New EPA Data Features Surface Water, Disinfection

The Environmental Protection Agency has published new data on the Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (IESWTR) and the Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule (DBPR).

The Environmental Protection Agency has published new data on the Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (IESWTR) and the Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule (DBPR).

The EPA is developing the rules to control microbial pathogens, disinfectants and disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in drinking water. They will be the first drinking water regulations to specifically address the microbial pathogen cryptosporidium. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires the IESWTR and the DBPR to be finalized by November 1998.

At the time the two rules were proposed, in 1994, the EPA had insufficient data on issues related to microbial and DBP control. To help meet the deadlines for the IESWTR and Stage 1 DPBR and to maximize stakeholder participation, in February 1997, the Microbial/Disinfection Byproducts Advisory Committee was established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

The Notices of Data Availability summarize the findings of the M/DBP Advisory Committee, and its recommendations to the EPA. The recommendations are open for public comment until February 3.

The committee reached agreement on nine major issues discussed in the Notices of Data Availability (NODA) for the Stage 1 DBPR and IESWTR published in the Federal Register.

The recommendations touch on three issues related to the Stage 1 DEPR: No changes to the proposed Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), haleoacetic acid 5 (HAA5) or bromate; modifications to requirements for enhanced coagulation and enhanced softening; and altering the proposal to allow full credit towards disinfection requirements in the IESWTR for predisinfection.

Their recommendations on the IESWTR include: microbial benchmarking/profiling to provide a methodology by which a Public Water System and the State, working together, assure that there will be no significant reduction in microbial protection as the result of modifying disinfection practices in order to meet MCLs for TTHM and HAA5; tighter combined filter effluent turbidity limits and individual filter monitoring; Cryptosporidium MCLG; removal of Cryptosporidium; and expanding sanitary surveys.

Also, the agency agreed to take a closer look at the role of Cryptosporidium inactivation as part of a multiple barrier concept.

The notices can be read on-line at the EPA Internet site (http://www.epa.gov). Copies can be obtained by calling the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.

Affordability Criteria

EPA has published a draft document entitled “Information for States on Developing Affordability Criteria for Drinking Water,” and plans to publish the final document by February 6.

Affordability Criteria

The Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 require the Agency to publish information to help states develop affordability criteria. A copy of the draft document may be obtained by calling the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791. The hotline operates Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (EST). The document may also be downloaded from EPAs home page, http://www.epa.gov/OGWDW.

Superintendent Sentenced

Mark Mayhue of Annville, Pa., former superintendent of the Norristown Wastewater Treatment Plant in Pennsylvania, was sentenced to nine months in prison, one year of supervised release, 50 hours of community service, and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine in after pleading guilty to two felony counts and one misdemeanor count of violating the Clean Water Act. EPA alleged that Mayhue failed to remove approximately 150 tons of sewage sludge from wastewater discharged from the Norristown Plant into the Schuylkill River between January and March 1994.

More in Environmental