Attention all water providers: the EPA’s UCMR 5 list includes 30 contaminants (29 PFAS and lithium) that both small and large water systems have to test for and report. Can your current environmental solution handle it?
Locus EIM environmental software can handle new chemicals and analyses seamlessly. Both the standard Locus EIM configuration and the Locus EIM Water configuration (specially tailored to water utilities) are built with ever-changing regulations in mind.
We’ve put together some helpful background and tips for water providers preparing for UCMR 5 monitoring.
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What’s the UCMR and why are some contaminants unregulated?
In 1996, Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act with the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR). Under this new rule, US EPA can require water providers to monitor and collect data for contaminants that may be in drinking water but don’t have any health-based standards set (yet) under the SDWA.
More than 150,000 public water systems are subject to the SDWA regulations. US EPA, states, tribes, water systems, and the public all work together to protect the water supply from an ever-growing list of contaminants.
However, under the UCMR, US EPA is restricted to issuing a new list every five years of no more than 30 unregulated contaminants to be monitored by water providers.
This helps reduce the burden on water providers, since monitoring and testing for the existing long list of regulated contaminants already requires a significant investment of time and resources.
Throughout the course of this monitoring, US EPA can determine whether the contaminants need to be officially enforced— but this would require regulatory action, routed through the normal legislative process.
More helpful links:
- Locus adds Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) module to Locus EIM Water
- Improving arsenic detection and keeping it out of drinking water
- Making water quality data more transparent: Lessons from an annual water quality report
- Water quality data management: 10 best practices
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