Water Research Foundation and AWWA release guidance on identifying potential sources of water contamination

Report designed to help water utilities complete and update source water characterizations and implement source water protection practices.

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DENVER, CO, NOVEMBER 15, 2016 -- The Water Research Foundation and the American Water Works Association (AWWA), in partnership with West Virginia American Water, Greater Cincinnati Water Works, and Aqua America, Inc., have published a new report that developed a detailed methodology for identifying potential sources of contamination upstream of drinking water intakes, particularly from aboveground storage tanks (ASTs).

A Methodology for Locating and Managing Dynamic Potential Source Water Contaminant Data(#4581) was designed to help water utilities complete and update source water characterizations, develop action plans, implement source water protection (SWP) practices, and evaluate and revise their SWP programs.

This report is written to complement the American Water Works Association (AWWA) G300 Standard and provide guidance on the delineation of upstream zones of concern, collection of water quality/quantity data, and identification of contaminant sources and land use patterns. The work also contributes to emergency preparedness, incident response, and health and safety management efforts.

The methodology for data collection, quality assurance, and data management was developed and tested at five pilot sites with the three partner utilities: West Virginia American Water, Aqua Pennsylvania, and Greater Cincinnati Water Works. Implementing the methodology detailed in this report may help utilities with several SWP practices:

  • Prioritize specific sites for follow-up data collection or emergency response planning activities
  • Implement and manage contaminant warning and event detection technologies
  • Collaborate with others in the drinking water community to prioritize and fill gaps regarding physical, chemical, or toxicological properties of contaminants
  • Regularly review and update source water data, risk assessments, SWP priorities, and response plans
  • Conduct spill response exercises
  • Develop emergency response protocols

"Identifying sources of contamination before they occur is a crucial measure in protecting public health," said Rob Renner, CEO of the Water Research Foundation. "Equipped with this information, water utilities will be better prepared to prevent and respond to contamination events."

About AWWA
Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource. With approximately 50,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.

About the Water Research Foundation
The Water Research Foundation is a leading not-for-profit research cooperative that advances the science of water to protect public health and the environment. Governed by utilities, WRF plans, manages, and delivers scientifically sound research solutions on the most critical challenges facing the water community in the areas of drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and reuse. Over the last 50 years, WRF has sponsored nearly 1,500 research projects valued at $500 million, and serves more than 1,000 subscribing organizations. For more information, go to www.WaterRF.org.

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