7))

    Humor: We frequently hear safe drinking act. As much as you might wish that to be true, it is really Safe Drinking Water Act.

    The birthday cake is for the Act, not for me (not even close). The Act was first passed in 1974 so it is 25 years old.The US Public Health Service (PHS) is the primary federal public health agency and makes up much of the Department of Health and Human Services. The US Public Health Service started with the establishment of the Marine Hospital Service (in the Treasury Department) in 1798 to treat sick and injured seamen in order to bolster the merchant marine that the Country depended on for trade and protection. The Marine Hospital Services work grew in scope and importance in the life of Americans to meet the challenges of disease control and public health protection. It established a bacteriological laboratory in 1887. In1912, Congress reorganized it as the US Public Health Service. The PHS standards covered bacteriological quality, heavy metals, and common ions and were last revised by the PHS in 1962. They formed the basis for the first regulations passed by EPA under the SDWA.

    Even though the PHS standards were not enforceable at the federal level against water systems, most states had adopted them to some extent and had some degree of regulatory drinking water programs.

    About the time that interest in the environment took off and EPA was created, more and more contaminants were being identified in the waters of the US and in drinking water served to consumers. Pesticides were a big issue. It was also discovered that, where certain organic compounds are present, adding chlorine for disinfection leads to the formation of