Secondary Drinking Water Regulations: Guidance for Nuisance Chemicals

Secondary Drinking Water

Regulations:

Guidance for Nuisance Chemicals

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What are Secondary Standards?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established National Primary Drinking Water Regulations that set mandatory water quality standards for drinking water contaminants. These are enforceable standards called “maximum contaminant levels” or “MCLs”, which are established to protect the public against consumption of drinking water contaminants that present a risk to human health. An MCL is the maximum allowable amount of a contaminant in drinking water which is delivered to the consumer .

In addition, EPA has established National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations that set non-mandatory water quality standards for 15 contaminants. EPA does not enforce these “secondary maximum contaminant levels” or “SMCLs.” They are established only as guidelines to assist public water systems in managing their drinking water for aesthetic considerations, such as taste, color and odor. These contaminants are not considered to present a risk to human health at the SMCL.

Why Set Secondary Standards?

Since these contaminants are not health threatening at the SMCL, and public water systems only need test for them on a voluntary basis, then why it is necessary to set secondary standards?

EPA believes that if these contaminants are present in your water at levels above these standards, the contaminants may cause the water to appear cloudy or colored, or to taste or smell bad. This may cause a great number of people to stop using water from their public water system even though the water is actually safe to drink.

Secondary standards are set to give public water systems some guidance on removing these chemicals to levels that are below what most people will find to be noticeable.

What problems are caused by THESE contaminants?

There are a wide variety of problems related to secondary contaminants. These problems can be grouped into three categories: Aesthetic effects – undesirable tastes or odors; Cosmetic effects – effects which do not damage the body but are still undesirable; and Technical effects – damage to water equipment or reduced effectiveness of treatment for other contaminants. The secondary MCLs related to each of these effects are given in Table 1.

Aesthetic Effects

Odor and Taste are useful indicators of water quality even though odor-free water is not necessarily safe to drink. Odor is also an indicator of the effectiveness of different kinds of treatment. However, present methods of measuring taste and odor are still fairly subjective and the task of identifying an unacceptable level for each chemical in different waters requires more study. Also, some contaminant odors are noticeable even when present in extremely small amounts. It is usually very expensive and often impossible to identify, much less remove, the odor-producing substance.

  • Standards related to odor and taste: Chloride, Copper,  Foaming Agents, Iron, Manganese pH, Sulfate, Threshold Odor Number (TON), Total Dissolved Solids, Zinc.

Color may be indicative of dissolved organic material, inadequate treatment, high disinfectant demand and the potential for the production of excess amounts of disinfectant by-products. Inorganic contaminants such as metals are also common causes of color. In general, the point of consumer complaint is variable over a range from 5 to 30 color units, though most people find color objectionable over 15 color units. Rapid changes in color levels may provoke more citizen complaints than a relatively high, constant color level.

  • Standards related to color: Aluminum, Color, Copper, Foaming Agents, Iron, Manganese, Total Dissolved Solids.

Foaming is usually caused by detergents and similar substances when water has been agitated or aerated as in many faucets. An off-taste described as oily, fishy, or perfume-like is commonly associated with foaming. However, these tastes and odors may be due to the breakdown of waste products rather than the detergents themselves.

  • Standards related to foaming: Foaming Agents.

Cosmetic Effects

Skin discoloration is a cosmetic effect related to silver ingestion. This effect, called argyria, does not impair body function, and has never been found to be caused by drinking water in the United States. A standard has been set, however, because silver is used as an antibacterial agent in many home water treatment devices, and so presents a potential problem which deserves attention.

  • Standard related to this effect: Silver.

Tooth discoloration and/or pitting is caused by excess fluoride exposures during the formative period prior to eruption of the teeth in children. The secondary standard of 2.0 mg/L is intended as a guideline for an upper boundary level in areas which have high levels of naturally occurring fluoride. It is not intended as a substitute for the lower concentrations (0.7 to 1.2 mg/L) which have been recommended for systems which add fluoride to their water. The level of the SMCL was set based upon a balancing of the beneficial effects of protection from tooth decay and the undesirable effects of excessive exposures leading to discoloration.

  • Standard related to this effect: Fluoride.

Technical Effects

Corrosivity, and staining related to corrosion, not only affect the aesthetic quality of water, but may also have significant economic implications. Other effects of corrosive water, such as the corrosion of iron and copper, may stain household fixtures, and impart objectionable metallic taste and red or blue-green color to the water supply as well. Corrosion of distribution system pipes can reduce water flow.

  • Standards related to corrosion and staining: Chloride, Copper, Corrosivity, Iron, Manganese, pH, Total Dissolved Solids, Zinc.

Scaling and sedimentation are other processes which have economic impacts. Scale is a mineral deposit which builds up on the insides of hot water pipes, boilers, and heat exchangers, restricting or even blocking water flow. Sediments are loose deposits in the distribution system or home plumbing.

  • Standards related to scale and sediments: Iron, pH, Total Dissolved Solids, Aluminum.

Table I. Secondary Maximum Contaminant Levels

Contaminant Secondary MCL Noticeable Effects above the  Secondary MCL
Aluminum 0.05 to 0.2 mg/L* colored water
Chloride 250 mg/L salty taste
Color 15 color units visible tint
Copper 1.0 mg/L metallic taste; blue-green staining
Corrosivity Non-corrosive metallic taste; corroded pipes/ fixtures staining
Fluoride 2.0 mg/L tooth discoloration
Foaming agents 0.5 mg/L frothy, cloudy; bitter taste; odor
Iron 0.3 mg/L rusty color; sediment; metallic taste; reddish or orange staining
Manganese 0.05 mg/L black to brown color; black staining; bitter metallic taste
Odor 3 TON (threshold odor number) “rotten-egg”, musty or chemical smell
pH 6.5 – 8.5 low pH: bitter metallic taste; corrosion 
high pH:
slippery feel; soda taste; deposits
Silver 0.1 mg/L skin discoloration; graying of the white part of the eye
Sulfate 250 mg/L salty taste
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) 500 mg/L hardness; deposits; colored water; staining; salty taste
Zinc 5 mg/L metallic taste
* mg/L is milligrams of substance per liter of water

How can these Problems be Corrected?

Although state health agencies and public water systems often decide to monitor and treat their supplies for secondary contaminants, federal regulations do not require them to do this. Where secondary contaminants are a problem, the types of removal technologies discussed below are corrective actions which the water supplier can take. They are usually effective depending upon the overall nature of the water supply.

Corrosion control is perhaps the single most cost-effective method a system can use to treat for iron, copper and zinc due to the significant benefits in (1) reduction of contaminants at the consumer’s tap, (2) cost savings due to extending the useful life of water mains and service lines, (3) energy savings from transporting water more easily through smoother, uncorroded pipes, and (4) reduced water losses through leaking or broken mains or other plumbing. This treatment is used to control the acidity, alkalinity or other water qualities which affect pipes and equipment used to transport water. By controlling these factors, the public water system can reduce the leaching of metals such as copper, iron, and zinc from pipes or fixtures, as well as the color and taste associated with these contaminants. It should be noted that corrosion control is not used to remove metals from contaminated source waters.

Conventional treatments will remove a variety of secondary contaminants. Coagulation/ flocculation and filtration removes metals like iron, manganese and zinc. Aeration removes odors, iron and manganese. Granular activated carbon will remove most of the contaminants which cause odors, color, and foaming.

Non-conventional treatments like distillation, reverse osmosis and electrodialysis are effective for removal of chloride, nitrates, total dissolved solids and other inorganic substances. However, these are fairly expensive technologies and may be impractical for smaller systems.

Non-treatment options include blending water from the principal source with uncontaminated water from an alternative source.

What Can You Do?

If you are concerned about the presence of secondary contaminants in your drinking water supply, here are a few suggestions:

  • FIRST, identify your local public water system. If you pay a water bill, the name, address, and telephone number of your supplier should be on the bill. If you do not pay a water bill, then contact your landlord, building manager, or the local health department — they should know.
  • SECOND, contact your local public water system. Inquire about your supplier’s monitoring for secondary contaminants. Ask for the list of secondary contaminants which are being monitored in your water supply. Does the water being delivered to the public meet these SMCLs? If you have not yet received notice from your supplier, ask how you can get a copy of the monitoring results.
  • THIRD, if you receive a public notice from your local public water system regarding other drinking water standards — READ IT CAREFULLY — and follow any instructions closely. If you have questions or concerns, contact the person from the water system who is indicated in the notice. If that person is unavailable, contact either the state drinking water program or your local health department.
  • FOURTH, contact your state drinking water program if your water supplier is unable to provide the information you need. Ask if your water supplier is consistently in compliance with both primary and secondary drinking water regulations. Request a copy of monitoring results that were submitted to the State by your supplier. Your state drinking water program is usually located in the state capital (or another major city), and is often part of the department of health or environmental regulation. Consult the blue “government pages” of your local phone book for the proper address and phone number, or call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline.
  • FIFTH, support rate increases for your local water supplier, where necessary, to upgrade your supplier’s treatment facilities to meet drinking water standards.
  • FINALLY, if you have a private well and you think that the well may be near a source of contamination or may have been contaminated — HAVE YOUR WATER TESTED by a certified laboratory. A list of certified labs is available from your state’s laboratory certification officer. A list of the certification officers can be obtained from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline.

For More Information

For more information on secondary contaminants, write or call the EPA. Ask for a list of the primary and secondary contaminants, about monitoring requirements for these, and for a list of the health advisories available for these contaminants.

or call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline
at 1-800-426-4791

List of Contaminants & their MCLs


Microorganisms
Contaminant MCLG1
(mg/L)2
MCL or TT1
(mg/L)2
Potential Health Effects from Long-Term Exposure Above the MCL (unless specified as short-term) Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water
Cryptosporidium (pdf file)
zero
TT 3
Gastrointestinal illness (e.g., diarrhea, vomiting, cramps) Human and animal fecal waste
Giardia lamblia
zero
TT3
Gastrointestinal illness (e.g., diarrhea, vomiting, cramps) Human and animal fecal waste
Heterotrophic plate count
n/a
TT3
HPC has no health effects; it is an analytic method used to measure the variety of bacteria that are common in water. The lower the concentration of bacteria in drinking water, the better maintained the water system is. HPC measures a range of bacteria that are naturally present in the environment
Legionella
zero
TT3
Legionnaire’s Disease, a type of pneumonia Found naturally in water; multiplies in heating systems
Total Coliforms (including fecal coliform and E. Coli)
zero
5.0%4
Not a health threat in itself; it is used to indicate whether other potentially harmful bacteria may be present 5 Coliforms are naturally present in the environment; as well as feces; fecal coliforms and E. coli only come from human and animal fecal waste.
Turbidity
n/a
TT3
Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness of water. It is used to indicate water quality and filtration effectiveness (e.g., whether disease-causing organisms are present). Higher turbidity levels are often associated with higher levels of disease-causing microorganisms such as viruses, parasites and some bacteria. These organisms can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches. Soil runoff
Viruses (enteric)
zero
TT3
Gastrointestinal illness (e.g., diarrhea, vomiting, cramps) Human and animal fecal waste

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Disinfection Byproducts
Contaminant MCLG1
(mg/L)2
MCL or TT1
(mg/L)2
Potential Health Effects from Ingestion of Water Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water
Bromate
zero
0.010
Increased risk of cancer Byproduct of drinking water disinfection
Chlorite
0.8
1.0
Anemia; infants & young children: nervous system effects Byproduct of drinking water disinfection
Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
n/a6
0.060
Increased risk of cancer Byproduct of drinking water disinfection
Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
–> 0.080
Liver, kidney or central nervous system problems; increased risk of cancer Byproduct of drinking water disinfection

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Disinfectants
Contaminant MRDLG1
(mg/L)2
MRDL1
(mg/L)2
Potential Health Effects from Ingestion of Water Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water
Chloramines (as Cl2) MRDLG=41 MRDL=4.01 Eye/nose irritation; stomach discomfort, anemia Water additive used to control microbes
Chlorine (as Cl2) MRDLG=41 MRDL=4.01 Eye/nose irritation; stomach discomfort Water additive used to control microbes
Chlorine dioxide (as ClO2) MRDLG=0.81 MRDL=0.81 Anemia; infants & young children: nervous system effects Water additive used to control microbes

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Inorganic Chemicals
Contaminant MCLG1
(mg/L)2
MCL or TT1
(mg/L)2
Potential Health Effects from Ingestion of Water Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water
Antimony
0.006
0.006
Increase in blood cholesterol; decrease in blood sugar Discharge from petroleum refineries; fire retardants; ceramics; electronics; solder
Arsenic
07
0.010
as of 01/23/06
Skin damage or problems with circulatory systems, and may have increased risk of getting cancer Erosion of natural deposits; runoff from orchards, runoff from glass & electronicsproduction wastes
Asbestos
(fiber >10 micrometers)
7 million fibers per liter
7 MFL
Increased risk of developing benign intestinal polyps Decay of asbestos cement in water mains; erosion of natural deposits
Barium
2
2
Increase in blood pressure Discharge of drilling wastes; discharge from metal refineries; erosion of natural deposits
Beryllium
0.004
0.004
Intestinal lesions Discharge from metal refineries and coal-burning factories; discharge from electrical, aerospace, and defense industries
Cadmium
0.005
0.005
Kidney damage Corrosion of galvanized pipes; erosion of natural deposits; discharge from metal refineries; runoff from waste batteries and paints
Chromium (total)
0.1
0.1
Allergic dermatitis Discharge from steel and pulp mills; erosion of natural deposits
Copper
1.3
TT8;
Action Level=1.3
Short term exposure: Gastrointestinal distressLong term exposure: Liver or kidney damagePeople with Wilson’s Disease should consult their personal doctor if the amount of copper in their water exceeds the action level Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits
Cyanide (as free cyanide)
0.2
0.2
Nerve damage or thyroid problems Discharge from steel/metal factories; discharge from plastic and fertilizer factories
Fluoride
4.0
4.0
Bone disease (pain and tenderness of the bones); Children may get mottled teeth Water additive which promotes strong teeth; erosion of natural deposits; discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories
Lead
zero
TT8;
Action Level=0.015
Infants and children: Delays in physical or mental development; children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilitiesAdults: Kidney problems; high blood pressure Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits
Mercury (inorganic)
0.002
0.002
Kidney damage Erosion of natural deposits; discharge from refineries and factories; runoff from landfills and croplands
Nitrate (measured as Nitrogen)
10
10
Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome. Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits
Nitrite (measured as Nitrogen)
1
1
Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrite in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome. Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits
Selenium
0.05
0.05
Hair or fingernail loss; numbness in fingers or toes; circulatory problems Discharge from petroleum refineries; erosion of natural deposits; discharge from mines
Thallium
0.0005
0.002
Hair loss; changes in blood; kidney, intestine, or liver problems Leaching from ore-processing sites; discharge from electronics, glass, and drug factories

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Organic Chemicals
Contaminant MCLG1
(mg/L)2
MCL or TT1
(mg/L)2
Potential Health Effects from Ingestion of Water
Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water
Acrylamide
zero
TT9

Nervous system or blood problems; increased risk of cancer

Added to water during sewage/wastewater treatment
Alachlor
zero
0.002

Eye, liver, kidney or spleen problems; anemia; increased risk of cancer

Runoff from herbicide used on row crops
Atrazine
0.003
0.003

Cardiovascular system or reproductive problems

Runoff from herbicide used on row crops
Benzene
zero
0.005

Anemia; decrease in blood platelets; increased risk of cancer

Discharge from factories; leaching from gas storage tanks and landfills
Benzo(a)pyrene (PAHs)
zero
0.0002

Reproductive difficulties; increased risk of cancer

Leaching from linings of water storage tanks and distribution lines
Carbofuran
0.04
0.04

Problems with blood, nervous system, or reproductive system

Leaching of soil fumigant used on rice and alfalfa
Carbon
tetrachloride
zero
0.005

Liver problems; increased risk of cancer

Discharge from chemical plants and other industrial activities
Chlordane
zero
0.002

Liver or nervous system problems; increased risk of cancer

Residue of banned termiticide
Chlorobenzene
0.1
0.1

Liver or kidney problems

Discharge from chemical and agricultural chemical factories
2,4-D
0.07
0.07

Kidney, liver, or adrenal gland problems

Runoff from herbicide used on row crops
Dalapon
0.2
0.2

Minor kidney changes

Runoff from herbicide used on rights of way
1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP)
zero
0.0002

Reproductive difficulties; increased risk of cancer

Runoff/leaching from soil fumigant used on soybeans, cotton, pineapples, and orchards
o-Dichlorobenzene
0.6
0.6

Liver, kidney, or circulatory system problems

Discharge from industrial chemical factories
p-Dichlorobenzene
0.075
0.075

Anemia; liver, kidney or spleen damage; changes in blood

Discharge from industrial chemical factories
1,2-Dichloroethane
zero
0.005

Increased risk of cancer

Discharge from industrial chemical factories
1,1-Dichloroethylene
0.007
0.007

Liver problems

Discharge from industrial chemical factories
cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene
0.07
0.07

Liver problems

Discharge from industrial chemical factories
trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene
0.1
0.1

Liver problems

Discharge from industrial chemical factories
Dichloromethane
zero
0.005

Liver problems; increased risk of cancer

Discharge from drug and chemical factories
1,2-Dichloropropane
zero
0.005

Increased risk of cancer

Discharge from industrial chemical factories
Di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate
0.4
0.4

Weight loss, liver problems, or possible reproductive difficulties.

Discharge from chemical factories
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate
zero
0.006

Reproductive difficulties; liver problems; increased risk of cancer

Discharge from rubber and chemical factories
Dinoseb
0.007
0.007

Reproductive difficulties

Runoff from herbicide used on soybeans and vegetables
Dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD)
zero
0.00000003

Reproductive difficulties; increased risk of cancer

Emissions from waste incineration and other combustion; discharge from chemical factories
Diquat
0.02
0.02

Cataracts

Runoff from herbicide use
Endothall
0.1
0.1

Stomach and intestinal problems

Runoff from herbicide use
Endrin
0.002
0.002

Liver problems

Residue of banned insecticide
Epichlorohydrin
zero
TT9

Increased cancer risk, and over a long period of time, stomach problems

Discharge from industrial chemical factories; an impurity of some water treatment chemicals
Ethylbenzene
0.7
0.7

Liver or kidneys problems

Discharge from petroleum refineries
Ethylene dibromide
zero
0.00005

Problems with liver, stomach, reproductive system, or kidneys; increased risk of cancer

Discharge from petroleum refineries
Glyphosate
0.7
0.7

Kidney problems; reproductive difficulties

Runoff from herbicide use
Heptachlor
zero
0.0004

Liver damage; increased risk of cancer

Residue of banned termiticide
Heptachlor epoxide
zero
0.0002

Liver damage; increased risk of cancer

Breakdown of heptachlor
Hexachlorobenzene
zero
0.001

Liver or kidney problems; reproductive difficulties; increased risk of cancer

Discharge from metal refineries and agricultural chemical factories
Hexachlorocyclopentadiene
0.05
0.05

Kidney or stomach problems

Discharge from chemical factories
Lindane
0.0002
0.0002

Liver or kidney problems

Runoff/leaching from insecticide used on cattle, lumber, gardens
Methoxychlor
0.04
0.04

Reproductive difficulties

Runoff/leaching from insecticide used on fruits, vegetables, alfalfa, livestock
Oxamyl (Vydate)
0.2
0.2

Slight nervous system effects

Runoff/leaching from insecticide used on apples, potatoes, and tomatoes
Polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCBs)
zero
0.0005

Skin changes; thymus gland problems; immune deficiencies; reproductive or nervous system difficulties; increased risk of cancer

Runoff from landfills; discharge of waste chemicals
Pentachlorophenol
zero
0.001

Liver or kidney problems; increased cancer risk

Discharge from wood preserving factories
Picloram
0.5
0.5

Liver problems

Herbicide runoff
Simazine
0.004
0.004

Problems with blood

Herbicide runoff
Styrene
0.1
0.1

Liver, kidney, or circulatory system problems

Discharge from rubber and plastic factories; leaching from landfills
Tetrachloroethylene
zero
0.005

Liver problems; increased risk of cancer

Discharge from factories and dry cleaners
Toluene
1
1

Nervous system, kidney, or liver problems

Discharge from petroleum factories
Toxaphene
zero
0.003

Kidney, liver, or thyroid problems; increased risk of cancer

Runoff/leaching from insecticide used on cotton and cattle
2,4,5-TP (Silvex)
0.05
0.05

Liver problems

Residue of banned herbicide
1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
0.07
0.07

Changes in adrenal glands

Discharge from textile finishing factories
1,1,1-Trichloroethane
0.20
0.2

Liver, nervous system, or circulatory problems

Discharge from metal degreasing sites and other factories
1,1,2-Trichloroethane
0.003
0.005

Liver, kidney, or immune system problems

Discharge from industrial chemical factories
Trichloroethylene
zero
0.005

Liver problems; increased risk of cancer

Discharge from metal degreasing sites and other factories
Vinyl chloride
zero
0.002

Increased risk of cancer

Leaching from PVC pipes; discharge from plastic factories
Xylenes (total)
10
10

Nervous system damage

Discharge from petroleum factories; discharge from chemical factories

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Radionuclides
Contaminant MCLG1
(mg/L)2
MCL or TT1
(mg/L)2
Potential Health Effects from Ingestion of Water Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water
Alpha particles
none7
———-
zero
15 picocuries per Liter (pCi/L)
Increased risk of cancer Erosion of natural deposits of certain minerals that are radioactive and may emit a form of radiation known as alpha radiation
Beta particles and photon emitters
none7
———-
zero
4 millirems per year
Increased risk of cancer Decay of natural and man-made deposits ofcertain minerals that are radioactive and may emit forms of radiation known as photons and beta radiation
Radium 226 and Radium 228 (combined)
none7
———-
zero
5 pCi/L
Increased risk of cancer Erosion of natural deposits
Uranium
zero

30 ug/L
as of 12/08/03

Increased risk of cancer, kidney toxicity Erosion of natural deposits

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Notes

1 Definitions:
Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) – The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety and are non-enforceable public health goals.
Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) – The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology and taking cost into consideration. MCLs are enforceable standards.
Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG) – The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.
Treatment Technique – A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.
Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) – The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.

2 Units are in milligrams per liter (mg/L) unless otherwise noted. Milligrams per liter are equivalent to parts per million.

3 EPA’s surface water treatment rules require systems using surface water or ground water under the direct influence of surface water to (1) disinfect their water, and (2) filter their water or meet criteria for avoiding filtration so that the following contaminants are controlled at the following levels:

  • Cryptosporidium: Unfiltered systems are required to include Cryptosporidium in their existing watershed control provisions.
  • Giardia lamblia: 99.9% removal/inactivation
  • Viruses: 99.99% removal/inactivation
  • Legionella: No limit, but EPA believes that if Giardia and viruses are removed/inactivated, according to the treatment techniques in the Surface Water Treatment Rule, Legionella will also be controlled.
  • Turbidity: For systems that use conventional or direct filtration, at not time can turbidity (cloudiness of water) go higher than 1 nephelolometric turbidity unit NTU), and samples for turbidity must be less than or equal to 0.3 NTU in at least 95 pervent of the samples in any month. Systems that use filtration other than the conventional or direct filtration must follow state limits, which must include turbidity at no time exceeding 5 NTU.
  • HPC: No more than 500 bacterial colonies per milliliter.
  • Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment: Surface water systems or (GWUDI) systems serving fewer than 10,000 people must comply with the applicable Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule provisions (e.g. turbidity standards, individual filter monitoring, Cryptosporidium removal requirements, updated watershed control requirements for unfiltered systems).
  • Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule This rule applies to all surface water systems or ground water systems under the direct influence of surface water. The rule targets additional Cryptosporidium treatment requirements for higher risk systems and includes provisions to reduce risks from uncovered finished water storage facilities and to ensure that the systems maintain microbial protection as they take steps to reduce the formation of disinfection byproducts.
  • Filter Backwash Recycling; The Filter Backwash Recycling Rule requires systems that recycle to return specific recycle flows through all processes of the system’s existing conventional or direct filtration system or at an alternate location approved by the state.

4 No more than 5.0% samples total coliform-positive in a month. (For water systems that collect fewer than 40 routine samples per month, no more than one sample can be total coliform-positive per month.) Every sample that has total coliform must be analyzed for either fecal coliforms or E. coli if two consecutive TC-positive samples, and one is also positive for E.coli fecal coliforms, system has an acute MCL violation.

5 Fecal coliform and E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Disease-causing microbes (pathogens) in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. These pathogens may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, and people with severely compromised immune systems.

6 Although there is no collective MCLG for this contaminant group, there are individual MCLGs for some of the individual contaminants:

  • Trihalomethanes: bromodichloromethane (zero); bromoform (zero); dibromochloromethane (0.06 mg/L): chloroform (0.07mg/L).
  • Haloacetic acids: dichloroacetic acid (zero); trichloroacetic acid (0.02 mg/L); monochloroacetic acid (0.07 mg/L). Bromoacetic acid and dibromoacetic acid are regulated with this group but have no MCLGs.

7 Lead and copper are regulated by a Treatment Technique that requires systems to control the corrosiveness of their water. If more than 10% percent of tap water samples exceed the action level, water systems must take additional steps. For copper, the action level is 1.3 mg/L, and for lead it is 0.015 mg/L.

8 Each water system must certify, in writing, to the state (using third-party or manufacturer’s certification) that when it uses acrylamide and epichlorohydrin are used to treat water, the combination (or product) of dose and monomer level does not exceed the levels specified, as follows:

  • Acrylamide = 0.05% dosed at 1 mg/L (or equivalent)
  • Epichlorohydrin = 0.01% dosed at 20 mg/L (or equivalent)

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National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations

National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations (NSDWRs or secondary standards) are non-enforceable guidelines regulating contaminants that may cause cosmetic effects (such as skin or tooth discoloration) or aesthetic effects (such as taste, odor, or color) in drinking water. EPA recommends secondary standards to water systems but does not require systems to comply. However, states may choose to adopt them as enforceable standards.

List of National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations
Contaminant
Secondary Standard
Aluminum
0.05 to 0.2 mg/L
Chloride
250 mg/L
Color
15 (color units)
Copper
1.0 mg/L
Corrosivity
noncorrosive
Fluoride
2.0 mg/L
Foaming Agents
0.5 mg/L
Iron
0.3 mg/L
Manganese
0.05 mg/L
Odor
3 threshold odor number
pH
6.5-8.5
Silver
0.10 mg/L
Sulfate
250 mg/L
Total Dissolved Solids
500 mg/L
Zinc
5 mg/L

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Unregulated Contaminants

This list of contaminants which, at the time of publication, are not subject to any proposed or promulgated national primary drinking water regulation (NPDWR), are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems, and may require regulations under SDWA. For more information check out the list, or vist the Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) web site.

Drinking Water Health Advisories

Drinking water and health advisory summary tables are prepared periodically. They contain drinking water standards in the form of non-enforceable concentrations of drinking water contaminants, Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLGs), or enforceable Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs). Maximum Contaminant Levels are the maximum permissible level of a contaminant in water delivered to users of a public water system. Health Advisories (HAs) provide information on contaminants that can cause human health effects and are known or anticipated to occur in drinking water. Health Advisories are guidance values based on non-cancer health effects for different durations of exposure (e.g., one-day, ten-day, and lifetime). They provide technical guidance to our Regional Offices, State governments, and other public health officials on health effects, analytical methodologies, and treatment technologies associated with drinking water contamination.

Additional Information on Ground Water and Drinking Water
Providing information on drinking water regulations, source water protection programs, and ground water protection. It also includes links to local drinking water information.

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s PDF page to learn more.


Drinking Water Standards and Health Advisories Tables

These tables summarize the drinking water regulations and health advisory values as well as the reference dose (RFD) and cancer risk values for drinking water contaminants.

2009 Drinking Water Standards and Health Advisories tables (PDF) (18 pp, 430K; EPA 822-R-09-011)

Estimated Per Capita Water Ingestion in the United States – 2004
This report provides current estimates of water ingestion and body weight for the population of the U.S. and selected subpopulations including pregnant women, lactating women and women of child-bearing age.

Archived Drinking Water Standards

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Chemical Contaminants

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Microbiological

Regulatory Support Documents

Criteria documents and guidance for drinking water contaminants provide information so preliminary decisions can be made as to whether the contaminant is a significant health threat via drinking water exposure and whether sufficient data exists to perform quantitative risk assessments.

Criteria documents and guidance for surface waters provide information to help states adopt water quality standards that protect the health of people who recreate in water.

Criteria Documents

FREE ESTIMATES

Jacksonville       Duval County                 904-346-1266
St Augustine      St Johns County             904-824-7144
Orange Park       Clay County                   904-264-6444
Jacksonville Beaches    Duval County      904-246-3969
Fernandina          Nassau County               904-277-3040
Macclenny          Baker County                 904-259-5091
Palm Coast         Flagler County                386-439-5290
Daytona              Volusia County               386-253-4911

GAINESVILLE    ALACHUA COUNTY       352-335-8555
Serving all of Florida  and Georgia    at     904-346-1266

EMAIL     ASAPDEAN@GMAIL.COM      (feel free to email your bidding packages here)

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Other Drinking Water Documents

Drinking Water Criteria Document for Brominated Trihalomethanes
Brominated trihalomethanes are volatile organic liquids that have a number of industrial and chemical uses. The process of disinfecting drinking water generates brominated trihalomethanes as a by-product. This document was developed in support of the Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule.

other websites we recommend you look at

www.asap-plumbing.com

address:

ST AUGUSTINE PUMPS

5508 WILMIN WAY

suite # 4

ZIP CODE    32207

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