Traversing the ever-changing world of public water system regulation
Municipal and private sector managers of public water systems face ongoing challenges when dealing with new water regulations. They struggle to find options to financially support their infrastructure needs so they can meet current and new regulations. To make it even more difficult, along with changing regulation come issues of new contaminants in water, less clean water supplies, aging infrastructure and extreme weather threats. Managers work to address the ever-changing regulatory requirements for public and private water systems to provide safe drinking water to their customers.
The Environmental Protection Agency researches new regulations, makes changes to existing regulations and enforcing new Maximum Contaminant Levels. In 2018, EPA discussions and training will focus on:
- Specific high priority nutrient reductions (phosphorus and nitrogen) associated with Total Maximum Daily Loads
- Optimal Corrosion and Control Training that looks at the removal of lead and copper.
- Revised Total Coliform Rule
- Algal contamination of source water
- Public notification changes, for example: electronic Consumer Confidence Reports
- Working towards a potential MCL for perfluorinated compounds (perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate)
- Chromium (total hexavalent chromium)
- Non-point pollution, such as nitrites from agriculture and fertilizer, and the need to coordinate with states, tribes and local agencies
- Urban storm water contamination
Along with 2018 changes in regulation, EPA reports are focused on:
- Equity and increase capacity for funding
- Increasing public education
- Decreasing lead contamination through education
- Strengthening oversight of water systems
It’s important for managers, public officials, consultants and the general public to get involved. You should monitor regulation changes in a committee, get on a peer review team and/or contact your legislator. Managers can prepare for new regulations through master plans, treatment optimization and addressing infrastructure needs.
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